Lately, I’ve been thinking that my recovery has been going pretty well. My daily gratitude list is long. My inventory of fears is short. Most days, I feel happy and serene. And that’s the problem.
It’s a problem because when things start to go too well, I begin to struggle with humility. Once again I begin to think I’m pretty smart, that I have all the answers. I forget that I didn’t get here under my own power.
I came into this program utterly defeated. Life had humbled me. And that was a blessing. Because only then was I willing to try a new way. Being humbled made me teachable.
I heard someone say once that humility is like a mirage. It shimmers off in the distance. As soon as we think we have reached it, we put out our hand to touch it, and it dissolves before our eyes.
It’s been like that for me.
That same person told a story about a pastor of a church who had been declared the most humble pastor in the country by a selection committee that had combed every corner of the land. The congregation was so excited that it had buttons printed up that said “most humble pastor in the country.”
Sadly, the congregation had to fire the pastor when he showed up the next Sunday wearing the button.
And that’s the problem with humility. As soon as I say I have it, that’s pride and ego speaking. The mirage floats away.
I can only keep working on my intention by reminding myself that I only get a daily reprieve based on my spiritual condition, and by realizing that life will not always feel this way.
I will fall off the beam.
This is not projecting. It’s acceptance. I’ve seen it happen to people with many years in the program. And I’ve watched them climb back up using the tools of the program.
When my sponsor presented me with my chip on my last Al-Anon birthday, she said, “If you talk to Kathy, there’s a serenity about her. Maybe that’s the gift of this age.
“Don’t get used to it.”
I wonder if those times we fall off the beam serve the same purpose as the brokenness so many of us feel when we come into these rooms. It reminds us that we are not in charge. That we do not have all the answers. That we don’t do this under our own power.
Until then, the best way I know to find humility is to get on my knees each morning in prayer. Just the act of prayer is an act of humility, because when I pray to God, I admit that I am not God.
And I pray in the position of humility because thoughts follow actions. If I accept the position of humility often enough, long enough, sincerely enough, the feeling will follow.
One day at a time.
Hubby and I are off to the land later today. I hope you all enjoy your Memorial Day weekend. I’ll drop by when we return.
Blessed Titus Brandsma – July 27
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