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Overcoming the Inner Acne Critic

Overcoming the Inner Acne Critic


I want to share something a little more personal with you this week. In my life, I have done a lot of transformational healing work and come to a strong place of self love. I feel compassionate, kind, and heart centered towards myself in my day to day existence. Yet, I'm still not perfect! And recently, it was time for me to see another layer of something to be healed.

A few weeks ago, I misstepped within a few encounters in my life. Places where I felt like I could have spoken better, acted better, shown up better. As a result, my mind ruminated on feeling bad about how I behaved in these encounters and sent me spiraling into a shame cycle. I shared this within some community spaces I feel safe to be held and heard in order to help move it. As a result of sitting with this for a bit, I realized that it's a place where my inner critic still comes to life.

Growing up, I remember being scolded a lot for bad behavior. This is probably common for most of us (including I'm sure for the people who scolded us too!). When we do something wrong, we're shamed for it and often told we're "bad". This planted an inner critic within me, and probably within most of you too.

The inner critic was there to protect me when I was younger. To keep me from being "bad" and avoiding negative encounters with others. In a way it was helpful to keep me in right action and right speech in my life. However, the downside is that I have also been playing it small and not taking bigger risks because I've been afraid to step out and make mistakes. And I see now how much this has kept me from growing.

I also see in my practice how hard my clients can be on themselves sometimes too when they misstep, specifically with regards to their Clear Skin Plan. And it inevitably happens to every single one of my clients. Not a single one is "mistake-free" - me included!

What feels important about these transgressions is to ground myself (and my clients) in love and compassion first. And then learn how we can grow from this insight. Mistakes are just opportunities to see our blind spots and try to grow and do better next time around. We don't have to learn from mistakes by being hard on ourselves. We can hold ourselves and our inner critic in love through our growth and healing process.

My inner critic helped then. But I know better now and can choose a different way to be. I thank the inner critic for protecting me in the way it knew how. And send it into retirement as I move through new growth opportunities in a new way - with love and compassion, without beating myself up about it.

Having this growth experience is new for me and feels fresh and vulnerable to share. But I'm hoping that in doing so and sharing more of my humanity, you'll be able to see and be more gentle with yours as well. May we all be happy, healthy, and free.

In love and community,

Elise May, CN + LE, is a holistic esthetician, acne nutritionist, and founder of Skin Nutritious. Since 2009, she has helped over 1,600 clients finally overcome acne with a unique blend of holistic skincare, treatments, and wellness coaching.

Work with Elise. Virtually or in her San Francisco based acne clinic location. Book online >

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