The joy of humility

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

This title to a friend’s facebook post has been resonating and percolating for me. Nicky Hamid has a website and youtube channel that you can check out as well.

In his post, he talks about the no-thing-ness, the void, the I AM-ness being a synonym for humility. Since the void is difficult to speak about, since really there is no such thing as nothing, even in a vacuum, we end up going into metaphysics and quantum mechanics to talk about what a “thing” is, in terms of properties such as particles (quanta) and waves and entanglement and non-locality, which is all fine. So.

Humility, as a word, has also been difficult to speak about and live. It is easy to say “walk a mile” (in someone else’s shoes) and also to recognize that everyone, including me and you, are doing are best, and those in our lives who we feel are misguided are just “beings” having “experience” ~ all of this is true, and it is correct and it is humility.

To take it a step further and live it requires a deep honesty that is born of really confronting all of the favorite illusions and stubborn corners that require scrubbing, if you know what I mean. The hard-headed and selfish ways that we grow accustomed to belie our reliance on our simplicity. I know that I feel like quite an enlightened being ~ until I “return home for a visit with relatives” or when “my child pushes my buttons”. Also, I don’t really know what humility looks like all the time. I have grown to that understand other’s insensitivity does not mean you do not set firm boundaries. It is an act of humility to say “I am not evolved enough to be around you without being triggered at the moment”. It is an act of humility to also surrender to not having my way all the time. The way I think things should look often doesn’t correspond to my happiness, anyway. The old adage do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy, is applicable here.

So. The joy of humility. Having preferences, yet not bowing to them. Having judgements or doubts but questioning them. Over-reacting or under-responding and owning it. This is what makes the Lion Roar: the feeling like there is nothing you cannot handle, like there is nothing that you will not sort of “take-on” or own.

This brings me to the role of the joker. Our modern day fools , the stand-up comics and folks who write comedy are on the front lines with this material, and we do owe a debt of gratitude to those who make us laugh at ourselves, as much as our sages and wise-ones who council not to take it all so seriously.

Wear life like a loose garment, we are told in Al-anon, Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 step rooms. This is prescient for me as I recognize myself solidly in middle-age. Literally, I do not like to wear jeans for more than a few hours, shedding them for soft and stretchy leggings or cotton and rayon slacks as well as any formal footwear as soon as their use has been fulfilled. I also used to spend a lot of time worrying what people were thinking about me, how I was being perceived, and this sort of “addiction” has become quite worn and thread-bare. Finally, I find myself loving the parts of me that society taught me to discard or ignore. This practice of gathering all of my self is a growing intimate connection with my heart, and it is joyful, because then I see my multifaceted heart reflected in all of humanity, including my family and neighbors and community, and the humility, the recognition, grows and expands with each ability to say “this is me, too”. The mind is sort of out of its league, here, since it is out of its depths, and the depths of me is the great gift of recognition, and its authentic expression is joy unleashed.

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