Tuesday, January 18, 2011

from the earth.....



"One of the greatest dangers in the spiritual life is self-rejection. When we say, "If people really knew me, they wouldn't love me," we choose the road toward darkness. Often we are made to believe that self-deprecation is a virtue, called humility. But humility is in reality the opposite of self-deprecation. It is the grateful recognition that we are precious in God's eyes and that all we are is pure gift. To grow beyond self-rejection we must have the courage to listen to the voice calling us God's beloved sons and daughters, and the determination always to live our lives according to this truth."  Henri Nouwen.

A friend sent me this quote.  It came at just the right time because I had been thinking about this very topic!  My fractured thoughts...........

 Humility is a complicated concept to describe, yet it seems to be the most simplified levelling way to be. Living, thinking, feeling, breathing, acting with a sense of quiet modesty?  Its not something you can openly aspire to "be."  Or is it?  No one announces:  "My New Year's Resolution is to lose 20 pounds and be humble by March 1rst."  Or, how about..... "Look at me!  I'm so darn humble!"  No, a person who would be described as having a presence of humility has no ego-driven arrogance around them.  Rather, it is more of an unspoken (because it doesn't need to be broadcasted) realness...... an authentic respect for themselves and others.  Humility is an equalizer.

Based on Nouwen's interpretation that humility is not the same as self-deprecation, can you think of anyone in your life whom you would describe as a humble?  There are a few people that come to mind right away.  Automatically thoughts of them bring a grin to my face and a knowledge that whenever I see them, I want to be near them. 

We describe these people as "salt of the earth...." They are "comfortable in their own skin...."

It's like they have these massaging waves of comforting energy wafting out of them that affirm you.   Friendly, balanced, forthright in what they believe in, respectful of other's thoughts and feelings, receptive to listening, kind, aware, keen to learn ......  Sure, they can be spontaneous.  Yes, they can express anger and frustration especially when it has to do with justice.  The thing about someone who would be described as humble is that when they seek justice, they also measure their responses with kindness.  Quietly.  Without showmanship.

Humility..........
Comfortably from the earth.
Balanced in time and place.
Contentment with self.
Confidence in others.
Believes answers may never be found
Embraces the mystery under the cloud of unknowing....
Always barefooted in the sand, walking along the shoreline, living freely in that moment.
Receptive to beauty in all things.
Justice sprinkled with kindness.

May we taste its salty presence from time to time.......

Beach in Souris, PEI, May 2010
where humility met up with a seeker

12 comments:

Carmi said...

I do my best to surround myself with people like you describe, Dana, and avoid those who are too self-absorbed to notice or care about anything/anyone beyond themselves.

I often say these inspirational people "get it", my simple way of understanding what sets them apart from the norm. There's a shorthand with them, a non-verbal form of communication that makes getting together such a joy.

Sometimes I wish the world had more such people. Then I realize I only have enough time for a precious few. So I do everything in my power to appreciate what makes them so special.

awareness said...

Me too Carmi. Me too.

Jase said...

If only we could surround ourselves with these humble people daily? NO WAIT... I alreadty do!!!
I'am so very blessed to have your wise caring heart wraped around me daily. We inspire from your natural abilities to care and make a diffrence in ones life towards the greater good. Astounding and such a gift to us all. Your insight and awareness has been life changing for me along with so many others at school.

Thank You Dana, Thank You Fren xo

awareness said...

Jason, thank you. You've touched me deeply this morning. It is an honour to walk a mile or two with you on this part of your journey.
d.

fialka012 said...

Krásné...

awareness said...

Fialka....Děkuji! Thank you, and welcome to my blog

Anonymous said...

With no blogging for two weeks, I am a little concerned if you are all right Dana. I guess selfishly I also miss reading your inspirational words :)

awareness said...

Thank you for checking on me Anon. I'm fine.... a little writer's block, but mostly not a lot of time to write. I was hoping to post something tonight, but got pulled into a few things and now i'm TIRED!
Hopefully tomorrow. I do have a few stories to share!!!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I have to think about this one, my dear. Humble is not a word I use to describe many people...Humility---more! It is certainly not a characteristic of a lot of Performers---lol! Yet.....well, like I said, I have to give this some deep thought.

I hope you are doing well, dear Dana...I am sending you Big Big Hugs!

JanePoet ~ deborah said...

you synthesized humility so well ... as Carmi said, those who embody humility are the type of people I try to surround myself with.

it's hard, however, when you are brought together with those who are embody the very antithesis of humility - especially if they are family.

thought-provoking and delicious post. jp/deb

Anonymous said...

You haven't posted in a long time, I was just wondering if you were posting somewhere else as well cause I so enjoy reading your blog. It has been the highlight of my days but you have been absent & I miss your writing...hope to hear from you soon...you are very talented!

awareness said...

Anon... thank you!! I have been so busy and a little off track! However, I have a few posts I have been working on and promise to post something tomorrow. It feels alittle daunting now to get going again on this blog. It's the longest I have ever gone without posting here and I don't like the feeling that's for sure!

Let the words flow again!

Dana.