Releasing the Inner Critic
Think of ways in which we compare ourselves to others. In sports, for example running, we measure our self-worth with our physical ability to perform as well or better than other runners. Or in our jobs, we assess whether we earn as much or have the same authority as our co-workers. There are countless ways in everyday life in which we evaluate our condition according to how we measure up with others.
How does that make us feel?
When we compare ourselves to others, we are allowing our inner critic to judge ourselves and judge others. Every time we judge or criticize ourselves, we are depleting our Solar Plexus chakra and weakening our self-esteem. The Solar Plexus chakra is the energy center associated with self-worth, confidence, and inner strength. When the Solar Plexus is weak, we tend to feel powerless in our ability to deal with the outside world.
Feeling better/worse off than someone else is pure EGO, and it is purely subjective. When we compare ourselves to others, our ego (inner critic) is taking over our thought process and convincing us that what we are thinking is real. But when we take time to consciously observe the situation, we see that there is no comparison to apples and pears. Each one of us is unique, blessed with gifts no other person has. We are individuals who, like flowers, open when we are ready and spill our beautiful gifts out into the universe.
Life isn't a competition, no one is ahead of us or behind us, and everyone is at different levels of consciousness. Just as a baby can't be expected to be able to run, so too a person can't be expected to move to a higher level of consciousness if he or she is not yet ready.
So, in shifting from comparing ourselves to others from the viewpoint of the inner critic, we shift to self-acceptance. We see that we are all exactly where we need to be. This is Shakti energy, the unfolding of the state of union between body, mind, and spirit. We are all perfect just the way we are. We are enough!
Self-love, self-acceptance, and acknowledgement of our own worth are the building blocks of the third chakra. When our Solar Plexus chakra is balanced, we value ourselves and our work. We are confident in our ability to do something well. We love and accept ourselves and are willing to express ourselves in a powerful way.
--Erika Marie Rose