My definition of humility is being neither too high nor too low in your estimation of yourself. In fact, the need to compare yourself to others is irrelevant when you’re truly humble. Humility requires self-honesty and sincerity.
Feeling like you’re better than others (and needing to put others down) is arrogance, which is the opposite of humility. Likewise, playing the martyr or victim is also a kind of arrogance, and not humble. It’s only through vigorous self-honesty that the true heart of humility can shine forth.
Being truly humble means being invisible, like the way nature is great without caring if anyone notices. It means living life for the greater good, which includes yourself and everyone else. It means withdrawing blame and taking on full responsibility for your choices.
This post was a draft I saved three years ago and hadn’t looked at since. After re-reading it this morning, I thought it deserved to be published. I’m not even sure where I got the beautiful picture of the lions from (let me know and I’ll credit the photographer).
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This week, I wrote about living in good faith vs. self-deception. I practice living in good faith by being honest with myself, acknowledging what I’m thinking and feeling, writing down my thoughts and doing my best to clearly articulate them, rather than habitually passing judgment on myself, avoiding, suppressing, or running away from what I’m thinking and feeling. I believe this builds self-acceptance and self-trust, and it’s an ongoing process (as with most things that are important). If we lack integrity with ourselves, we will lack integrity with others.
Then I wrote about dealing with emotional flare ups, which is also part of living in good faith. I’ve been learning to accept that my emotions are a legitimate part of who I am, and that respecting them is important. Gentleness is a virtue, although this goes against certain ingrained habits I have that want to ignore or power through emotions I don’t like. This causes inner conflict, and I’d rather have inner peace. However, peace requires work and the courage to live in good faith.
When we practice self-honesty and self-acceptance, we can then move on to having self-empathy, which is a genuine ability to relate to ourselves as a true friend. All of this builds inner strength, which is needed in order to live on purpose.
My daily intention is to cut through all the BS (and there’s a lot of it) so that I’m aligned with my True Self, which is about being who I really am, and doing what I’m really here to do. That may sound like a serious way to live–and sometimes it is–but I think of it as being passionate, soulful, and truthful, which is, to me, a great way to live.
It’s a given that as we navigate through life, there will be blind spots; areas that we’re unaware of. So how do we deal with them? It’s like driving; we need to be aware that there are blind spots, and we get better at handling them with practice.
Maybe we can never be truly objective about our experiences, but we can do our best. We can ask ourselves if what we’re doing is genuinely making us happy. If there’s any confusion about whether we’re happy or not, that’s a clue to where the blind spots are.
When I look at my life, I have every reason to be happy, but there are certain negative thoughts, feelings, and situations that keep repeating. These are my blind spots, and I can never be completely objective about them, or see exactly what’s going on, because I’m experiencing my life as someone who’s inside the picture. The best we can do is be honest about how we feel, and look at the effect we’re having on the world around us, and that will guide us in the right direction.