That Critical Voice In Your Head Part 2…

That Critical Voice In Your Head Part 2

Too bad that critical voice in your head doesn’t speak in a whisper. It comes in too often, too loud and too clear, like an angry wasp buzzing obscenities in your ear. An unwanted guest, at best, with criticism disguised as advice and concern, with its only goal to give you a hard time. Impossible to turn off or ignore, this nasty companion is a spiritual headache.

The idea of a harsh taskmaster is very old school. Supposedly too much praise will make one a monster, so the critic is doing you a favor by keeping you humble by undermining your true nature. Western civilization and thought can get pretty weird at times. 

SEE ALSO: 19 Differences Between Buddhism And Other Religions

Wrong or Right?

The trouble is, either the critic is wrong or it’s right for the wrong reasons. If this pest were more helpful, it might be worth the constant negative narrative poisoning your brain and draining your confidence. But whether it’s right or wrong, the delivery and the intent make you a hostage to its unsettling darkness.

It’s certainly not a friend. Or merciful. You’d think it would lighten up when you’re depressed or tired but it only double downs, taking advantage of your vulnerability. Like every other parasite, it doesn’t care about damaging its host. Greed, hatred, and fear pollutes whatever fruit it may bare, turning sweet to sour. God knows what it wants – validation, obedience, love, an apology, a better you? Or just to destroy every cherished belief, dream, and concept like a spoiled child angry with a toy. Nothing satisfies it. Follow its advice, correct one problem or another, and it still jumps to the next barrage of cutting comments.

To your haranguing host, the world is one disappointment after another. Nothing is ever right and all is unsatisfactory. Because this adversary has lived your life alongside you, it has a lot of accurate ammo to destroy your confidence and peace of mind.

Where did it come from?

The critic is also an agent of the universe, like the little voice that gives good advice, albeit a dark one, and is, unfortunately, a powerful breeding ground for depression and conflict, as well as deep insights. The goodies one receives from this compost pile are expensive, but cannot be found anywhere else. This source is ancient and very primitive, lacking in the niceties that make for polite conversation. And it isn’t going away anytime soon, no matter what damage you do to yourself.

Only the truth can survive the cheerleader and the critic. Falseness will never be supported by truth and truth will never be supported by lies. So we have a soft voice that always speaks the truth that we struggle to hear and a nasty one that screeches hurtful half-truths that we struggle to block out. This arrangement tends to bust up assumptions and leads to an open, if confused and exhausted, mind. None are immune to the voices because they speak a universal language.

In the end, as we are battered back and forth between the polarities, we are worn down, like a rock tumbling in a river, to our essential selves. Not what we wish we were, or hope to be, but to what we actually are behind all of the props and the smoke screens. Biology knows no politics and spiritual, philosophical, and cultural fads, no matter how convincing or convenient, come and go. The universe carries on, according to its own lights, whether we agree with it or not. It is to our advantage that we agree.


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Peter Bartczak

I was born in a boring suburb of boring Long Island, New York, in 1951, to what I thought were…

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