Posted in Being Human, Healing, Inspiration

Replacing the Inner Critic with Love

Hi.  My name is Lauri.  I am a perfectionist, driven by my addiction to my inner critic.  I admit that I am powerless over my addiction to rejection and that because of this addiction, my life has become unmanageable.  I believe in a power greater than myself that can restore me to sanity.  I turn this addiction over to the God of my understanding.   And this is when true miracles happen!

The Demons of Self-Rejection and Self-Loathing

All of my life, I have been plagued by a voice that seems to come at me from both directions – both from inside of me and from outside of me.  This is the voice of the Inner Critic – that big, mean, Lauri that stands outside of me wagging the finger of blame and speaking within me eating away at my self worth.  “It is all your fault.  There is something wrong with you.  If you aren’t perfect, people won’t love you.  If you work really hard, you might be loved.  If you aren’t loved, it means you aren’t enough or your efforts weren’t good enough.”  This is the inner critic that for my whole life has told me that there is something wrong with me, that I am not enough and that I am not good enough.  This is the voice that compelled me as a child to embrace the compulsion of perfectionism – I had to be the straight A student, the top achiever, the teacher’s pet, the star, the best…at everything.  This voice served me well in academics where I naturally thrived, but beyond that, that voice was a B.I.T.C.H.  When I couldn’t throw or catch a ball, she said, “I told you there was something wrong with you.”  When I couldn’t draw, “I told you you had no talent.”  When I forgot the second movement of Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata at my senior recital, “Who told you you could play piano?”  When no one asked me out for prom, “I told you you were ugly.”  When the people around me were hurt, angry, depressed, scared, the voice told me, “It must be your fault….something you’ve done.”  ARGH!  I hate that voice and all the ways she has made me feel like C.R.A.P.

Origin of the Voice?

Psychologists would tell me that this voice of the Inner Critic came about through my childhood – an overly critical or overbearing parent or something like that.  The Enneagram, however, offers a softer and kinder possibility.  The voice of the Inner Critic was something that I was born with.  While the development of its shadow side may have been supported by certain family of origin dynamics, the Inner Critic’s source of origin (according to the Enneagram) is the unique lens I was born with and through which I perceive my world and my life experiences.  Hidden within the voice of the critic is the gift that I was born to share with the world.  The trick is to find healing for the spiritual wound of separation (for more on that, see my book Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy), so that the shadow side of the gift may soften and relax and the gift may emerge.

Elusive Healing

I have worked for YEARS on trying to heal that wound of separation and quiet the voice of the Inner Critic.  While my perfectionist has relaxed and I am WAY better than I used to be, I have still found myself plagued by that darn Inner voice wagging the finger of blame at me.  With the recent end of a love relationship, that darn Inner Critic has gotten especially loud and annoying.  As I have been moving through the expected faces of grief, the Inner Critic has been beating the crap out of me and on Monday, I finally realized how mean she really is and how much I no longer want her to be a part of  my life.  For the first time, I PRAYED for healing and asked God to take this burden away from me.

Ask and it Shall Be Given

As I finally collapsed into a helpless heap of frustration and admitted I was powerless over this darn Inner Critic and finally asked for God’s help, miracles began to happen.  Through a series of experiences, I found the Inner Critic began to become quieter.  I re-discovered some meditation tools that helped me to further calm that inner voice and allow myself to remember a deeper state of peace and love.  Then something AMAZING happened – three separate individuals (spiritual teachers) in three separate conversations offered similar advice, “Give love to yourself.  Shower yourself in love.  Tend to your own need for love.”  It wasn’t until the third offering on the third day that I GOT IT.  And this is what I saw:

Standing outside of me was me.  At first the outside me was the Inner Critic, wagging her finger of self-hatred at me.  Then, she suddenly changed.  She lowered her arm, turned to face me, looked into my eyes, embraced me, and loved me.

The Inner Critic was now the Inner Lover.  Holding me.  Loving me.  Supporting me.  Adoring me.  For the first time in my life, I received the love that I so generously and freely give to others.  And that was an amazing thing.

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in Authentic Freedom Book, codependency, Spiritual Practices

Fighting Rejection Demons and Opening to Love

One of the greatest fears we face in our human interactions is the fear of rejection.  Today’s blog explores this fear, its roots and some simple practices to help us stay clear of the rejection demons so that we can be open to the love that we are!



The Fear

In my book, Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy, we explore the seven core spiritual fears that prevent us from living within our truest nature which is one of contentment, love and joy.  The fourth fear, related to our energetic heart center (the heart chakra) is the fear, “I am not loved.”  This fear shows up as the voice in our head that criticizes and condemns us for our perceived weakness, failures and imperfections, as well as the outward projection of this voice in the fear that another person will or has the power to reject us – to withhold love or to take it away all together.


The Very Real Human Need for Love

This fear, “I am not loved,” has arisen as a distortion of the very real human need to know love.  We all know the research – children who are shown love and are treated lovingly fare better in our world.  They develop a healthy self-esteem and a capacity to demonstrate loving and compassionate behavior in the world.  Love Love Love Love Love Love does make the world go ’round.  The problem is that not one human being has experienced the perfection of love within the context of their human relationships and every one of us has known the pain of perceived rejection  at the hands of another.  Because of our very human experiences of rejection and loss, we falsely believe that love is a commodity to be bargained, that we have to earn and can ultimately be denied us.  This is the big lie.


The True Nature of Love

Love, as I explain in Authentic Freedom, is not something outside of us and as much as we want to believe it, love is NOT something that we can give to or receive from another human being.  Rather, LOVE is WHO WE ARE.  Love is our very nature, it cannot be denied, neither can it be earned.  Love just is.  The problem is that we have forgotten this truth and lost touch with the infinite well of love that is our very being.  The rejection demons arise when we have forgotten the love that we are.


The Longing and the Remedy

The good news is that our Divine parent has planted within us a longing for the recollection of that love.  At first, this longing compels us to seek outside of ourselves for love, but when we awaken to our conscious self, we discover that the longing is actually pointing us inward.  The remedy to that longing to know love is to come to know the love that dwells within us in our very being.  The good news is that there are a myriad of spiritual practices that can assist us in the recollection of the love that we are.


Mirror Mirror

As we allow ourselves to be open to discovering and embracing the love that is within us, we find ourselves less bothered by the inner critic or the demon of rejection and more able to simply move through life content and joyful in the love that we are.  We find ourselves less frantic about finding the love outside of us that will “complete us” and more able to simply rest in the love that we are.  And here is the great thing…it does NOT mean that we no longer need the love of another.  As a species, we are relational beings and are programmed to live in community with one another.  When we come to know the love that we are, we find that the intimate relationships in our lives are changed and transformed.  Like a mirror, those relationships that no longer reflect the love that we know within ourselves may fall away, and the new relationships will come into our lives that are reflective of the deep well of love we know within ourselves.  In this way, we can freely and openly share the love that we are while joyfully experiencing the free and open sharing of the love that the other persons know that they are.  Win.   Win.

The Divine Question

As I recently found myself struggling with my own fears of rejection, I brought this struggle into my spiritual practice and received a powerful message from the Divine that I believe may be helpful to you in your own search.  Here were the words that God gifted to me and I now share with you:

Can you be open to receiving all the love that the universe (God)  wants you to have?   

My question to you:  Can YOU be open to remembering the love that you are and can you be open to allowing this infinite and abundant love to be reflected in your intimate human relationships?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries