Be Humble


“Humility involves having the capacity to take a more confrontational stance, having the capacity to retaliate if you wish, yet deliberately deciding not to do so. You realize that you could have acted otherwise, you could have adopted a more aggressive approach, but you decided not to.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

I have two character flaws that I’m aware of but am not quite ready to acquiesce: 1) I hate to be told what to do and, 2) I’m always right.

I was gratified to learn in one of MJ’s workshops at IOY/OBX that I wasn’t the only one. The focus of the weekend was positive thinking and, in the workshop, MJ talked about six behavioral changes we could intentionally practice in order to bring more positivity into our lives. One of the practices was to “give mercy,” which she defined as showing love and acceptance even if your spouse, child, parent, friend, politician (you choose the relationship) was being a butthead. Part of that practice was to ask ourselves, “what’s it like to be on the receiving end of me?” After we broke up into small groups, we gathered as a larger group to discuss. One brave participant (I’ll call her “Judy”) confessed that she had recently had an a-ha moment that some of the struggles she had been having with her partner were largely a result of her need to always be right. Her confession held up a mirror to me that was so unabashedly true, it was uncomfortable. I looked around and saw other people squirming too.

Judy’s willingness to be vulnerable was a beautiful lesson in awareness and humility. How often do we show our asses to our partners and others we’re closest to?  How often do we choose being right over being peaceful or happy? How might a bit of awareness and humility affect time spent with your loved ones this holiday season?

Thanks for the mirror, Judy. Maybe I’ll start acquiescing a little after all…

(Click here for a summary of MJ’s workshop, including the six behavioral changes you can practice to create more positivity in your world.)

Susan JohnsonComment