Your inner critic can keep its "gifts"

buddha return gift.jpg

My friend and soul sister Allison recently shared with me this story:

When Buddha's teachings were starting to gain traction in different lands, religious leaders began to get angry. One day, the Buddha visited a small village. A priest came running toward him, spewing insults and vitriol.
The Buddha looked at him calmly and kindly and said, "You're a priest. You must receive many visitors to your home."
"Yes, of course," said the priest.
"Do they also come bearing gifts?" the Buddha continued.
"Yes, of course. Every week," said the priest.
"What do you say to them when you do not want the gift?" Buddha asked.
"That has never happened, but if it did, I would just tell them to take it back," said the priest.
"I see. Just now, you were giving me a lot of gifts that I do not want. Please keep them," replied Buddha.

When your inner critic is making a ruckus and pitching insults at you and your work, wouldn't we all be better off telling it to keep its unwanted gifts?