A wise man once said that the blade of life swings at knee level. In order to be free from the dangers of life, we must keep our heads close to the ground, not up in the clouds. In other words, we need to experience humility and respect. Thus, in this article, I will attempt to uncover some insights into how acting from respect and humility enhances our lives and unlocks doors to higher states of consciousness.
So what is humility and why is it so vital to happiness? To shed some light on humility, we can first look at its opposite: the ego.
Put simply, the ego is our human identity. The ego is that part of us which sees itself as separate from everyone else. It judges. It loves control. Desperately it fears lack and grabs at a gain. It operates in black and white: us and them. It believes there is not enough for everybody. It feeds on fear. At best it gives us momentary pleasure at someone else’s expense.
The ego isn’t necessarily a physical object like your skin or bones; it’s an idea. It is fluid and invisible, yet also easily recognizable. It tends to be triggered by certain situations and more at rest in others.
Ultimately, the ego does serve a function. We do need to be aware of what we need as an individual and what it takes for us to survive. The problem comes when the ego gets out of control and takes on a life of its own. It’s a problem when We no longer HAVE an ego, but ARE the ego.
The ego thrives on judgement. The problem with this is that it creates very strong ties between the person judging and the person being judged. This is its nature. In order to judge someone, we must create a comparison. It isn’t too important whether we judge ourselves as better or worse than them, the result is the same; both parties must exist side by side in order for the judgement to remain. So this thought of comparison will always be running through the back of our minds since we are standing on it for our identity to exist. For if there was suddenly no one to compare ourselves to, who would we be? The self and ego would begin to break down. In our society, we generally know these breakdowns as a dark night of the soul or a midlife crisis.
Lack of forgiveness is a simple example of the dangers involved with an out-of-control ego. Say someone refuses to forgive their parents for events that happened during childhood. The ego judges these events as being wrong and validates itself as being better than the individuals who harmed it. Now the ego feels it is in the right to inflict some sort of punishment against them. The ego must remember this event and the people involved for the rest of its life in order to sustain this judgement and its identity. This leads to a life of pain and bitterness that cannot be satiated even if the desired revenge is carried out. Until the individual decides to forgive and give kindness to their abuser, at which point the ego diminishes and a world free of the past can exist.
Forgiveness, which is a huge part of humility, is not easy. In order to forgive & heal, the harmed individual must first accept the pain they have endured. On top of that, they must admit that they have been living foolishly for the entire time they refused to forgive. For most people, this is poking far too deep and they would rather hang on to their pain than forge a new identity free of it. Indeed, forgiving after a lifetime of seeking revenge can be extremely uncomfortable, even terrifying. The ego knows its existence will be short-lived when forgiveness occurs; it’s almost as if the ego is an entity of its own struggling for survival.
Humility to the Rescue
The answer to this dilemma is extremely simple, but not easy: embrace humility and forgive. Understand that everyone makes mistakes, no matter how big the mistake. We all deserve a second chance. Everyone deserves respect regardless of their history.
Humility aims to diminish the ego as much as possible. Humility is self-sustained – it does not need to compare itself to anyone else to validate its existence. Its existence is validated by the love which is its inheritance. Humility sees the big picture and how what benefits one being benefits the whole. Humility is not afraid to forgive and thriving on peace. It sees an identity in all as being important as its singular identity. Humility creates stillness of mind and great light. Humility connects one to divinity and higher realms.
When we operate from humility, we let go of better or worse and just appreciate. With humility, we can put our own needs and wants aside long enough to appreciate the needs and wants of others. We deeply respect others and life in general, acknowledging that we are all deeply connected. Also, we accept that we are all different and are thus able to appreciate our differences and allow them to be. We are not dependent on the other person being better or worse for our existence and can admire their attributes and accept their faults. There is a distinct lack of judgement that allows the heart to open in love.
When we are in a state of respect, looking in depth at whatever is in front of us as if it were it is the most important thing in the world, we fall beneath the blade of life. Our hearts open, and we begin to enter a state of unity where we are no longer in competition with those around us. Isn’t it wonderful that we can all be on the same team by deeply respecting each other and life?
This is the path to spiritual growth and awakening.
Cultivating humility is as easy as forgiving and appreciating. One exercise to encourage these qualities is to imagine bowing to whoever is in front of you. The act of lowering your head to a person or object places them in a place of high respect. You’re literally placing them above you for a moment, making them more important and easily respected. The mind responds on its own and the way you perceive them begins to change. Repeat as often as necessary when you find yourself moving into judgement.
If I find myself becoming judgemental of a person or even a situation, I will imagine bowing to it and then observing what happens. I soon begin to notice their positive qualities in them and also begin to empathize with them. Respect is a natural state when we are in the present moment. When we Let go of control and allow nature to be, humility is the result.
SpiritQuest has many sessions that can assist a person with releasing that “shadow” side and embracing the light that shines within. Take a look at our many amazing Take a look at our life-changing healing retreats.