What’s on my heart today

by Elouise

Self-contempt feeds on every critique
positive or negative,
savors and loathes it simultaneously,
then dishes it up in return
or swallows it
disguised as something I deserve or need.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I see us as a society increasingly filled with self-loathing. One give-away is contempt for others. So easy to deliver, even though every dose administered to someone else could be a sign of self-contempt.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I don’t know. I do know we seem increasingly addicted to harsh criticism. Sometimes it’s blatant. Often, however, it’s disguised as humor.

Perhaps humor is our favored remedy for damage done to us every time we’ve been treated with contempt. Especially by people with greater authority, power, stature or privileges than our own.

Sometimes it seems my entire life is about recovery from self-contempt. One thing I know: I won’t solve the ache in me by holding others in contempt. The only thing that helps is to look in the mirror when I feel contemptuous, or give contempt free rein with my sharp tongue.

  • Where did that come from?
  • Why does it seem to give me satisfaction?
  • Whose voice is that, anyway?
  • Where have I heard those words before?
  • What does my wounded spirit need from me right now?

The temptation to be contemptuous of others is powerful. Make a snider remark than he or she did! Get known as someone great who commands the stage of contemptuous put-downs! Alternatively, learn to deliver contempt thinly disguised as ‘constructive criticism’ or ‘feedback.’

Well, that’s not the best thing about today. But it’s what’s on my heart right now. The best thing would be the sun shining outside, the too-early fall respite from hot weather, and you showing up today! Thanks for reading.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 1 September 2017
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Critical