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The Loving Critic


The thought of this topic was inspired by Swami Yogananda (Self Realization Fellowship). He was giving tips on how to be critical if needed with love. Hence the topic - The Loving Critic.

My mentor Mike Smuda at one time had said ‘Feedback is a gift’. I have tried to take it to heart. Professionally I have made a specific effort to get feedback. The crux is that if someone you trust tells you something, it is typically more prevalent than just that one person. Personally, I get feedback from my husband Pranav. For me, my loving critics help me detect my blindspots!

For times, when I have to play the role of the loving critic, I first ensure that the person wants to hear the feedback. I also clarify my intent that my intent is noble. Then ideally in a loving way I try to focus on strengths and talk about things for improvement. I also believe it’s better to hear criticism from loved ones.

The piece I and most people struggle with is being defensive when we hear criticism or finding excuses for that behavior or action. I remind myself that its best to be the listener at such times. Swami Yogananda advises to keep criticisms short.

I think the toughest part for me is when I get caught suddenly in unplanned criticism battle. Harsh words don’t work. I like planned loving critic sessions else it feels more like an argument and I become defensive.

Loving critic also implies your ego does not play in it. Before finding faults in others, I like to have the mirror to see I am not coming from ego but from genuine love and intent to uplift. As I am receiving loving criticism, I need to remember and assume the other person is also not coming in from ego. Let me listen to the point, assume pure intention and reflect where to change/ improve.

Loving critic – it starts and ends in love. Loving critic are our blindspot detectors. I am blessed to have loving critics in my life.

The blessing

Of a loving critic

Throwing the light

To eliminate

Darkness

The blessing

Of being a loving critic

Spreading the love

Teaching

Like a mother

The blessing

Of loving critics

Thanking

The angels

God sent my way

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