Feeling Critical or Criticized?posted December 5, 2023
One of the most remarkable things you can do for both yourself and others is incredibly easy. Many years ago, Marsha, one of my dearest friends and colleague who in 1984 told me to just go take Reiki, that I was supposed to, just go do it, and I am so so grateful for that, taught me this: When you are feeling critical or criticized, run through your head the words, “I love you just the way you are, I love me just the way I am.” Do this 2 or 3 times. It works miracles. You do not have to love the person, like the person, or even know the person. You don’t think it with feeling as if you believe it; you just run the words.
A couple of examples in my life: My first husband used to like to stay up late watching television. This was a very long time ago, before I learned to be assertive. We had a small home so there I was, lying in bed not able to sleep. Rather than going out and asking would he please turn it down, I was totally annoyed at how inconsiderate he was being, thinking about what a jerk he was. And then I remembered, and ran twice through my head directed towards him, “I love you just the way you are, I love me just the way I am…” The next thing I knew I was waking up after a very sound sleep, feeling refreshed. I do not know if he turned it down, or if I just fell asleep. In fact, had I been sitting on the couch watching it with him, I probably would have fallen asleep. It was not the noise that was keeping me awake; it was my own irritation.
Sometime later, I was at a Billy Joel Concert and there were two women in front of me standing and dancing. They were both quite large and I could not see. After five minutes, I was okay. After 15 minutes, I was livid. They, on the other hand, were totally oblivious, having a wonderful time. I was so angry. Then, I remembered. And, I ran through my head, “I love you just the way you are, I love me just the way I am, I love you just the way you are, I love me just the way I am.” Immediately, ensemble, right in the middle of a song, they both sat down. My anger had been keeping their behavior going. When I told this story to one of my healing clients, she laughed, and said, “And you KNOW Billy Joel wrote “I love you just the way you are!”
Our feelings are energetic matter; they are things. Anger is palpable. When you are feeling critical or criticized, that feeling is out there, snowballing, getting bigger and bigger, ping-ponging back and forth between you. When one person just runs those words through their head directed toward another, it interrupts the energy of it and the game is over.