Are you a critical person? Do you have a tendency to look at others – and life – with a “glass half empty” attitude? Are you someone who is never happy because you always find things to fault about the people and situations in your life, including yourself?
How do you feel about anger? Are you someone who readily expresses your anger and sometimes has a hard time controlling it? Or are you someone who is very uncomfortable with anger, such that you can’t really remember being angry at anyone? Do you confine your angry feelings only toward yourself because that feels more safe and comfortable?
I recently completed the exercises in Chapter 5 of the “You Can Heal Your Life Companion Book.” This chapter is titled, “Critical Thinking” and explores the tendency we all have to be judgmental and critical toward others and ourselves. The exercises focus on our beliefs and practices related to critical thoughts and the acknowledgment and expression of emotions, including the often controversial feeling of anger.
I’ve decided to focus this week’s post on the topics of criticism and anger. I will share some of Louise Hay’s thoughts on these topics, as well as my reactions and insights from the Chapter 5 exercises.
Earlier today, I had to call the phone company about an error they had made regarding changes to my service plan. I dread making these types of calls because I invariably end up being transferred to multiple service reps before my issues are resolved. I find myself becoming angry and frustrated at how long these calls take and how inefficiently the company handles what should be a very easy and straight-forward request.
Today’s call was far worse than any other such call I’ve made in recent memory. I was transferred to no fewer than five service representatives and was on the phone for close to an hour. It didn’t take long before I felt my heart racing and my blood pressure rising. I ended up losing my cool during this call and expressing my anger and frustration toward the person on the other end of the phone.
When I got off the phone, I felt shaky and uncomfortable. I wasn’t proud of the way I had behaved during the call. While it’s perfectly reasonable to get upset at inefficiencies and wasted time, I didn’t feel good at how angry I had become. I allowed myself to get “rattled” by what had transpired and I had let these events disrupt my well-being.
I just spent over a week without speaking. No, I didn’t go to an ashram or a silent retreat; I simply had no voice for nine days. My laryngitis was related to the flu virus that I mentioned in my last post and although it wasn’t unexpected, I never thought it would last so long. However, since I am a big believer in the messages of our physical ailments, I decided to look for the meaning and lessons of my “week of silence.”
What Does Louise Hay Say?
As a first step in my search for answers, I referenced “You Can Heal Your Life” to see what Louise Hay had to say about laryngitis. While I generally recognize myself and my situation in her remarks, I was left with a huge question mark on this one.