I have been thinking a lot about the critical parts of ourselves. How they are so near and dear to all of our hearts that we don't even realize it! We think that we are standing up for ourselves, encouraging ourselves, making sure we don't make that same mistake again..and yet, we are actually insidiously and covertly beating ourselves up. The critical voices within us can be so blended with our identity that we don't even realize how they are showing up each and every da
For the longest time, I had a critical voice that was disguising itself as a "I'm helping the environment!" voice. I spent a lot of time thinking about ways to not make waste, to not spend money on things like certain sponges or cleaners, and how to limit my consumption in name of the environment. This was stressful, because it was difficult to stay clean and organized! Not only was I worrying about "managing" my chores, always having an inner commentary about how what I was doing was fitting into this voices expectations, other parts of me were getting increasingly stressed out and hopeless because they couldn't win. It was an impossible situation.
Like every voice within us, there is a good intention that lies behind the seemingly distressing dialog. In this case, being kind to the environment and being aware of how I interact with the environment is a helpful and healthy intention that this Critical Voice part had. What wasn't helpful though, was that this voice was telling me things that would help the environment (like not using paper towels, multiple cleaning agents and products) and at the same time, these actions were being unkind to myself because it was just too extreme for where I was at personally.
As we become more identified with our True Self, the place within us that is kind, compassionate, curious, and centered, we are able to take in the information of each different voice and instead of being hijacked by it's extreme perspective (a perspective that takes into account half of a truth...like let's be kind to the environment yet ignores taking care of oneself) the True Self will have a balanced understanding about what to do next.
As I stood back and understood the good intentions behind a part of me that has this critical voice about the environment, I am offering compassion to it, instead of rejecting it (another back door way that the critical voice will come in again) and the Critical Voice will calm down....as do all parts of us that receive the loving warmth and understanding of our true self.
In this specific situation, I honored the part of me that wants to be kind to the environment and feels good by being responsbile. I also though, had to honor the part of me that still likes to use paper towels and have several different cleaning products, including some cleaning products that are not considered the "most environmentally friendly".
By having compassion for myself and where I am at in this part of my journey, I don't have to feel guilt because when I take care of myself first, I am more peaceful, happier, and gentle with not only me but with others as well. I could be the most environmentally conscious person in the world and be taking out my anger and frustrations on everyone around me. That wouldn't be helping the world either.
Whenever we step back into the loving place within us, we are given the opportunity to see that there is a solution that can synthesize all of the desires, wants, and information that is coming in from each of the voices that are sharing their own separate interests.