Is There Any Truth In This?

Hello Unity Friends and Family,
“Is There Any Truth In This?”

Believe it or not, I sometimes experience criticism.  Yes, me!  I say this laughing because, like many of us, I too am sensitive to what people think of me and what I say and do.  However, I don’t want to defend myself so much as understand what is going on in the criticism or what sometimes seems like an attack.

I had to learn this a long time ago in my healing journey.  If I didn’t, I was just going to go around in a defensive mode most of the time because frequently, people question what I say or do and usually they are really poor communicators as to what it is that bothers them about what I say or do and then I end up on the defense.

That is not to say, I don’t defend on the inside for a bit, but my salvation comes when I go all the way in and I ask, “What’s the truth here in what they are saying?  Put personality aside (theirs and mine) and tell me what is actually being said?”  When I do that, I get clear answers as to what they are actually trying to convey and I don’t have to hate them because they don’t know how to say what they mean.  

There is almost always an element of truth in any criticism.  Years ago I was taken aside by an employer of mine.  He told me that he was going to take away a part of my work that paid me a bit of extra money each week.  That bit of money meant something to me and I didn’t know why he was doing it.  I asked.  I saw his jaw quivering.  He told me that I had criticized him for something he installed in the entrance to a room I worked in.  I knew this was a big gesture for a small infraction.  I went within while we talking.  I asked, “God, what’s the truth here so I can be present and not defensive.”  I got it; I had hurt his feelings and this was a way to punish me for that.   I said to my employer, “I insulted you.  I apologize.  This is your place and I criticized you.  I should have learned long ago to keep my mouth shut about these things and I didn’t.  I am really very sorry.  It’s not my place to have an opinion.  You have every right to do what you want here.  Truly, I apologize.”  I saw his shoulders go from his ears back down to where they belong.  He said, “That’s alright.”  Next, I said, “Now, I’d really not like to lose that money.”  (I’m aware of the grammar there.) He said, “Don’t worry about it.”  That was the end of it as far as he and I were concerned.  I saw clearly that I had always been too mouthy and life was showing me the results of giving my opinions where they are not wanted.  

When I went within, I really wanted to know the answer to how I had come up short in that exchange and all previous exchanges.  I found out and not in a punishing way but in a way that built up trust between me and another being.  I frequently find myself in those positions because sometimes people can be uncomfortable with my forthright-ness of my thoughts.  Just as I can be uncomfortable with the forthright-ness of others when they are direct with me.  Either way, the solution to my discomfort is to go within and ask the Highest Voice within me.  I always get an answer.  The answer is never unkind or critical.  The answer always provides understanding, empathy and a solution to inharmony.  

Keep asking, “What’s the truth in this….?

Grateful for Divine Understanding,

Rev. Shawn