If You Feel Like Someone’s Raining on Your Parade

Criticism can really sting. If it catches us off guard, it can shake us deep inside, and leave us feeling vulnerable or even judged. Too much can end up making us over-critical of ourselves.

Which is probably why I’ve been acting like a huge baby for the past few weeks. For fear of criticism on a single chapter that could determine if, in fact, a publisher will accept my first book. I’ve sat here at my computer, staring at the screen, afraid to pour out the words in all their strength.

All this because I’ve had people rain on my parade before. I’ve faced enough criticism delivered as accusation, judgment and rejection, that it can literally stop me in my tracks.

Ever been there?

What if, instead of running for cover, we could learn to enjoy that rain on our parade? Image credit: elenathewise / 123RF Stock Photo

Well good news, then! Because rain is a very good thing. It helps crops grow. It keeps the weather balanced. It sates our thirst. It keeps us young by keeping our bodies hydrated. Like actual rain, criticism that rains on our life’s choices can offer four great things:

  1. It helps us grow. Proverbs 15:31 says “If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise” (NLT). Not only does listening to critique grow wisdom, it grows patience, and even confidence as we consider all perspectives of something we’re saying or doing.
  2. It keeps the internal weather (our perspective) balanced. It reminds us that life’s about relationship and nothing we do exists in a vacuum. While people’s opinions don’t dictate the course of our lives, their feedback is part of the give and take of relating. Our listening to criticism (even if we don’t agree) is an act of love.
  3. It satiates a deep thirst. We crave truth, because it frees us to see ourselves and others realistically. Dictionary.com describes true criticism as that which evaluates the authenticity, value and merit of someone’s work. I don’t know about you, but I ultimately want an honest appraisal of my behavior and work, even if it does sting a little.
  4. It keeps us young. Youth is more resilient and flexible. As we age, if we don’t regularly receive and respond to productive feedback and criticism, we become brittle and unyielding. That’s no good for the bones in our bodies (osteoporosis, anyone??) and it’s horrible for relationships, too.

As I’ve been considering the value of criticism, I’m making the choice to get my act together and complete the edits I need to do for this book. I’m going to look straight up at that rain coming down on my parade and drink it instead of run and hide. (And I’d love accountability… so if you think of it, please ask if I sent it in to the editor by my next post!)

What about you? What will you do to embrace a gift in criticism today?

– Laurie



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Comments

  1. Shariza Signe says

    I believe that productive criticism makes us better. If it is taken negatively, it can be a factor that can bring us down. As an editor, sometimes, some things take a little time for me to absorb, I pause, take a deep breath, then just head out and greet that rain on my parade! Because I know that everything has to keep rolling and produce something better each time.

    Great post you have here, Laurie. I wish you all the best.

    • says

      That’s a great process – pausing. I think it might have been Thomas
      Edison who said if we’re upset, count to 10… if we’re really upset,
      count to 100! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Shariza!

  2. Shariza Signe says

    I believe that productive criticism makes us better. If it is taken negatively, it can be a factor that can bring us down. Even if sometimes, some things take a little time for me to absorb, I pause, take a deep breath, then just head out and greet that rain on my parade!

    Great post you have here, Laurie. I wish you all the best.

  3. MotheringFromScratch says

    {Melinda} THIS post was very well timed for me today, Laurie! Working on some crucial edits on our book this morning before submitting them off for “critical” review. Feeling some fear and “not enough-ness.” 🙂 Good thing He is in control — submitting the process to Him and am determined to learn from each step of it. Praying for you today!

    • says

      I think that’s the biggie, Melinda. That sense criticism is about who we are, instead of what we do. All week as I’ve been working on my editing, I’ve just kept praying “YOUR kingdom come, YOUR will be done.” It’s.Just.Not.About.Us. Thanks goodness!

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