Monday, July 19, 2010

Looking Up Humility

I've been experiencing a genuine lack of Humility in my life, especially lately. I can feel the negative change in my daily activities, interactions with others and my irritability level. I know this will lead me back to drinking if I don't get a grip.

This morning I received an amazing email from a friend about Humility. The subject is one that I still cannot really wrap my head around. Upon reading the email, I thought to reach out and ask others what their take on Humility was and to ask for some feedback.

That launched me into a desire to go deeper. I look at google images on Humility, to read various blogs about Humility, wanted to blog about it, to study it, to submerge myself in it.

I don't want to lose what I have found in my sobriety but if I'm going to be honest with myself, I know it's just a matter of time before I do, if I continue this selfish, self-centered way of living.

This post will be the first of a series on Humility. My thoughts, ideas, concepts, and such are not based on knowing Humility, they will be based on seeking it. I need more of this in my life and this is my "out loud" study on the topic.

As I've been taught, any adventure I start should begin with a Prayer to help me stay out of me and stay right sized...

The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
That where there is hatred,
I may bring love.
That where there is wrong,
I may bring the spirit of forgiveness.
That where there is discord,
I may bring harmony.
That where there is error,
I may bring truth.
That where there is doubt,
I may bring faith.
That where there is despair,
I may bring hope.
That where there are shadows,
I may bring light.
That where there is sadness,
I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort,
than to be comforted.
To understand,
than to be understood.
To love,
than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

For those of us in recovery, this Prayer is known as the 11th Step Prayer. It's amazing, as you can see. The few times I have read it, it speaks to me in specifics with ways I can better myself, thus gaining more of an understanding of Humility and what it is like to acutally live in it.

The following is a snipette from my friend's email on Humility. Some personal messages were deleted - my apologies if the flow is choppy.

"SO – to me – in short, Humility is to get yourself down to right size. Not to be better than or less than – but understanding that you are “equal” too all. Being Humble means to continuously take an inventory of yourself daily and acknowledge and accept your character defects when they arise so that you can remain teachable in asking God a saner and more desirable way for you to handle an unmanageable situation. You strive to be continuously teachable seeking God’s Will for you and not your own. ...we have to practice on a daily basis letting them go in order for us to have Humility and obtain serenity and peace. I like the saying - "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. "Ism" = Insecure, Selfish Me. "Ism" = I, Self, Me (The Ism is what holds us hostage...). In doing this – we allow ourselves to realize it is NOT all about us and we are able to practice, love, tolerance, patience, and Humility – when we react with our character defects (insecurity, self-centerdness, pride, etc.) we loose the ability to be teachable, acquire Humility and be of service to others. ...we have to get out of ourselves and our old way of thinking or it will kill us. I know that I LOVE to think about me, me, me – I annoy ME all the time – so I have to do this on a daily basis as well (at least try too to the best of my ability). When I am feeling unstable or in fear – I am obviously lacking any kind of faith in my higher power, so Humility is unreachable for me. ...pause when agitated or doubtful and ask God for the right decision or action (you know the drill, act – don’t react)."

I have been blessed in my 3 years in the city to have met some great people and to actually be even more blessed by some of their friendships. Recently, I had to opportunity to spend part of my day with a particular person that showed me exactly what it was like to be completely self-centered and a bit arrogant. Traits I am all too familiar with. It made me not want to be near this person much longer. You see, I already live with me 24/7 and cannot escape so being stuck around another just like me, no thank you. It only took 24 hours to see the lesson in my encounter with this person.

Within the same day, I came across an individual that was entirely "different". This person ooozed peace, calm, love, kindness, serenity, Humility. I found myself scooting over closer to her in the hopes of obtaining some of this by having a close proximity to her. Nope, not gonna happen that way.

This person spoke without of sense of entitlement, without a sense of "being smarter than" or "having being right". She spoke from the heart, out of genuine love, hope and concern for others. I knew right away that she possessed what I wanted. I was instantly thankful that I had a few moments with her, to SEE what Humility was like in action.

I'm going to stop here and get ready for my day. As I study more on Humility, I will share what that "Something Within" places in my path next.

Blessings to your day...

1 comment:

  1. Humility - oversimplified, of course - is putting others first.

    At least that is where it begins.

    At least that is my opinion!


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