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crit·i·cism: noun
the expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes.

Sometimes I look at these pretty memes and quotes and they automatically click; I, most of the time, resonate with the message. Other times, like this morning, questions and previous lessons arise and say, “No ma’am. Dig deeper.” The meme is pretty, the message seems beautiful, flowers do, in fact, need both rain and sun to grow. But I can’t accept this as fact.

Compliments and criticism are both external feedback from other sources either confirming or rejecting who you are. They are based on the approval of another person, like the definition says, dependent upon that person’s perception. Considering how personas vary from person to person, and how moods adjust within you on a day to day basis, why would one depend on someone else to validate your own sense of being? Yes, it’s beautiful to be confirmed, or loved, or appreciated by someone else– but what happens when they change their mind? Do you diminish? Are you less than now that you don’t have their approval? Since they’ve adjusted their perception do you alter yourself to regain approval?

True growth happens from within. It’s a process of transforming your inner world and reflects in your outer world. Real growth, is coming to realize that YOU are the master of your ability. It’s an empowerment that you have to build yourself, for yourself. It’s creating a love for self so strong, that you believe in your own abilities, and no source outside of you can take that away.

Maybe because the author of this quote used rain in the wrong way, and that’s what made the lightbulb go off in my head. Rain is NEEDED for a flower to grow, but not in a derogatory sense, but in a nurturing way. Criticism can also be described as condemnation, denunciation, disapproval, and disparagement. Nurture is not either of those.

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