The One Key to Happy Relationships: Humility

Humility is a condition that is often misunderstood. When doing some internet research, I found that many traditional dictionary websites offer definitions of the word “humility” that have negative sounding words like “submit”, “debase”, and “lowly” to describe the attribute of humility.

I found one that resonated more with the definition that I use on Newadvent.com:

Humility in a higher and ethical sense is that by which a man has a modest estimate of his own worth, and submits himself to others. According to this meaning no man can humiliate another, but only himself, and this he can do properly only when aided by Divine grace. We are treating here of humility in this sense, that is, of the virtue of humility.

What this means to me is being really real about who and what you are—the good and the “bad” and presenting yourself honestly.

Many of the problems that we face are when we try to make ourselves into something that we aren’t. This includes being more “on the right path” than another person.

For example, what is your response when someone cuts you off in traffic?

Mine used to be, “Argh!  You are NOT more important than I am!”  In other words, I took it very personally!

Once I allowed myself to see my driving as it really is, I saw that I, too, have unwittingly cut people off in traffic.  AND I even drive hastily knowingly and rationalize it at the moment!  This gratefully occurs very rarely anymore, but humility insists that I be real about it!

Now when I get cut off in traffic, I often respond with, “I’ve done that.”

Allowing myself to see that I make mistakes as others do, too, I am less divisive and a more unifying force in this world.

Yogi Bhajan gives a beautiful definition of humility:

Humble doesn’t mean you are timid. Humble means you are very strong, courageous and always come through. We are very humble that impossible will be accomplished as possible. That is humility to us. I don’t know what it is to you. To you humility is to lie down and let them take me away. No, that’s not humility, that’s cowardice. There is a big difference. Humility means there is nothing impossible in your life. Humility means you are humble before the light of God and get the power to accomplish what you have to accomplish. When the call of duty is the beauty of life, —that’s humility.

When I have the courage to see things as they are and also go forward in faith, that is true humility.  I can better see a bigger picture that includes the best for all of us, rather than my immediate whims.

Your Assignment:

Is your need to be right preventing you from connecting with someone.  The next time someone opposes you, can you respond with “Hmmm, you may be right…” Opening up to another point of view can build bridges you never dreamed possible.

As always, please let me know how it goes!

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