Lately there’s been a lot of talk about humility in the places I go and with the people I see. The last three classes/book studies/meetings, the talk turned to humility.
I did a bit of research on the net, and it was no surprise to me to discover that most definitions of humility contain words like self abasement. I totally disagree with all of those definitions.
I think humility is a wonderful thing, if viewed from a different perspective. Years ago, someone gave me a leaflet. It’s unattributed, if anyone knows where it came from let me know I have it in a frame on my desk at the studio. This is what it says:
“Humility is perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no troule. It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore; to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing against me. It is to be at reast when nobody praises me, and when I am despised, it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness when all around and about is seeming trouble.”
Over the years I have taken this saying and applied it to my life with a New Thought twist, of course. I do have a blessed home inside myself, and I go there quite regularly, but it is not necessary for me to kneel to myself. I do not have a God separate from me, it is within me. I do not consider Spirit my father, nor do I call it a name with a gender. You can determine whether it is appropriate for you to kneel to go to that blessed home within yourself.
I think humility has to do with honesty. All of this introspection we do, the journaling, the looking at ourselves, exploring our reactions, our thought patterns, discerning our part in things; if we look at ourselves honestly, without boasting and without shaming, that, I think, is humility. To be able to honestly know who and what we are, who and what we are worth, to acknowledge the good and change the bad without shame, that is humility.
Whatever your concept of God is, I do not think that magnificent being ever wants us to feel ashamed, less than or unworthy. In fact, I think that is the exact opposite of humility. In hanging on to feelings of unworthiness or shame or guilt, we are feeding that side of us which would keep us in bondage to lack, limitation, or unhealthy behavior. I do not think that is our reason for being, and I do not think that any conceptual idea of God would want us to feel or be that way. I think that in honoring ourselves, we also honor God. When we are honest with ourselves about who and what we really are, and are able to acknowledge when something is no longer working for us, and then work to change it without shame, that is humility.
Let’s change humility from a dirty word to a wonderful word, a word filled with good stuff, with sacred meaning that will bring us closer to peace and understanding of ourselves and our concept of God.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic! If you don’t want to post a comment publicly for all to see, then send me an email!