Humble - adjective: not proud or arrogant, modest; having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience; low in rank, importance, status, quality.
Humble - verb (used with object): to lower in condition, importance, or dignity, abase; to destroy the independence, power, or will of; to make meek
Significant events like deaths, loss of jobs, ends of relationships, beginning of relationships, moving, starting school, ending school, illness, births, and other changes (big and small) often provoke anxiety, fear and uncomfortableness. These events and these feelings offer us opportunities to be humbled.
I am humbled when, in the midst of situations that turn my world upside-down, I choose to be present to all the feelings instead of grasping tightly to an image of how I think the world should be.
I choose to be humble when I connect to now, instead of ruminating on the past or worrying about the future.
I am humbled in times when waiting and trusting are the only things for me to “do.”
I choose to be humble when my first reaction to a hurtful comment or difficult event is subdued by my choice to be aware that the other person(s) are human just like me.
I choose to be humble when I wonder about the life experiences behind the person I see.
I am humble when I listen to the person speaking instead of preparing a response in my head that limits my ability to listen.
I am humbled by the smallness I am, compared to the vast ocean and sky, and Mystery.
I am humbled when I accept that I am truly not alone, and that I am helped by others in ways I know and in many more ways that I don’t know.
I am humble when in my sorrow and pain, I turn towards the pain instead of giving in to the desire to turn away.
Cyril was humble when he accepted his diagnosis and instead of feeling sorry and angry he turned towards loving and living. He was humbled by what was in the moment, instead of a picture of life he or others may have had. Cyril chose to be humble and accepting of the ways he needed to live the rest of his life, even in the face of great loss.
We are humble when we say, “I don’t know.”
We are humble when we say, “I’m sorry.” and “I forgive.” for others and ourselves.
We are humbled by a smile given and received.
We are humble when we are curious instead of certain.
May we find opportunities in the time of Great Humbling to recognize the true nature of the goodness we are. May we engage the opportunities in this Great Humbling to let go of how we think our lives should be and live from where we are now. May this time of Great Humbling be rich with the emotional and spiritual nourishment we need to meet ourselves with compassion, and meet the world with wonder.