Friday 13 January 2012

The Heart Door by Angel Young

Feedback ... so easy to give and yet so hard to take! Why do we take it so personally (or if it’s good, not personally at all? And as a super sensitive person (isn’t that so much better than over sensitive!) there’s an extra dimension to that. Those little glimmers of other people’s emotion that we sense, and take into ourselves - even though they might only be a passing thought - for us it sticks a bit firmer in our hearts than we would like. It makes me think of those feedback screams from the Glastonbury festival - a bit harsh on the ears! The kind of feedback I personally get is like that too. A bit harsh - a bit too sharp - a fairy tale heart with a thousand shards in it. It takes sooo long to unpick those moments.

So how do we respond to this? How can you take those shards of glass out again? (preferably easily!)

I guess first we have to look at why they are there - what part of us lets them in. That comes from a deep sense of self worth - so easy to write! I find this can come from our creative practice - that sense of being in tune - and also loving the work we do - even if we have to do other work to allow it to blossom. I can get to that space by following the exploration, and allowing it to develop fully in the moment. Then there is only the art / healing / voice etc and no space for anything else. So in the moment, there’s a kind of perfection - isn’t that beautiful?! - we’re in tune with the universe, doing exactly what it wants us to be doing - openly, and open-heartedly.

Being open-hearted is a gift - it’s about trust. And I think feedback is about trust too. After all it’s very rarely about hurting someone. Those other people are just trying to help - or maybe we are, unhelpfully sometimes, it true - but mostly the motivation is good. And if the motivation is good we can separate it from any barb we might be feeling.

Good advice, well we can absorb it into our practice - or test out the idea of it. If we don’t feel it - well that’s ok too! Thanks for the advice, but cheerio - no shard in the heart here! We can only feel the barb if we’ve got a hard outer shell around our heart for it to catch in. Lose the defenses - take the comment open heartedly - then there’s nothing for the hook to pull on. Equally if it’s a complement, we can absorb the full warmth of it - how wonderful is that!

And if we have a hard time doing this, there are tools - meditation to allow us to open up, and know our feelings fully, Rescue Remedy for those overwhelming moments, circles for sharing our truthful experience of the world (such as this blog) or elsewhere in women’s or men’s circles, and other healing for those hard to reach places. And I’m really excited that all these tools are out there now. We can really allow our true selves to surface. So this practice of accepting feedback, it’s really another step on the path of accepting ourself. And that really is a gift.

Angel lives in the UK and is having fun bringing more of the things she loves into her life.


  1. I love this line!: "And as a super sensitive person (isn’t that so much better than over sensitive!)" I agree that getting absorbed in the process--the flow--makes many kinds of feedback not so important. If I'm doing it for me, it doesn't matter what other people think. Yes, it's important to take quality feedback in, but quality feedback doesn't usually feel like shards of glass; it feels like help. So it's good to be able to take in the feedback that's truly helpful, and when faced with not-so-helpful feedback, to smile and nod and say thanks and then turn toward something more interesting.

  2. Angel, this is a wonderful piece full of things to think about. Your title captured me right aways.

    Kelly, I love the last line of your comment "smile and nod and say thanks and then turn toward something more interesting." Great advice.

  3. Thanks ladies - loving your feedback!!!