Everyone’s A Critic (Noah’s Ark Wisdome Part 5)

Everyone’s A Critic (Noah’s Ark Wisdome Part 5)
Everything you ever need to know can be learned from Noah’s ark…

1. Don’t miss the boat.
2. Remember that we are all on the same boat.
3. Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
4. Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone might come along and ask you to do something really big.

5. Don’t listen to critics; Just get on with the job that needs to be done.

We’ve all heard the saying, right, “Everyone’s a critic!” Like most sayings, there is some degree of truth in that statement. Most all of us have opinions and many of us don’t even need to be asked before we are there ready to share ours with whomever will listen.

As women, we get a lot of extra “help” in our day to day lives. Sometimes it’s asked for and sometimes it’s not. We get “advice” on how to be a good mother, how to be a proper wife, how to balance work and home, how to educate our children, should we or should we not vaccinate our children, should we or should we not schedule them for extra activities, how to feed our families healthy meals, how to discipline, how to keep our homes clean, at what age should we get married, should we or should we not have children or more children, how to… how to… how to…

To be honest, it can be quite overwhelming especially when the advice often contradicts someone else’s advice. With only 24 hours in a day, it can be tough to weed through all the advice and still manage to get something done. And forget about keeping your sanity – with all this “advice” we get from friends, family, TV, news outlets, parenting magazines, etc. – how any of us manage to not become “Cybil” is truly amazing.

As a child, I was very aware of criticism. I took what people told me to heart. I never questioned the criticism I received. I didn’t want to disappoint and clearly if someone had criticism then I wasn’t living up to my end of the bargain. In my teens, I started to question why my lot in life had to be MY lot. I would get angry when people would write me off as “just another foster child.” I set out to prove that I was more than my past had set me up to be. It became an obsession really – I had to succeed at all things and do them above anyone’s expectations. By my mid-20s, I had reached overload. I was trying so hard to avoid criticism and prove to people that I could be better than my circumstances that I started to make poor decisions (looking back, I am pretty sure I was setting myself up to fail because even though I had been working so hard to prove to people that their criticism was misplaced, I secretly believed their comments to be the truth) that eventually led to a supernova-like melt down on my part.

The lesson I finally learned, and not until I was in my 30s, was that criticism doesn’t go away no matter how hard you strive. Someone always has some input, some better way, some compliment with a but attached to it… Not all criticism is meant to be negative, and to be sure, most people are simply offering advice or assistance (from their perspective) and aren’t trying to make us feel inadequate. Examine the advice, evaluate it for any truth, see if the advice goes along with what you already know or feel to be right for you and your family, keep whatever truly helpful nugget you find and discard the rest. Living your life by someone else’s standards and constantly doing a course correction based on their criticism will only end up with a big explosion – and trust me when I say that usually those types of explosions aren’t all that pretty to clean up after.

I imagine Noah received quite a bit of criticism from everyone around. A flood, huh? God told you, huh? Why don’t you get a real job and take care of your family? You can’t be serious… animals… this has got to be against city ordinances! And I imagine the criticism reached beyond Noah… his wife, his sons, their families. They all had to endure it… but they carried on with the task at hand. They knew what was right for them (to obey God’s calling), and they knew that others simply couldn’t or wouldn’t understand, but regardless of whether they got support or criticism, the ark had to be built and by golly they were going to do it.

What about you? What have you talked yourself out of because of the criticism you’ve received or lack of support? How many self help books do you read or own because you are worried you’re not doing it right (and trust me, I got a library of my own)? How often do you hear past voices telling you that you cannot do that or you should not do that because you simply aren’t worthy or good enough? How many times have you encouraged your children to “not give up… keep on trying… it’s never too late” all the while telling yourself that it’s too late for your dreams and/or desires?

Come on sister! What are you waiting for? A new day is dawning… so let’s take the pledge together and get out there and get on with the task at hand regardless of what the critics say…

I pledge to listen to the criticism that comes my way and evaluate it for any sliver of truth. That which is true, I will take into consideration, and that which is not, I will toss out with the trash. I will treasure and value the friends I have who are supportive and honest (and sometimes honesty means that they have to tell me some pretty tough truths), and I will no longer let those who only wish to suck the life out of me have control of my heart and mind. I will remember the sage advice learned from countless hours of Blue’s Clues: When we use our minds and take a step at a time, we can do anything that we wanna do!
 
 
Jessica

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One Response to “Everyone’s A Critic (Noah’s Ark Wisdome Part 5)”
  1. Jessica Benzakein says:

    I just read this quote and really liked it so thought I'd add it here:

    Don't let someone else's opinion of you become your reality. – Les Brown

    [Reply]

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