Thank you to Dr. Sandy Islands for her permission to reprint this article.

Humility…The “H” in the A-Z’s of “Just Looking at Ourselves”
By Dr. Sandy Islands

Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way”, the song echoes with a country twang. Humility is a quality not to be confused with humiliation. Humiliation is a feeling of shame and worthlessness. Humility is being open-minded, willing and teachable. It’s surrendering to not having to be right. We all know people who live by the motto, “Last time I thought I made a mistake, I was wrong”. Arrogance is the opposite of humility. This attitude emanates the sense that they’re right and everyone else is wrong.

Arrogance comes from insecurity; the fear that if “I’m not right, I’m worthless, I’m nothing.” It’s a prideful inability to admit we’re wrong and portrays the illusion of superiority. We silently expect the world to behave the way we want it to, then we judge it when our expectations are not fulfilled. The truth is we are ONLY disappointed by our own expectations! We cannot humbly accept life and have our expectations met at the same time.

Many of us have heard the Rude Girl’s closing comment on WOW-92.7’s morning radio show, “The mind is like a parachute, it doesn’t work unless it’s open.” An attitude of humility confers dignity and grace. Anyone who saw Peter Seller’s movie BEING THERE observed a character who was present and humble where ever he showed up. The people around him assigned intelligence and power to him as he humbly listened and related life to simple analogies about gardening. By the end of the movie, they wanted to nominate him for the presidency.

Have you ever noticed that confident people are usually humble? If we live on a ladder where we envy everyone above us and pity everyone below, we are constantly judging and definitely NOT looking at ourselves. When we step off the ladder, we join the circle of ONE HUMAN FAMILY and find a sense of humor about being right. In those moments when we find it hard to let go, we might want to ask ourselves two simple questions:

1. Do we want to be right or happy?
2. Do we want to be right or peaceful?

Confident humility allows us to laugh at our fears, to be honest with ourselves about our shortcomings and not continue to make the same mistakes over and over. It’s a sense of trust that the grand design in the universe is truly for us to realize our highest good. When we’re humble we’re in touch with our human-ness, and we have compassion for ourselves and others. In the perpetual quietness of the heart, we see our true relationship with the spirit that lives in all of us. Like the biblical beatitude, “Blessed are the meek (humble) for they shall inherit the earth”, an old story told of a man who sought counsel from a wise woman who was holding a precious stone. He asked her if he could have it and she graciously gave it to him. He came back the next day and returned it to her saying, “What I really want is the quality in you which allowed you to give me this stone.”

When we find ourselves holding on to being right, let’s have a hearty laugh, let go and be happy instead!

Please feel free to write to Dr. Sandy Islands at
conchtalk@bellsouth.net or simply click on the LINKS TO EXTRAORDINARY MUSES Dr. Sandy Islands which will take you directly to her web site.

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