Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Law of Humility

“I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.” --Gandhi

“What makes humility so desirable is the marvelous thing it does to us; it creates in us a capacity for the closest possible intimacy with God” -- Monica Baldwin

“Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves.” --2 Philippians 2:3


You might already know this. In fact, I am almost sure you do. So please, be patient with me as I figure it out…

In this life, we will be humbled. Right?

The fact is certain, as I am sure you know. Now, we may not know the place, the circumstance, or the date, but we can all rest assured that a good humbling will come our way… at least a few times before we leave this experience called life.

So the question is not will we be humbled? The question is how will we welcome humility?

In this life, we will be humbled… by way of choice or by way of force. The Universe has a perfect way of knowing how to bring us to our knees… right back down to the soil that nourishes us all. It knows how to strip us of all our pretensions. The Universe (God) finds us, it locates a place that requires growth or the place that is flawed, and then it brings humility into that space.

It seems that so many people run about, committing unspeakable acts and speaking to others in such disregard, as if they believe they will be the first person to avoid the great experience of humility. I see them, and I only pray they find humility sooner than later. The greater the ego, the greater the fall. And the longer one refuses to live with humility, the more difficult their lessons will be...

In fact, we all know they’re living in a compromised state, one that leaves a soul malnourished. And in time, they will hit the wall, a wall that was placed before them just so that they may be rid of their arrogance or engrossed ego… just so that they may experience the humility they ran from all of their lives.

I hope none of us are the people who are blinded by their ego. Personally, I know it's a daily struggle to act in humility. Sometimes screaming my head off seems like an easier alternative.

But if we know that the Law of Humility is true, then we have some very powerful, beautiful decisions to make. We must ask ourselves, will I welcome humility by way of my choices, or will I run from it until the Universe has its way, and it is forced upon me? There is grace and wisdom in accepting humility every day in every circumstance by our own volition.

It may not be easy to choose humility in every challenge, especially when we know we are in the right or that we have the upper-hand. But then again, feeling strong emotional attachments to being “in the right” or “having the upper-hand” leaves us enslaved to our egos. Somehow, we have to be cognizant of these feelings, acknowledge them, and then finally find a way within our spirits to walk away from them. After all, when did being right or having the upper-hand ever spare us the agony of a wronged encounter or remove the painful memory of those experiences? So, if we know we will be humbled, why not choose humility rather than choosing the brick wall? Why not choose our higher selves, rather than allowing our egos to rule the day?

In striving for humility, we are able to glean from a situation what was supposed to be learned because we are open and aware. If we are wronged, we should raise our level of consciousness, not our fist. If we are lied to, we should find a way to forgive, rather than keeping score. If we are blessed with wealth or good looks, we should thank and bless the source of all goodness, instead of glorifying ourselves.

Because in the scheme of things, preserving and refining our souls is the business we should be up to our knees in…

Humility will find us all. But will we have the courage and discipline to accept it with open arms?

In close, I will leave you with the sage words of Saint Augustine: “Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues, hence in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.”

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