How to Silence Your Inner Critic
Updated: May 6
Do you find yourself desperately wanting to receive a sense of validation from other things or people in your life? Are you noticing a need to compensate for a lack of connection with yourself?
Why Do We Feel Separate From Ourselves?
One important cause of inner separation is self-rejection. Self-judgment, self-criticism, self-doubt, self-hate, shame, and guilt all can be included in the action of self-rejection. It is obvious that when we reject ourselves, we feel deeply lonely and isolated from others and life.
Another cause for feeling separate from others and life is being caught in an illusion of separate physical manifestation. We imagine that we are separate from others because we have separate bodies. We are all connected by the same energy. It is hard to fully experience the reality of being one unified field of energy, even when we know it intellectually. Living this knowledge takes a deep spiritual shift.
How Did We Get to Be So Rejecting of Ourselves?
One reason for self-rejection is internalizing rejection, criticism, or ridicule directed toward us by those close to us; another reason is going against our inner moral code, causing harm to ourselves or others, and disrupting the harmonic flow of life.
Each of us needs to define what is right or wrong for us. At the same time, there are some basic “golden rules.” For example, physical, emotional, or mental violence (as opposed to true self-protection) is an obvious distortion of the harmonious life flow, as are the even subtler manipulations, control, or overpowering of other beings. (There is a distinction between some use of force that is necessary for self-protection and the protection of others and other kinds of violence.)
When we have violated our moral code, we can either disassociate from our actions or admit to and amend them. Nevertheless, this violation evokes in us an uneasy feeling. This feeling can be called “pangs of consciousness”—our inner moral compass tells us that we went off the path.
We might feel shame, regret, or guilt, but this time it is because we ourselves went against the natural law of harmony. If we don’t recognize the feeling and the action of being harmful, and we don’t attend to it with an attempt to dissolve its effects, our unconscious or conscious guilt will cause us to separate from ourselves.
The three causes of separation are:
1) internalizing and maintaining self-rejection that was directed toward us,
2) perceiving a physical illusion of separateness,
3) experiencing moral uneasiness that results from harmful actions toward self and others.
All three causes must be addressed and dissolved for us to feel a sense of union with ourselves and others.
Take a moment to think about the different causes of separation. Which cause do you struggle with in your life? How can this cause be addressed? Be compassionate with yourself as you meditate on this.
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