What does it mean to expose our own humility? Is it something we conceal at times so we don’t appear weak or small? Is it the crucial missing piece humanity has lost sight of in our “look at me, look at me mentality?”
Humility by definition is “a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.” I found myself truly struggling with this word, humility. I didn’t exactly know where the rabbit hole would take me when I began thinking about what the word meant to me.
It wasn’t until I read the question “Do you think it’s possible to come into your power and also practice humility?” Thank you Alicja Carter for the SORRY NOT SORRY group. There it was! That is exactly the tug a war I am at with my own being.
I also read somewhere that “humility is the quality of being humble…humility comes from the Latin word humilis, which literally means low. If you feel humility in front of someone, you feel small in the scheme of things-that you are just a simple, insignificant person. Someone who spends their life taking care of others shows humility.” DING! DING! DING! Rings a bell for so many right??? Well, if this is the case, and we are showing humility by caring for others, some over extended in that department, then we are doing a good deed.
Well here is where the question turned me on…” can we come into our power and” …practice humility.” In this season of “live your best life” how can we gain control of what seems to be such an out of control script? Would Einstein have the answer we all seek. Maybe. Or do we have the distinctive, custom made answers to our own lives…you better believe we do!
If we take a beat, and examine our own reflections, our own agendas, more often than not we are going to find some things we actually can do something about. In a misguided world where we are sure everything that happens to us is a direct attack to take us out, leaving us feeling lost, defeated and flat out disrespected in all our endeavors to prevent exactly what just knocked the wind out of us…we take that hit personally. Don’t we??? Am I alone in that concept? Like why is this happening to me? Instead of looking at the situation as this is happening for me. This is not a new concept, rather than one that is difficult to digest.
It is easy to take the hit and feel instantly as if failure is our only destiny. Our brains are actually wired to focus more so on the negativity of our being, leaving the positive happenings to require a more intentional focal point of our lives. I find this quite disturbing; yet fascinating at the same time. What this tells me is, as the old saying goes…” life isn’t fair.” That we are actually required to put some real effort into our existence. Well don’t we all? Don’t we all find ourselves in the gym, counting calories, switching from organic, no carbs to the Atkins diet, sending our loved ones gifts for different occasions, monitoring social media usage, volunteering, keeping our “to do list” lengthy, showing up for Sunday morning church services, allowing that person to cut you off in traffic, then flip you off without responding with downright nasty road rage. Or isn’t that self-help book we ordered on Amazon that 9 of your Facebook friends swore changed their entire lives. I believe all of us are in a constant rat race to live our best lives. Yet we still fail, fall and find ourselves on the bathroom floor. It is designed that way. A cliché roller coaster of the windy twists and turns, upside down situations we find ourselves in time and time again. Is it because we are not trying? Absolutely not. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I find the better things get in one compartment of life; the more attention is needed in another. That tight rope walk of balance that we all tip toe softly on is often trying to create havoc under our grounding we have worked so hard to obtain. Oprah once said, “you can have it all, you just can’t have it all at once.” I found this to be one of the truest quotes I ever read.
I think the events of life are all with good intention and meant to leave our mark. It’s when we focus on that one bad day out of 7 that leaves us wondering, what more can we do. It’s not giving up a lifestyle of humility when we feel we are putting ourselves on the back burner, but deprogramming ourselves to feel as if we are not number one in all areas of life at one time we are failing, but that serving our “right now” purpose matters. It will change, it will evolve just as we do. It’s a marathon, not a sprint…a great bumper sticker to keep in mind about life.
Coming in to our power is something we are always chasing and persistently achieving in a million little things. Has a real ring to it! Practicing humility may be the key ingredient to the recipe for peace of mind. As we remember the way the definition reads, on the surface it may appear the practice of humility leaves one feeling empty and drained. However, on the contrary, it will permit a great sense of capability. If offers a freedom to forgive, creates patience, compassion and gratitude. Those words hold power to me. Power is not in our bank balance, our address or our 9 to 5. It is buried deep in our souls, sitting around our kitchen tables, snuggled up in our beds, in our private prayers, behind those closed doors no one else sees in, in our legacies, in our giving. This is where powerful moves are made. Not to be confused with what we want others to see through our social media lens. Although those snap shots of pride, excitement, travels and precious moments are beautiful and absolutely a huge part of who we are, it is in the everyday second to second moments that better capture what our lives are full of.
No one is above you, no one is beneath you, the notion that the CEO that sits at the head of the table is no more or less important than the person paid to dust that table. Practicing humility is understanding that being emotionally neutral and balanced means that everyone matters. Even you.
“A humble person appreciates the fact that the world does not revolve around them, but rather accepts their position as just a tiny piece in the giant jigsaw puzzle.” That how living in humility makes the most difference in the grand scheme of things. The power is in the journey, in the mistakes, in the lessons and most often, in our healing. We should all pause to recall a simpler time when Mr. Rogers said on sharing responsibility, “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, “it’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem. Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”
That is humility.
That is power.
As C.S. Lewis said, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.”
Carolyn Lawrence is a work sales consultant for Tura Eyewear Company. She is the owner of the artist room in downtown Shawnee where she is aspiring to create a space for an artistic culture. Her favorite times are spent with her three boys, being active, adventuring outdoors, and being creative.