by Linda-Ann Stewart
Do you remember how your mother used to tell you, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything?” Well, unfortunately, she was right. But not just so that you’re nice or considerate. Not being critical is actually a spiritual principle. It’s the Law of Attraction in action.
Wherever attention goes, energy flows. Whatever you focus on expands, whether it’s a positive or negative, and whether it’s in your life or the lives of others. Criticism is not only negative, there’s usually a lot of force associated with the observation. That power gets the attention of the subconscious. And your subconscious doesn’t distinguish between the condemning of others’ actions and what’s going on in your life.
When you’re critical of others, the subconscious recognizes the image you’re holding and energy connected with it. Whatever you put your attention on tends to grow because the subconscious thinks you want more of it in your life. When you judge others for some infraction, you’re restricting the flow of Universal good into your life.
In her audio “Prosperity Plus,” prosperity teacher Edwene Gaines tells the story of when she first began attending a metaphysical church. She complained to the minister about every aspect of the service, the people, and the activities. The minister, very kindly, told her something like, “Be quiet. Your highest spiritual lesson right now is not to complain.”
The Law of Attraction works by attracting what it is that you have your attention focused on, through feelings, what you think about most, and what image is predominently in your mind. When you’re focusing on what you disapprove of, you’re attracting more of that into your life. Your negative feelings and thoughts have shut off your mental magnet for good. Instead the Law of Attraction is bringing you more of what you don’t want.
Ask yourself, “Why do I feel the need to disapprove of that person, situation or thing?”
Some people think that the only way they can feel better is to tear others’ down. It makes them feel superior to the ones they’re judging. It means that their inner critic is incredibly strong, and they thrust their own feelings of inadequacy on others’s to achieve some relief from judging themselves. If this is the case, then you might want to work on your sense of self-worth. List the ways that you criticize yourself, and begin to respond to those statements in a more supportive way.
Is the situation one that truly needs changing?
Sometimes you need to recognize and acknowledge the 800 pound gorilla in the room before you can decide what to do about it. You don’t need to direct hostility towards the gorilla, though. That just perpetuates the situation by continuing to passively observe and judge. Instead, use that energy to be pro-active and determine what you need to do to make it better.
Put yourself on a criticism diet.
No matter how tempting, don’t criticize, condemn, judge, or disapprove of others’ statements or actions, or situations or conditions in your life. This helps you become aware of how much you do it, and guides you toward avoiding it altogether.
Find one thing to appreciate about the person or situation.
To paraphrase what your mother said, “Find one good thing to say about them.” If you’re stuck in traffic, you can appreciate that you’re having time to relax and take deep breaths. Suppose your boss yells at you, give thanks that at least you still have a job. What is one thing that you like or can value about the person or condition?
As you stop criticizing others and condemning situations, you’ll notice that your life starts to brighten. Finding something good about it gives the Universe, and your subconscious, the intention to bring something beneficial into your life. The Law of Attraction works whether it’s negative or positive. Make the choice to put it to work in a much more beneficial way for you.
I know that the Universe attracts to me that which I focus upon. Therefore, I now place my attention on positive, uplifting and generous ideas. Whenever I’m tempted to criticize someone, condemn a situation in my life, or judge myself, I say to myself, “Stop that.” Immediately, I find something good, positive, or valuable in it. In doing so, I am directing my creative mind to attract more Universal good into my life.