Ignore the Critical

13 Oct

Nice people respect other people’s stories, but lately I’ve read several blogs where women writing about their life experiences have been trashed by their families. Recently someone brought to my attention an acquaintance who was bashing people for telling their childhood stories. It is her judgmental opinion that those who write memoir or anything about the past just need to get over it.

Today I read on one of my favorite blogs where a woman came up to the blogger in public with her family and demeaned her spiritual stories. Another so-called healing group put up a meme that said, “Sad people suck the life out of you.” Such a message gives the gospel a bad name. I’ve come to the conclusion there is nothing nastier than a self-righteous, judgmental, critical Christian.

It’s my opinion the people who say such things have no idea what they’re talking about. They are either in denial about their own issues or enjoy making themselves feel good by sitting on a throne where they can pass judgment on others. I don’t write for pseudo Christians who lack compassion and empathy for others.

I actually unfriend and block people with such critical spirits because they aren’t my audience. Until such people are willing to investigate their own spiritually abusive attitudes and become safe people, I really can’t care what they say or do. If you have such people on your friends list, I give you permission to unfriend them. Unfriending is not the same as murder. They can still send an email if they want a relationship. Like Dr. Phil says, “You can call me an SOB, but you’re gonna have to do it long distance.”

If you are blogging about memoir and have run into rude people, Dr. Brene Brown wrote a helpful book based on the Roosevelt quote about the man in the arena called Daring Greatly. It’s about ignoring the critics who sit in the bleachers in their summer whites and self-righteous attitudes judging those of us who are doing the hard work. These spectators aren’t running in the race and that’s why they find it so easy to condemn others.

Some people will always be looking for someone to criticize because they have a critical spirit. I can forgive this, but I am not obligated to hang out with unsafe people. The more we heal, the more empathy we will have for others.

So here’s to my fellow bloggers!

I will let Roosevelt have the last word–

“It is not the critic who counts; 
not the man who points out
how the strong man stumbles,

or where the doer of deeds
could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man
who is actually in the arena,

whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly; who errs,
who comes short again and again,

because there is no effort
without error and shortcoming;

but who does actually strive to do the deeds;
who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end
the triumph of high achievement,
and who at the worst, if he fails, 
at least fails while daring greatly, 
so that his place shall never be 
with those cold and timid souls 
who neither know victory nor defeat.”
-Theodore Roosevelt 

 

8 Responses to “Ignore the Critical”

  1. jesuswithoutbaggage October 14, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    This is a very good post! If we talk about the issues of the group we have left, we will be criticized and ostracized. We can handle the criticism is various ways, but we must NOT stop speaking about the issues.

  2. lotharson October 14, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Hello, it is in effect very sad to see such judgmental (and seemingly heartless) Christians. For writing down traumatizing experiences can have a very profound stabilizing effect on the psyche of the victims of abuse.
    But I don’t think it is a good idea to unfriend anyone. We should always strive towards loving our enemies.

  3. Cherilyn Clough October 14, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    Yes, thank you for your support. Just to be clear, I am not talking about someone who disagrees with our point of view or is merely annoying–I am speaking about abusive people who have narcissistic mindsets to tear down the reputation of people who are just learning to tell their stories.There is nothing a narcissist hates more than the truth because it exposes their lies..

  4. Cherilyn Clough October 14, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    I absolutely agree we should love our enemies, but love does not include allowing people to abuse us. Remember when Jesus said to kick the dust from our feet when someone is not interested in what we have to give? The concept of unfriending in social media is much like kicking the dust off of our feet–not as an offensive move, but rather choosing to let people go who do not respect us.

    In some cases when the abuser has narcissistic tendencies it is absolutely mandatory to unfriend for the sanity of the abused. I also don’t believe Jesus would ask a woman to hang out with her molester. She can forgive, but love him from a distance. Abusive people should not have the privilege of following us on FB so they can abuse us further.

  5. jesuswithoutbaggage October 14, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    Thanks for the clarification, but I think I understood your post. I was commenting that we should continue to speak out and never allow ourselves to be intimidated. Perhaps I was unclear.

    I do not think we should accommodate those who try to continue to abuse us. I know those sorts of people very well.

  6. Cherilyn Clough October 14, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    I figured you probably were not saying to accommodate our abusers. Even we don’t agree on all things I know many bloggers like yourself who are respectful even if we disagree. Such an attitude goes far in building bridges. Thank you for your kind spirit. 🙂

  7. thespiritualrebel October 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    I love the name of your blog, I think examining and exposing past hurts can help heal them so there’s less emotional baggage to be dragged around with you and you can emotionally and spiritually evolve. I believe it’s an important process but there is difference between examining and obsessing the former is constructive whilst the latter destructive.
    To pick up on a point you have made in your response to Lotharson, it’s said in the bible we are the temples within which to worship, therefore it is important not let ourselves be abused or mistreated, to respect and love oneself as wholeheartedly as possible, both the good and the bad (if we don’t acknowledge the bad, how are we to change it?) Yes forgiveness is divine and is as important for the emotional and spiritual health of the forgiver as well as the forgiven but I think that it’s much easier to achieve from a distance.

  8. Cherilyn Clough October 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Thank you for stopping by. And thank you for the compliment on the name of my blog. I agree we are the temples with which we worship and so are the other people–even those who might abuse us. It is up to all of us what we do with that temple.

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