Humility, in simple terms, is never thinking that you are the most important person in the room. Humility is the recognition that all people are special, yet no one is more important than another. Humility is the recognition that any and all blessings bestowed upon us emanate from Divinity and are part of our soul’s journey.
Humility bows its head: “Let us not restrain ourselves in being our fullest potential in further honoring the Divine.”
Humility intertwines with Gratitude in humbly being grateful for the opportunity to honor the Divine. It does this by allowing us to be the highest and best versions of ourselves so we can live our Truth. We pray: “Thank you so much for this gift of life and the opportunity to serve.” To be clear, Humility is not shame, whereby we feel inherently inadequate in some way. With Humility, we can still be awesome; we don’t need to hold back in any way from being the highest and best version of our self, living our Truth, serving others and feeling Infinitude. We just don’t take full credit for what is Divinely given and sanctioned. We don’t allow ourselves to become self-important and judgmental regardless of how others have or have not fulfilled their Truths. We wish well for them, in fact, and humbly pray for their Truth’s fruition. With Humility, we can admit mistakes and wrongdoing─ and we can do so without such an admission threatening our sense of inherent value. We take responsibility for our actions, humbly offering redress as necessary. We move on wiser, more self-aware and more in tune with Divine guidance.
To lack Humility, to be self-important, is like a single thread saying “I am the fabric!” It is like asking for praise, recognition and a promotion for doing what is already in our soul’s job description (that job description being “to honor God by being our highest and best self.”)
We can take pride in being Divine and in each of us being a unique thread in the overall Divine fabric. This kind of pride honors the overall fabric that is God. This is the pride of an athlete as part of a winning team. He or she takes no specific credit for individual achievements or for thinking that they have “won the game,” even if they were the “star” athlete in the eyes of the coach, the other players and the audience.
To have Humility is to say: “I defer and submit to God. My work and accomplishments honor God and reflect the potential bestowed upon me. I am of God and I am Divine within, yet I do not think that I am equal to, separate or more important than God in any way.”
To have humility means that you do not judge others before God. At the same time, you know that all are children of God.
In that famous Judeo-Christian Genesis story, the Garden of Eden, there is an implication that eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil reflects a loss of Humility and might therefore be considered a primary sin of Humanity. First of all, the actions of the protagonists involved engaged in Freewill to disobey Divine will. It would seem that this act would require a suspension of Humility and an increase in self-importance. “We don’t have to listen to God, we can do whatever we want” this act of defiance seemed to say.
The name of the tree itself (The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) implies that the fruit of this tree might endow those who partake of it with knowledge of everything, as the range of good and evil implies two extreme polarities and everything in between. “Knowledge of everything” could be seen as a knowledge base equivalent to that of God’s. Knowing “Good and Evil” and the difference between them could also involve a capacity to judge others─ further evidence that our friends in the Garden were stepping towards establishing themselves equal to God.
In that same Judeo-Christian tradition there is the story of Lucifer, often equated to Satan, who fell from grace after declaring in his heart: “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.” In essence, Lucifer was kicking ass and taking names and feeling like he was hot shit, more important than God. In the end, however, he plunged hard. We all know where he wound up.
The moral of the story is that it is a big no-no to start thinking we are hot shit and are better than, equal to or separate from God and God’s grace. We either stay humble or we will eventually plunge hard.
The Ox and the Frog
One of Aesop’s Fables tells of a frog who saw an ox for the first time. He heard the other frogs speak of how impressed they were by the grand size of the beast. The frog proclaimed, “I can make myself as big as that ox!” He proceeded to inhale and expand his body. “No, no, the ox is bigger,” the other frogs said to him. In response, the frog inhaled and made himself even larger. “The ox is still bigger,” the other frogs said again. This time, the frog took in the largest breath he possibly could. He shook and trembled and thrust out his chest, saying with every fiber of his being, “Look at me!” Then he exploded.
Beware of Self-Importance
Being self-important contrasts with Humility too. It can indicate a need to feel important or an underlying feeling of inadequacy. Either way, it’s a compensation. When we are in touch with our Divinity, no such inadequacy exists; we are proud to be humble.
Being “proud to be humble” sounds like an oxymoron. Yet what this really means is that we see and love our connection and relationship to God and can defer to it accordingly. Humility unites us with God while self-importance, i.e. hubris, separates us from God─ just like Lucifer separating himself and placing himself above God, thinking he was “all that.”
Self-importance is egoic Energy. This is the ego in action. Self-importance is seeking to protect an insecure sense of self by going on the offensive. It looks like the ego falling prey to praise and like the ego saying, “Look at me! I am more special than anyone else! I am a thread that is more important than others. I am more crucial to the overall fabric of the Cosmos. Better yet, I am equal to it!”
The ego dismisses the fact that the overall fabric is what gives the thread its purpose and place.
We all need recognition, acknowledgement and validation at times. Kudos give us valuable feedback that we are on the right track towards our Truth. Recognition can pick us up when we lose Faith or during times of challenge. Validation re-motivates us. All of these things remind us of our own connection to Divinity when we forget.
To crave kudos or need them incessantly, however, can indicate a wound of inadequacy that demands constant soothing and attention. It can also make admitting mistakes difficult as this can trigger that wound. It can mean that we have forgotten our Divine connection and our ability to recognize, acknowledge and validate ourselves despite the mistakes we make and without the need for constant praise.
False modesty as well can often fit into the same cycle of constant striving for attention and recognition. This cycle is particularly difficult to discern for the person who is caught in it. People that habitually practice false modesty will perform well or do good deeds with some underlying need for attention yet downplay that need should it occur. On the other hand, other kinds of people will “do good” simply for the sake of doing good. They are not motivated by a need for recognition; they will be truly humble if recognized.
Overall, self-importance is more difficult to avoid when a person is viewed as very successful in some way. Success can be seen in terms of money, prestige, power, creativity, talent or appearance. The ego is tempted to let success go to one’s head and to see oneself as “more than” others in some way. The ego is further tempted to seek recognition through possession and display of material objects (Bling!). Our job is to be our best with our God-given talents and blessings─ and to stay humble in the face of them, giving honor to God and recognizing others have different Truths and journeys they need to explore as well.
Meanwhile we must monitor anything that might constitute that might overtly display a true or false image of material wealth. With Humility, we don’t rub success in the faces of others. We also put any resources of abundance into Service for others.
Success in some fashion can mean we have found our Truth and we are living it in service to others. On the other hand, success, talent and beauty may be given out by the Divine as lessons in learning Humility for those souls who need it.
Humility serves best in both of these scenarios.
“But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” –Jesus via Gospel of Mathew
With Humility, We Do Not Judge
When we lack Humility, we become self-important. When we are self-important, by default we judge others as less important. As a matter of practice, Non-judgment and Humility go hand-in- hand at all times. When we are in a place of Humility, we won’t find ourselves associating only with people we think are “important.” We never call anybody a “nobody.” No one, including ourselves, is judged as a less-than.
With Humility we feel good about who we are, in honor of God. With Humility, we see God in others.
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway
The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth
A well-known Biblical phrase says that “the meek shall inherit the Earth.” This saying resonates with me as being at least partly about Humility. Being “meek” is commonly equated with being weak or timid. I understand this phrase to be more about being humble and being able to Surrender to Divine will, thereby inheriting it. Humility in this manner is a receptive and a very yin Energy.
In other words, Humility opens us up to be receptive to Divine Energy.
By practicing Humility on a daily basis, we remain receptive.
With Humility, we stay teachable, regardless of how much we think we know. We don’t have to always be right. We can admit mistakes and wrongdoing.
With Humility, we are open to change. We are willing to see people and situations as new and different. We are humble enough to not hold onto to some past impression or mindset.
With Humility, we ask for help as needed and have no shame in doing so.
With Humility, we avoid “Spiritual Arrogance.” We never assume that all of our work is done.
With Humility, we don’t try to control or force outcomes. We set our intentions and remain open to where we might land.
With Humility, we Pray. We ask for Healing and Guidance and stay open to Intuition and Divine wisdom.
With Humility, we serve others and feel honored in doing such.
With Humility, we celebrate our Divinity. We celebrate all that we are and the gift of life that has been granted to us.
Humility is most closely aligned with Gratitude, Non-judgment and Devotion. Humility will always be bound with these elements in some way. Humility is always thankful, does not judge and does constitute a manner of Devotion in its own way.
Non-Attachment supports Humility in that when we practice Humility, we are not attached to anything outside of ourselves. We don’t need any external force to make ourselves feel grand and we don’t need to attach our self-worth to some story or material objects. We do not attach ourselves to always having to be right as well.
Prayer supports Humility with daily deference, gratitude and Devotion to God.
Mindfulness helps us to notice when the ego may be seeking attention and recognition because of our need to feel important.
Healing helps us to identify wounds of inadequacy which lend themselves to a need to feel constantly self-important as a manner of self-soothing.
Respect helps us to always acknowledge the Divinity in others.
Infinitude is the sense of feeling awesome and feeling our unbounded capacity for greatness in living our Truth. Infinitude does not conflict Humility; we gain Infinitude by surrendering to and acknowledging the Divine.
- Think about the talents, skills and other positive traits of those around you— especially traits you feel that you yourself lack. The objective here is not to make you feel bad about yourself, but to empower you to fully appreciate others and feel equal to, rather than above, them. Compliment others often, sincerely and without exaggeration.
- Do the following exercise to practice Non-judgment: Go to a public area that might be known for “people watching,” such as a mall or an airport. As people pass, notice any thoughts that arise within you that might constitute a judgment or label towards any person. Just notice these thoughts and acknowledge them. Next, seek a neutral state of mind where no such thoughts, labels nor judgments arise. Now watch as people pass with this mindset. Recognize that you know nothing about the people you see. You do not know their stories nor their struggles. Next, picture each person as Divine, perhaps seeing a white light at their heart area. Acknowledge their Divinity silently. Notice any sensations or feelings you may have while doing this exercise.
- If you are in are in a position of authority, success or leadership, take extra care to be Mindful of exercising your role with Humility and not letting the position or your perceived success lead to self-importance. Look at your role as a Service you provide to others in order to allow them to flourish, grow and honor their Divinity. Seek feedback from those who you lead regularly to ensure that you are making decisions that are not just best for you, or for a particular short-term goal, but are best for the team and for achieving the long-term goals of said team.
- Be aware of any trouble you have in admitting mistakes or always having to be right. Admit mistakes as realized with sincerity, and remedy any wrongs as appropriate. Be comfortable saying, “I’m sorry,” and thank people for giving you insight into how something you do can be done better in the future. See criticism not as an obstacle or an offense, but as an opportunity for growth.
- When you give a donation, money to charity or perform a Service, seek no recognition. Don’t brag to your peers about it. Don’t bring it up in conversation unless it is relevant to what is being discussed. Don’t use your form of Service to “one-up” someone else when they mention a form of Service in which they have engaged.
I Know Who I Am; I Am Humble & Grateful Before the Universe/God.
Please Let Me Be Humble. Please Help Me to Not Judge Others Nor Seek Praise.
Thank You For the Gifts and Blessings of this Life. I Honor God In Receiving Them.
Please Let Me Serve Others in a Humble Manner and Honor the Divinity of All.
I Am Humble Before God. To God I Give Thanks For All Blessings.
Thank You So Much for This Gift of Life and the Opportunity to Serve.