Sunday, June 22, 2008

pride vs pride

The last couple of weeks the idea of humbleness and faith have been on my mind a lot. Then there was that mini epiphany about the role of pride. The more I looked, the more confusion I found within myself. This blog entry was written to help clear up my thinking.

For years, many spoke to me of my low self-esteem, that I should be proud of what I had accomplished at home and at work. Kind people tell me not to be so hard on myself, as they still do today. I suspect this would be a healthy sort of pride, looking back over what has been accomplished with a feeling of satisfaction or pleasure.

Likewise, when I look over at the lives of my children. I feel pride for them, proud of them. For what they have accomplished for themselves. Each one. Our family has been through some difficult times (like all family) and watching how we have supported each other, while not necessarily agreeing with each other, has been a joy. That type of pride is honest pride.,

Pride is an emotion which refers to a strong sense of self-respect, a refusal to be humiliated as well as joy in the accomplishments of oneself or a person, group, nation or object that one identifies with ... Wikipedia

Then there is the type of pride that we struggle with. The twelve and twelve says that pride heads the list of the seven deadly sins.(1) Judaism uses the word pride along the lines of hubris and arrogance.(2) Christianity teaches that pride is something that interferes with our recognition of the grace of God in our own lives or in the lives of others.(2) Islam shows pride as arrogance.(2) Taoism teaches that pride and greed are human errors. (2) A list of words that go along these lines might include conceit, egotism, vanity, and vainglory.

A review of my 4th step shows clearly how pride led to self-justification, allowing me to drink and porn to excess, ignoring all the damage it was doing to others and myself. Self deception. Pride still plays a role in my life today. Not allowing me to trust completely in my higher power, still wanting to go my own way. I butt heads with others, causing pain for them and me. Butt heads with my Higher Power causing pain for me. God will allow my to butt my head into a wall for as long as it takes for the pain to sink in and make me realize that I should try something different.

I like this qoute from Carl Jung
"Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune."(3)

Pride is where, in my arrogance and vanity, push my Higher Power out of the way, thinking that I have a better way, an easier softer way. This kind of pride is where most of my fears come from. "I have to fix it, I don't know how, but I can't give this up."

Humbleness is the opposite of pride. Humbleness means I let go and let God, dwelling in the world of acceptance. Daave commented in my previous entry that he liked step 3. Step three is:

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Humility. Not my will but God's will. Allowing God to become the director of my life. Even as I write this, I feel conflicted, restricted. Something inside of me doesn't want to accept this. Something still wants to live in fear, I guess.

I remind myself, again, that I am on a journey. That this is a process of growth and change. I will never arrive. Seeing what the hands of God have made of me over the course of my life, gives me the courage to go on. To face what ever comes our way.

Thanks for letting me share.

1. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 48.
2. Source -
3. Source -


pat said...

Sounds like you are really working the program. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Humility always gives something to work towards. Thats why none of us will ever graduate!