Humility

 “After crosses and losses men grow humbler and wiser.” Benjamin Franklin

More often than not those who face hardship find a new level of spiritual awareness. For some of us we must experience complete defeat in order to realize we can no longer force outcomes to suit our personal agenda. We undergo the proverbial ‘back against the wall’ moment; pressed to learn what humility can teach us. Pain begins the journey of recovery.

Many are first introduced to the concept of humility upon entering a 12 step program. We listen as others emphasize the importance of acquiring a measure of this quality. Even though the concept is new to us, we can often see the results of humility in the lives of others. We are told humility is the healer of pain. As we learn to understand and implement this spiritual principle, our lives improve as well.

The main focus on humility comes in Step 7 when we “humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings”. We do this minus an air of authority or knowing. We ‘let go and let God’ and we ask to be shown. We don’t suppose we actually know how to remove our own shortcomings. We ask God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Humility gives us the strength to clear up our past and make amends to others when necessary.

By this time, we are grateful to have a relationship with a Power Greater than Ourselves. A Power we can turn to for help. We enjoy a greater partnership and connection with a personal God.

After working Steps 4 and 5 we no longer need to pretend to be something we are not. We have a clearer perspective on who we are. We are able to look at our assets and liabilities without flinching. From here we learn to accept ourselves and our position in life. Others call it becoming “right sized”.

As we seek solutions, we recognize we cannot force the results. We must be open to divine guidance. Sometimes that guidance comes in the form of a fellow sufferer, a person who offers us direction and shows us a new way of life. We further develop our willingness to take direction and live a sober, drug free life.

We find no matter how events unfold, we can trust the process. Times when things seem to fall into place begin to occur. Yet despite the results, humility helps us accept the outcome exactly as it is. This contributes to our spiritual growth and our character.

A person with true humility takes personal responsibility, knowing they alone are responsible for the particular situation they are in. They realize no one ‘made’ things happen to them. They drop the victim role and examine their lives, their motives, and themselves with a degree of detached clarity. There is a shift from a “Why me?” to a “Why not me?” position. The root of humility becomes established over time; often taking years to become secure.

One day, we look back and realize we’ve dropped many of our negative opinions about people. We realize the judging committee has settled down to a dull roar. Our conflicts with others begin to lessen. We learn from others and gain from their experiences. We share from our heart. Self-seeking subsides. To do something for others without expecting anything in return becomes our new norm. We fulfill our duties without the need for praise or reward.

The contentment we feel, the grace with which we live our lives, and the peace we find in our heart corresponds directly to our level of humility.

 

As seen in the Sept. Oct. edition of ‘All 4 Ur Addiction Recovery’ magazine on p 5

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