The Power of Humility
There’s a new humility growing in me that I once knew but ran away from to prove I was bigger than that. Now the smallness of my former humility is growing very large as I see through the illusions of pride, arrogance and self importance. Everyday now brings me to my knees where my head is below my heart. I no longer rebuff it. Rather, I embrace it and gently hold it like a mother with child. It’s a wonderful feeling to simply surrender into the grace of this humble embrace with no resistance, no fight/flight, no push back. It’s a conscious acceptance and receptivity to my humble and unique place in the universe.
The innocence I once new and rejected is now returning. The not knowing I sought to know has brought me full circle to know in all that I know, I know next to nothing. I no longer find any satisfaction in arguments or clutching expectations. In all this I’ve discovered an inner emptiness that’s filled by the flow of Life’s mysterious abundance of giving and receiving in the quiet moments of each day. When was the last time you heard the sound of a gurgling stream or the coo of a turtle dove? Where were you when you were last surprised by the sound of a child’s voice calling your name or heard the gentle sound of rustling leaves?
Over the years of childhood and adolescence I built inner walls, defenses against emotional hurt. Because of this I missed out on a lot of affection which I now long for. The tender touch of a caring hand, the smile of a kind heart, an encouraging word that comes unexpectedly, the considerate help that shows up unannounced. All these little things turn out to be big things when we awaken to the miracle of love’s ever present healing within the valley of humility into which all streams flow. Do you know what I’m talking about here? Have you fought against humility to align with hubris, arrogance, self righteousness, holier than thou attitudes? What was the cost? Are you still there?
I grew up with a father who was hard of hearing or auditorially challenged as it might be called today. The conversations we had were different than others. He never heard my whispers, my quiet words, the soft songs I sang. He didn’t hear the lapping waves on the shore of the lake, the chatter of others and the intricate harmonies that were played by my mother’s hands on her piano. What he did hear however was an inner presence that quieted his mind and softened his heart. He somehow knew the power of humility which made him invulnerable within his vulnerability, powerful within his powerlessness. He modeled something I rejected in my youth to graciously accept in my elder years.
In our materialistic culture the egocentric operating system runs our lives. Hubris rules, arrogantly controls and bullishly pushes it’s self-centered agendas while humility is seen as weak, submissive and demeaning. The intellectual center in our heads is honored over the emotional center in our hearts. To place our heads beneath our hearts is thought to be a fools game that always leads to denigration and futility. If we’re stuck in our heads without access to our hearts this is the only truth. The real truth however, is that “All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it it’s power.” Do you sense where the fertile valley is in you, in our families, our institutions? It’s in the Heart of Hearts. Be still, feel the flow.
With a sense of wonder I’m lead to believe that beauty is everywhere, that goodness is always available, that deafness, blindness and the inability to speak the truth can be healed by a simple act of surrender to the deep places of the heart. The Essence of our very Being invites this surrender, this letting go of our resistance; to open our humble hearts to Love and companioning. The earth cries out in pain, suffering, sorrow and displacement for our hearts to awaken and take their central place in the healing of the world. Do you know this? Do you sense the transition from head to heart, from hubris to humility? Do you recognize the healing power of Radical Love, the Power of Humility? Do you hear the heart of Life silently calling?
- This week take a walk in Nature and find a place to comfortably sit for a while. Listen to the silent call of the air, ground and trees. Allow your heart to receive and give the love that’s present. Breathe. Allow a silent communion to take place. Feel the grace of the embrace.
- Engage this small exercise in the morning before you start your day. Stand straight, extend your arms and make a profound bow from the waist allowing your head to fall below your heart. Stay here for at least three full breathes then slowly straighten up. Standing straight up, breathe three full breathes in and out and repeat the bow with reverence. Do this at least three times very slowly. Become aware of your head and heart’s place in this movement.
- Notice in your conversations when you take issue with another. Question yourself as to your resistance when it comes up and surrender it. Humbly open your heart center and send love into the space between you and the other. Let go your hubris and return to the heart of loving companion presence for yourself and the other. Invisibly make the profound bow, smile and give thanks silently for the opportunity to experience this contrast and reconciliation within.