My guest, Julio Alvarez grew up with a father that continually criticized him for most everything he was and everything he did. This set him up for an intense and ongoing need for external validation. Once he got away from his father, he realized that he took the critical voice with him... in the form of his inner critic. He went through a period of time where he did everything he could to numb himself to the effects of that critical voice. Through trial and error and personal growth work, Julio came to understand that his love, acceptance, and compassion for that inner critic was the key to building the inner strength that he needed to be able to fully validate himself on an internal level. Woven into this story of the inner critic is Julio's beautiful account of meeting the man that became his current husband. The way the two stories intertwine is filled with hope. If you struggle with an inner critic or a need for external validation, this episode is for you.