Accepting Criticism

I am still learning about this.  You’ll notice I had used the carefully chosen phrase “constructive criticism”.  I don’t care for criticism, to be honest with you.  I have always worked very hard to conduct my life and manners in such a way to avoid criticism because of my aversion to it.  Which has been a huge problem to overcome.  Elv will still tell you that I don’t do well with it. I have at least learned to listen to criticism with my ears and my heart open to get from it what I can use.  It still annoys me immensely to be approached about something I had especially taken care to do correctly. I know that no one likes to make a mistake but I am fairly certain that I have an overdose of pride in this area.
I have found a lot of consolation in remembering that other people make mistakes, too, and that we all are allowed to be human and need improvement. I try to not take criticism quite so personal so to speak and keep in mind that I should at least try to make the connection between what I said or did and what caused the issue to merit criticism. In other words, I try to hear/see it from his or her point of view and not be quite so stuck on what I consider to be the truth of the matter. Mom used to say to me, “Arla, you need to hear how you just sounded.”  And my siblings, family and friends now still tell me that in a lot of different ways. So I think I have made some progress in working at trying to hear and understanding how the other person is feeling or where they are coming from in their actions and words.
I have this theory that because I am a people pleaser and permissive and rather impressionable I tend to think that others should give me the same amount of latitude that I in my laxness give to them.  When they don’t, I feel extremely crushed and misunderstood. I am learning that maybe there are times I need to confront as well, and then it helps me to have a better attitude when I am confronted. Sounds weird, I know, but there is something in this for me.
Most of all it is important to remember that we all deserve death except for what Jesus did for us on the cross.  The song  Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross really speaks to me in those times I make mistakes.  If you really pray that; you will find opportunity to take your sins and faults to the cross with a lot more clarity and humility.  It helps everything.
The bottom line then is: to WANT to learn.

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