Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What of humility?


Helen Nielson wrote "Humility is like underwear, essential, but indecent if it shows." Someone else said, "I'd like to talk about humility, but there's just not enough people here." Another said, "If I try to talk about my own humility, it evaporates." Some other words that reflect humility might be humbleness, lowliness, meekness or modesty.

Webster describes humility as "The state or quality of being humble; freedom from pride and arrogance; lowliness of mind; a modest estimate of one's own worth; a sense of one's own unworthiness through imperfection and sinfulness; self-abasement; humbleness."

In my life, I can give better examples of what humility is not. Humility is not playing the victim, full of self-pity, casting blame on the circumstances I find myself in. Finding fault with the many around me. Howling at the moon is not humility. Wishing the world was different is not humility. Thinking that if others were better, my life would be better, is not humility.

So what is humility? (from step 7 of the 12 and 12)
  • A desire to seek and do God's will
  • Admitting we were powerless
  • Earned with a lot of painful experience
  • Necessary aid to our survival
  • Nourishing ingredient which can give us serenity
  • Humility transforms pain and suffering into priceless assets
  • Brings strength out of weakness
  • the healer of pain
  • makes it possible to live at peace with ourselves and with others
And what is it that is central to my character defects, the anti-humilities that are part of my being? What is it that drives me to the edge of craziness, of insanity?

Fear.

Trust and hope will bring humility. So will all the pain I inflict on myself.

Big exam tonight, fear dwells in the background. One day at a time, in God's hands.

Photo Credit: Toni Blay

4 comments:

Lou said...

Nice sharing on humility. That is so very hard for many of us. "Makes it possible to live at peace with ourselves"..I'm striving for that every day.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

Heaps !!! of luck with the big exam!!!!!

:)

One i heard was

humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less

Syd said...

I like what you wrote about humility. I know that fear is at the root of my issues as well. It can be gut wrenching some days.

Annette said...

Love love this. Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.