Right now my mom and my sister are in the kitchen preparing our Thanksgiving feast while I’m lying flat on my back in the bedroom keeping my foot propped up. You see my gimp status means I cannot help because I still can’t stand for long periods of time. The best I can do is sit in a chair at the table and cut things up. For someone who is used to helping out this is very humbling. You know what else is humbling? Having to ask for a wheelchair at the airport because the thought of walking from the ticket counter to my gate sounds overwhelming. The most humbling experience (thus far) though is when I called up a friend of mine in tears because I didn’t have enough food to eat and couldn’t go grocery shopping.

I am little Ms. Independent, do everything herself. Having to ask for help because I am literally incapacitated is knocking down my pride in a big way. I want to still be able to do all the things I normally do but I can’t. I have to accept I have certain limitations. I’m also seeing how I’m not meant to do everything myself. Even self-sufficient farmers from yesteryear had to trade for certain dry goods. No person can have everything and do everything themselves. That’s why trade was invented in the first place. That’s also why humans are social creatures. We are meant to live in communities. No person is an island and pretending otherwise only causes harm.

This sprain is teaching me about balance. About how I can neither be completely dependent nor completely independent. My sprain is teaching me about doing what I can do but then asking for help when I need it.

While I’m learning humility in reference to my physical world, I’m also learning about humility on a grander scale. I used to walk around in my everyday life thinking I knew what was up and that I could be in control of everything. I used to think I was completely autonomous and God/my higher power/brahma was this force outside of me that had much bigger problems to deal with than my love life or financial situation or body. God had to handle war and homelessness and global warming. But now I know God works through me as an instrument. That we’ll never experience deux ex machina. No great omnipotent being is going to swoop in and save us. We save ourselves. And how do we do that? By getting our pride out of the way.

I can only speak for myself but I know when I’m proud I’m closed off and think I know what’s best and that I’m fully capable of doing everything. But you know? I’m not. Nor am I meant to. I was put on this Earth with certain gifts bestowed to me by my higher power. Gifts I am meant to use. Other people also have gifts they are meant to use. When I’m proud I deny people the ability to use their gifts and in essence I thumb my nose at God and forsake the gifts He has given them.

In another way I’m depriving people of their ability to serve the Divine. As my beautiful and lovely friend said to me, “I like to treat people as if they were God in human form.” And she’s right. Because I am. Divinity resides within me as well as outside me. When my friends bring me groceries they are showing their love for God and for me. Pride is my way of blocking that love. Why would I want to do that?

I dream of a world where we can all put aside our pride. A world where we realize we all have certain gifts we are meant to share and no one is expected to be completely self-contained and self-sufficient. A world where we allow ourselves to give and receive love. A world where we ask for help when we need it. A world where we all learn the value of humility.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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1 comment… add one
  • bethcrittenden Nov 30, 2010, 6:52 pm

    I was just talking with someone this morning about how I used to think beating myself up was humility. Then I learned the "real" definition, which is more akin to being right-sized. Just another one of God's perfect creatures.

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