Is “Constructive Criticism” really Constructive ?

One of the most common human behaviours I am privy to not only where others are concerned but within myself over the years and still even now it slips in at times despite my best conscious efforts not to go there, is that of being critical.

It’s SO easy to be critical because that is our conditioning. It astounds me that we actually have an economic industry of “critics” who get paid to go and see, listen to, or experience others creative endeavours and “critique” them which they then feel it necessary to publish. If the creative persons interpretation of something they have gone to experience isn’t in line with the critics perception – too bad so sad they receive a “bad” review that ripples out to others and has a domino effect which can limit severely the amount of folk who go and see or experience it for themselves and decide whether they enjoy it or not, based purely on what someone else says. It is also often the case that many who are standing in the wings and not even involving themselves in something or aren’t even aware of what is REALLY going on, on the stage, take it upon themselves to be critical of what the ones on the stage are doing, in all areas of life. Yet we all perceive and do things differently.

Just watch any group of people for e.g. in an art class – all can be looking at the same tree which they are to paint and yet every single painting each creates will be totally different not only to the tree given as an example, but to each others trees. How truly miraculous is that?! Yet so often in so many situations another will say no that’s not how you do it, you “NEED” to do it this way. How so and who says so?

Everything we do is an act of unique creation so how can it be that we have fallen into this trap of being so critical and judgmental? We seem to live in a society that is full of competition and judgement which starts not long after birth. It’s rampant in our schools, in politics, in sports, in workplaces, it’s persistent in those “Women’s” magazines where celebrities are criticised for just about everything from wearing a pair of track pants out to the local shop to having their hair done a certain way. In more recent times on television screens and other media it is also rampant by way of “reality” shows where folk compete against each other to reach a temporary status of “winner” and being labelled “the best”. The label being given to them by “judges” who are really only just sharing their perception of another’s “performance” in a given moment. Yet that perception in that moment of being “judged” can absolutely crush another’s dream and devastate the person who isn’t given the label of “the winner.”

It’s so often the case that if folk don’t do things the way we think they should be done or how we ourselves would do them rarely do we stop to ask questions. Instead, out of our heads and mouths, usually automatically, will come all sorts of “stuff” that is judgmental and critical which perhaps whilst not consciously meaning to do harm, does – just like the critic who published their opinion.

This has been disguised to make it more palatable in recent times by being labelled “constructive criticism”. I personally don’t understand how any criticism is “constructive” – giving and receiving honest and respectful feedback however is a totally different ball game. Words float around all the time about not judging others, about “loving” and accepting yourself and others as they are and hey if those others are rattling your cage with a big stick no worries just shrug it off and walk away – not always that easy though is it?

Phrases have long been within the minds of humanity along the lines of – Don’t judge another lest you be judged; Don’t be so busy pulling the splinter out of someone else’s eye that you can’t see the lump of wood in your own; People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones; Let he who is without sin cast the first stone; He who points a finger at another will find three pointing back at him, and on it goes.

When people bring forth their best endeavours, ideas and passions to create a more peaceful, love filled, tolerant and respectful world for all, they have often landed up being persecuted, imprisoned, harshly criticised or dead for their efforts for what they are doing or saying. Why? Have we all really become so arrogant as to think that there is only one way to see or do something, our way? Further down the track when it is often way too late, others begin to see what the person was doing and saying with more clarity and then those who were working solidly to create change are treated as heroes, legends or saints.

Sadly they are often no longer even alive by the time the rest of society catches up. It’s often the case that a person or people with “vision” will see much that others clearly do not yet see and due to their passion to manifest that “vision” they run with it whole heartedly, only to be continually met by others trying to pick to pieces what they are doing. What exactly does that achieve I wonder, besides perhaps maybe making the picker feel good about themselves in some bizarre way, like they are “better” than the one who has gotten off their butt, stopped whinging about a situation, and is actually doing something to change that situation for the better, not just for themselves but more importantly for others.

On the flipside to this we have all this information and push occurring about not bullying, teamwork, collaboration etc., and yet many of the so-called political “leaders” in this world are still coming out of the mental and emotional framework of Ego, criticism, one upmanship, bullying tactics, abuse and judgement even though we are given examples time and time again of what actually happens when we ALL work together to achieve something. Is that I wonder part of the reason why “natural disasters” occur, so that we can more consciously become aware of the part of our nature that is supportive, kind, empathetic, loving and compassionate? Collaboration NOT competition will get us ALL wherever we are wanting to go way faster than if we spend our time and energy constantly being judgemental and critical of what others in this world are doing and bickering amongst ourselves about whatever.

Someone close to me has a beautiful expression they often use which I love – The world would be a better place if everyone minded their own business. This person does not mean that we should not care about each other or support each other, they mean that each and every person (unless they are incapacitated in some way) is fully capable of doing whatever it is they need to do for themselves and that we would all live in a better world if we were ALL working together and supporting each other, not wasting our precious time and lives in these temporary physical bodies, trying to tear others down whilst our Egos climb whatever ladder to success they decide to climb, ripping people off or ripping them to shreds, gossiping, judging, undermining and criticising them, telling them they are “wrong” or giving them “advice” when it hasn’t even been asked for.

This person is also referring to those situations where we are doing something and another comes along and takes over because in the other’s eyes we are not doing “it” right. They are of the opinion that this unintentionally diminishes the person who was doing it their own way and shows disrespect. Quite simply humanity has created the present mess in this world, no-one else, and no-one is coming to “save” us, or the planet. The Politicians don’t give a hoot for they cannot see what many of us can clearly see and we are ALL simply just going to have to pull our big girl and boy knickers up clear out our own muck and heal our wounds, so we stop projecting it all onto others if we want anything at all to change.

The time of separation – of you, me, us, them, right, wrong, greed, slavery to jobs that just create nothing but stress and sickness to all life on this planet is coming to an end. Honestly can you actually even begin to imagine how much more we would ALL achieve in this world if the amount of time, money and energy we spent on sticking our noses into other folks business, being critical and judgemental, bickering or gossiping about this, that and the other was actually spent on creating the type of world we not only want to live in but pass on to our children and grandchildren?

It has always been said that our children are our future and whilst I was a child I really didn’t have a say in the future I would be living in. I was often told by my Grandfather though you can achieve anything you want to in this world and so far all I have set out to achieve I have accomplished but there is still more, so much more I want to achieve. Now that I am living in the future I was told about as a child, as a mature aged woman, it is not at all the future I envisioned it could be but I can have a say now and I am so very passionate and driven about doing everything in my power, by collaborating, not competing with others, via The Wellness Universe, other initiatives and with folk who are near and dear to me, to assist in creating the future I did envision as a child that I want to pass on to my children and grandchildren. A world where there is full collaboration, peace, love, understanding, respect for all life, compassion, gratitude, joy, beauty and creative vision and as John Lennon once said, “You may say I’m a Dreamer but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will BE as one”.

I may never get to see a world like the one I envision but that doesn’t mean for a second I can’t and won’t do whatever I can to help create it. We are ALL in this world together regardless of our social status, gender, sexual preferences, financial situation, religion or religious beliefs, varying skin colours, ages etc., It doesn’t matter diddly squat what job we do that we label with a name or how well known or not known we are in the world, and for the sake of all the children, grandchildren and generations yet to come into this world, I truly do hope and yes I even pray (even though I am not for once second “religious”) that we ALL start spending way more time collaborating and supporting each other to create a better world than the one we have been left with by those who came before us, than we have been and often do spend criticising and judging each other.
Cheers, C.

Copyright. C. O’Connor.

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#Cheryl O’Connor.
#Holistic #Counsellor, Author & Writer.

* Cognitive & Body Based Counselling.
* Creative & Artistic Therapies.
* Specialising in #Dream #Analysis/#Conscious #Dreaming & #Shamanic Journeying.
* #Reiki/#Seichim Treatments & Attunements.
* Isis #Meditation.

Website @

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Like many I was brought up with a belief that it was necessary to forgive others who I perceived created trauma, heartbreak, grief etc., for me and were hurtful and/or abusive towards me. There were many to forgive in my life and I saw the only way to find peace and acceptance within myself was to do the inner work, feel the pain, shock, trauma etc., and to literally “let it go” and in doing so forgiveness came.

Letting go doesn’t appear to me to occur just in the mind by thinking you should let it go or trying not to think about it, if something is coming into your mind it does so for a reason and for myself letting go only occurs with releasing the energy of whatever emotions have been stored within the body and subconscious from the experience that haven’t yet been fully felt. This combined with “Forgive them for they know not what they do”, which had been drummed into my head as a child, all worked fine and dandy until recently.

There is much written about the necessity of forgiveness and for a while I saw forgiveness as being for giving to self and others.  That worked too for me but as we are all works in progress “stuff” comes up and into our awareness and we also gain more insight and understanding as “time” goes on, becoming more and more conscious.   Things we may have thought 10 – 20 years ago for example no longer apply to so many of us for we are forever evolving and learning. For myself I’ve always been learning, growing and changing and may I never stop doing so.   Much I was sharing some 20 years ago with folk, who thought I was nuts, is now very common to read or over hear being said.

An event had occurred in my life way back that bubbled up emotionally yet again for me to explore.   Of all the events in my life I would have to say that this particular one has had the greatest impact on my life and my heart since it occurred. Many say the past is in the past so just move on, forget about it, let it go, that whatever just wasn’t meant to be and I have always struggled with that concept particularly around this specific incident for I am very aware that past, present and future all exist in now and that the energy of what we label past has a huge impact on ever so many of us.

If it didn’t cultural traditions for better and sometimes yes for worse would not be handed down, people would no longer re-act to things others say and do, there would be no need for “protection” by way of the military or arms and so it goes on.   How often for example does it occur that we have a gut re-action of anxiety, fear, defensiveness or attack, which is purely based on a past experience that is merely being triggered by a present situation?

This particular event in my life is one that wounded my heart very, very deeply. It is not something I will ever forget. It has been something that I have just had to learn to live with and allow the grief to surface and be released as and when it needs to be and so as I found myself re-visiting it yet again, as we do when something is so traumatic and overwhelming that to process it all in one hit is just way too much to cope with, I had the thought and feeling that I needed to forgive behaviour which I found totally manipulative and one of the worst behaviours imaginable to me. Forgiveness had come easily with ever so many folk yet with this particular event I was struggling big time.

I could see the gifts that had been received from the event as my journey through life would never have been what it was if things had of been different and there were ever so many gifts and so much to be grateful for.   Yet forgiveness just was not coming and I started beating myself up about it not coming.   Dreams were indicating that something really yuck and awful was on its way out and physically I became ill for two weeks with flu like symptoms as I was processing it all. My bones ached to the very core of them and I just had to shut down and off to sleep, dream and rest my body.

I then stumbled across a poster that Mena of Mena Canonico DARE to be REAL had shared on Facebook and it was along the lines of there being no need for forgiveness unless we see ourselves as a victim. A light bulb went on for me in the moment of reading that poster and the truth tingles ran rapidly through my body. I was SO delighted to have this come my way as it made perfect sense to me of why I had not for a second been able to feel forgiveness towards others who had created so much grief for me and for another, with their manipulative lies. It was indeed to my heart and head an unforgiveable act of manipulation and certainly not something I would or will ever forget or forgive.

It did however send me off on a tangent at a young age that without the gift of it I never would have taken.   I could clearly see that at a Soul level if you like my path was just meant to be what it was and that these particular people had played their roles beautifully in ensuring I stay on track in order to achieve what I was here to do for myself in terms of healing and learning so that ultimately I could provide a safe, nurturing, validating and sacred space for others to explore themselves in.

Mena’s poster was a life changer for me because it is so very true that when we can see the lessons and gifts, can feel gratitude for all we have experienced and do experience, the good, the bad and the ugly, we gain acceptance and peace and we learn that truly there is nothing to forgive ourselves or anyone else for when you know with every cell of your being that you are NOT a victim, that you chose at some part of you to experience what you did and do experience for your own growth and learning.

This then led to another conversation with a longstanding and very dear friend about blame and judgement and we concluded for now that those too are all part of the Victim mentality. Of things being done “to” us rather than us taking responsibility for our part in the experience and seeing that nothing is ever done “to” us without our consent and permission at some level for we do indeed choose to participate in whatever we experience for our own development and evolution.

There is also much talk about forgiving yourself – for what exactly? For learning, for growing, for becoming the person you have become or are still becoming due to your lessons and experiences? What is there really to forgive yourself for? Why not just work on loving and being proud of yourself instead for being so brave and courageous to choose to experience ever so much that we all do here to ourselves and others, usually in ignorance, in this physical world.

Cheers, Cheryl.

Copyright – C. O’Connor 2015.


#Cheryl O’Connor.

#Holistic #Counsellor, Author & Writer.

* Cognitive & Body Based Counselling.

* Creative & Artistic Therapies.

* Specialising in #Dream #Analysis/#Conscious #Dreaming & #Shamanic Journeying.

* #Reiki/#Seichim Treatments & Attunements.

* #Isis #Meditation.

* Proud member of The Wellness Universe – #‎WUVIP

Newsletter Subscription @ – All subscribers will receive a 10% discount on their first initial consultation for any of my services along with 33 awesome tips and tricks to help you start deciphering your dreams, as well as the symbolism of what appears to you daily.
My book The Promise, Skype & Email Consultations Available –


We often give thanks to those who have been kind, loving, and supportive and who have helped us when we have needed help. It is the most natural thing for us to be and to feel in such circumstances.

For myself and I don’t doubt others, there have been many in my life who have been there to help me pick up the pieces when the shit has literally hit the fan.

So many people I have met along the way whose nature it is to help others. These types of people warm our hearts and restore our faith in the good we know exists in humanity and we have every reason to be grateful for their presence in our lives and in the world.

For all the wonderful people I have shared parts of my journey with there have been just as many people who caused me pain, tore me down, abused me, hit me, yelled at me, hassled me, bullied me, made me ill, made me feel small, scared me, broke my heart, ignored me, told me I wasn’t good enough, told me I was wrong, stupid, pathetic, crazy, an idiot, criticised me, gossiped about me, broke my heart, caused me trauma and distress, caused things I had spent a huge amount of time, effort and energy creating to be destroyed and bla bla bla.

Many in this world seem to think that success is about having “things”, the more they have the happier they think they will be. Many see success in terms of how much money one accumulates or how high up the corporate ladder they climb or even how well known they become. Success in this world is often portrayed as being linked with money – the more you have the more successful you are.

Personally I don’t see any of that and never have done for I see success as being the ability to feel just as much love and gratitude for those who have treated us badly as we have for those who have, without a second thought, gone out of their way to assist us whenever we have needed whatever we have needed.

For it seems to me it is a combination of both types of people who show us what we truly need to know about ourselves, who give us strength, teach us love and forgiveness and who help us become our full potential.

When we feel total love and gratitude for all that has been, is and is yet to be, and can truly see the gifts of love given by those who we feel have treated us badly – we have peace and well personally I don’t know of any greater success than that.

Cheers, Cheryl.
Copyright. C. O’Connor 2014.


‪#‎Cheryl‬ O’Connor.
‪#‎Holistic‬ ‪#‎Counsellor‬, Author & Writer.

* Cognitive & Body Based Counselling.
* Creative & Artistic Therapies.
* Specialising in ‪#‎Dream‬ ‪#‎Analysis‬/‪#‎Conscious‬ ‪#‎Dreaming‬ & ‪#‎Shamanic‬ Journeying.
* ‪#‎Reiki‬/‪#‎Seichim‬ Treatments & Attunements.
* Isis ‪#‎Meditation‬.

Newsletter Subscription @ – All subscribers will receive a 10% discount on their first initial consultation for any of my services along with 10 pages of awesome tips and tricks to help you start deciphering the language of your Soul, your dreams, as well as the symbolism of what appears to you daily.

Website @
My book The Promise, Skype & Email Consultations Available –

Skype: cheryloconnor333

Twitter: Cheryl O’Connor@Cheoco99

Image: Valerie Sjodin