New Year's Greetings, dear friends of silence! As we move through the winter season, let us, like the earth, lie fallow for a while, allowing unseen and as yet unknown life to gestate within our depths. With deep humility, let us reflect in the silence upon what it means to surrender to the Divine Spark that resides in each of us and allow that creative Life Force to do with us what it will. It is a gift of this quieter season that we can be released from our ego-driven lives and draw closer to the source of Love in the silent darkness. Let us surrender ourselves in humble recognition that we are called, through faith, simply to be open and accepting; to listen, without expectations, to whatever is coming to birth within us. We are called to a humble openness, to walk the way of goodness with the comfort of Love, at one with all humanity and with our earth. May we surrender to the call, whatever it may be, as it comes to each of us.
Humility as a virtue has to do with knowing ourselves as human, as earthy, as the clay into which the divine breath has been breathed . . . It is to live the paradox of our blessed and broken natures, to know that matter matters, that flesh carries spirit, that life is discovered at the precise meeting place of the human and the divine. To practice humility is to live deeply into this truth, to lift oneself to the mountain top of prayer and aspiration and to embrace the lowly valley of our own abjection.
from "Little Things" by Wendy M. Wright in Weavings, Jan-Feb 2003
We are striving for humility in our lives, to draw closer to God . . . It is not an accident that the humus, or the soil, comes from the same word. It's the base from which everything grows. Gardening and the spiritual life go together.
Humility is not a matter of beating ourselves up. It is not a question of judging ourselves as stupid or sinful, as hopeless and bad. Who are we to judge these things? Humility, it seems, is the gentle acceptance of that most tender place inside ourselves that throbs with the pain of separation from the Beloved. It is that deep knowingness that identification with the false self brings nothing but further separation. It is an initially reluctant dropping down into the emptiness and an ultimate experience of peace when we stop doing and rediscover simple being . . . when we heed the call to cease creating and remember we are created.
The word "humility" (also "human") is derived from the Latin "humus," meaning "the soil." Perhaps this is not simply because it entails stooping and returning to earthly origins, but also because, as we are rooted in this earth of everyday life, we find in it all the vitality and fertility unnoticed by people who mostly tramp on across the surface, drawn by distant landscapes.
Humility is an inner quality that is ranked as the primary prerequisite for holiness. Without humility, we might be too proud to acknowledge our weaknesses, and so we wouldn't be inclined to work to make the necessary inner changes. . . . To strengthen the soul-trait of humility, walk the mind slowly and methodically along the full journey of life, from the fertilization of the egg all the way through death and decay. It engenders great appreciation for the wisdom of the divine and fosters a healthy and genuine sense of humility and gratitude for all we have received.
We don't talk much about humility in AA, almost never use the word. Maybe that is because, as the spiritual adage has it, if you think you are humble, you are not. But I see enough of freedom, serenity, healing, and unselfishness around me to think it must be hiding there somewhere.