No matter what our natural temperament or life experiences, we can all learn to be humble. While doing a quick review of the definitions, synonyms, and antonyms of humility, I was surprised to find that its definition and most of its synonyms were relatively negative. They seem to have been created by the human ego. The most common definition was “a modest or low view of one’s own importance.” The synonyms included things like abasement, inferiority complex, lack of pride, lowliness, mortification, subservience, and timidity. I usually think of it more as acceptance, egolessness, non-resistance, and selflessness. I experience humble people as accepting themselves as they are, having an internal comfort which eliminates the need to draw attention to themselves, prove themselves, or toot their own horn; and stating their accomplishments truthfully, rather than exaggerating or inflating them to impress others. I also experience such people as focusing more on the strengths, value, and worthiness of others than their own. This does not mean they doubt themselves, but rather that they are not using their social context to gain an externally-based sense of these commodities (often because they already accept themselves, and are experiencing the comfort that flows from this acceptance). Perhaps this is how humility looks from spirit, as opposed to the egoic mind. I do not experience those who intentionally and strategically minimize their strengths, skills, and abilities as humble, since they are often doing this in order to elicit compliments, attention, and sympathy. To me, this is manipulation, not humility. Humility is acceptance of the truth of who we are and what we do, and is a spiritual thing. It starts with the heart.
It Starts With The Heart
Since I see true humility as coming from spirit, and since spirit vibrationally corresponds to the Heart, Throat, Brow, and Crown chakras; it seems like humility must start with the heart. When we open our hearts to the universe, fully accepting the truth of our spirit, or true nature, there is no need for inflating or deflating who we are. There is just an acceptance of it. And this acceptance comes from spirit, as it vibrates at frequencies above those perceptible to the human mind and senses. Lower vibrations, those perceived by the mind and senses; those related to survival, emotions, and mind-based confidence; will interact with the ego, and complicate our ability to accept ourselves, others, and our life circumstances; and will make it difficult, if not impossible, for us to truly love. So the true humility of spirit is a sign that, among other things, we, or someone else, may be ready and able to love. This natural self acceptance may be one of the top ten things to look for, either within ourselves or others, when we are reviewing our readiness for love. If it is missing, then there is a good chance that the heart is not open, and also that the ego needs will dominate and define the nature and development of our relationship (if it is missing from either party). And, remember also that if the heart is not open there can be no vulnerability, and without vulnerability there can be no real love. Love comes from spirit.
Humble Hearts Find Love
If humility, like vulnerability, becomes possible when we open our hearts to ourselves and the universe; then we, through this acceptance of who we are and what we do, along with the sweetness of our vulnerability, can find heart-centered love. Another way to say this is that, when we become truly humble, which is a spiritual thing, we will be in a place where we can perceive and share open-hearted love. We can use our humility as a measure of our readiness for love (because we couldn’t be truly humble if our heart wasn’t open). So whether our personalities are sweet or sour, gentle or harsh, calm or excited, outgoing or shy; we can learn to be humble, we can open our hearts, and when doing so find real love.
Photo credit: Chris Ford