Thanks for Sharing

You would think by the title of this blog that I would be referring to someone else’s negative opinion. The person I actually am referring to is your self. Self-criticism is one of the worst cases of abuse, causing people to stay in bad habits and depression for long periods of time.

A baby never criticizes itself. A baby may quickly learn how to be selfish. But not often does a baby judge. We learn to judge from the people around us. We specifically learn to judge ourselves by the way our parents, teachers, and friends perceive us.

I read a story about a plastic surgeon who was studying cases of his clients’ ability to accept the wonderful physical changes in their bodies. He noticed that people who have had severely bad self-images with odd birthmarks and deformities, could look at themselves in a mirror and still see the old image of themselves. Patients had to undergo a drastic mental change and often hypnosis for a new self-image to emerge.

Self-criticism usually speaks to us in the form of a voice in your head. Often, I will ask a client to describe the voice he/she hears.

Close your eyes and describe who you hear telling you that you are too ugly to date, too fat to be invited, too bawdy to go to a classy social event. Is the person speaking behind you, in front of you, to your left or right? Does it feel as if the voice is coming from within? If you can hear the voice, can you imagine turning around to face the one speaking? If so, what does that person look like?

Often, what I will hear from a client is that the person speaking either resembles someone critical in his/her life or the speaker is a version of him/herself that must be perfect or wonderful to be accepted by peers. In any case, the problem started at a young age with a critical or narcissistic parent. After the child left home, the individual took the parent along in his mind, because the pervasive voice provided a sense of comfort.

Yes, you heard me right. Comfort! I’m sure you have heard stories about battered spouses who keep going back to the abuse because they feel comfortable with love in the form of pain. They may also be afraid of change or afraid of the spouse. Most often, though, the battered spouse actually begins to believe that she either deserve the abuse, or that love somehow looks like abuse.

Trust me, if you are sensing any of these feelings, I want you to call me or a mental health practitioner and get assistance immediately. No one created in the image of God is ugly, stupid, or unworthy of good. No one! I mean it.

And if you are one who is saying, “That is not true,” then you need to start looking at your self a little harder. Everyone on this planet has had his or her share of abuse leading to the self-image that she possesses.

No one knows the back story of the beggar on the street or the bag lady in the subway. If you feel as if you understand everyone’s history enough to judge, then you must be narcissistic, because only God knows everyone’s story. And no one should be judging he or she whom God created.

It’s simple. Just stop what you are doing right now and consider that no one is perfect. It’s okay to be exactly who you are. If you don’t start from this place, your ability to change into a healthier human being will be stymied by guilt and self-abuse.

You start from being a compassionate observer of your own physical, human self to begin to garner the power for personal change. When you hear a critical voice in your head, simply respond with these words, “Thanks for sharing,” then tell it shut up.

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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com. FOR COMMENTS: Go to the Bo Sebastian link under the title and there is a place there to create a comment. Thanks.

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