Sometimes I like to read other bloggers before I post, it gives me inspiration. (ok... I steal ideas, lol). To that end, my friend Steve posted on humility this morning and shared a funny story about his own humility.
This is a topic I love to reflect upon, share about and marvel at. It occurs to me that humility is something that is often misunderstood, often sought after, often achived and even more often lost nearly almost immediately. I recall my first sponsor challenging me to "do something nice for someone and don't get caught." First of all, I didn't really understand the assignment since I never did anything without thought for my own gain in the bargain. Part of my personal gain from "helping others" nearly always involved some sort of credit or reward. Once I kind of grasped what he was getting at, then I couldn't understand the point of doing it. Again, I was tripped up on my own benefit: "why would I want or need to do this?" Really, in looking back I was really afraid of not being able to pull it off. It's like I coudn't stand to do something good and not tell someone. I was simply fearful that I was such a crappy person I couldn't do anything for another person without seeking my own gain. After awhile, and after much rumination, I was finally able to give someone some money, open a door, run an errand, drop something off, pick something up, take someone somewhere without having to tell anyone. My ego had begun the painfully slow process of deflating. (let me emphasize slow and painful lol)
Humility is funny. I have always followed what I think to be the "definition of humility" in my own practice of the Steps: "to know who, where and what one is, to know who, where and what one wishes to become and to have the desire to become that person." (I just wrote that myself... oh, there went my humility lol) All kidding aside, that's sort of how I came to slowly understand humility. To me, it's a process with a few different stages or components along the way. And also for me, there can be no humility without a relationship with HP (God, for me). My HP "sets the standard" for who, what where I want to be. God is my guide, I am His follower. If I wish to be humble I must learn God's Will for me and do my best to follow His example, it's really that simple.
Now for the best part... the final, big trick about humility. Here's where I got all excited to be finally humble, and had to share with my sponsor the first few times that warm feeling of peace came over me after a period of time spent thinking and doing for others. (I mean, I HAD to share this with my sponsor, right? After all, it's an honest, sharing program.) Once I gained enough humility to notice it, and I REALIZED this change had taken place, almost immediately my humility began to leave me. As soon as my ego creeps in and affords me the indulgence of "taking credit" for things I've done, as if I've done them "all by myself, because I am so giving, so sober in AA, so active in my community, so good at being Catholic (the list goes on ad infinitum)" my humility is lost. It seems that the real trick here is to simply do good because it's the right thing to do, enjoy helping others, give the credit to God and move along.
Let's see, I believe they call that "Clean House, Trust God and Help others." And what really baffles me, is that they've been telling me this since I entered the rooms of AA. Maybe I should've listened from the beginning lol. This says alot about the time it takes to grow in AA, and the stages of growth. Unselfishness is another of the Four Absolutes... As humans, we can truly only be so unselfish, only God can be absolutely unselfish... So, it wouldn't be too humble of me to beat myself up over it, now would it?
But there's another conundrum for another day!