Opening Up to Humility and Graciousness

ImageHumility is a quality that’s vastly under-rated, but subconsciously appreciated when we come across it in others.

My favorite people to be around are the ones who are so gracious and humble and loving, they feed my soul. And yet, as a Type-A personality, I’m constantly trying to be the best.

I’m drawn to description words like “vixen” and “intoxicating.”  Mas once told me that I “could charm the paint off the walls,” while another old friend told me that for him, I was “a relapse waiting to happen.” An old girlfriend whom I rarely talk to now, told me that I’m “too smart for my own good.” And a girlfriend whom I talk to all the time told me that she knew I’d be successful because I’m “so vibrant.”

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love hearing all of this. Even the ones that should be negative.

I strive to be a force to be reckoned with. I want to be the “type of woman who wakes up in the morning, and when my feet hit the floor the Devil says, ‘Oh crap she’s up.’” I have no idea who said that, but I love it nonetheless.

So it was a natural for me to focus on finding adventure – to think that, that was the answer to all that I was searching for. But as I reflect back, I’m starting to see the true message I’ve been ignoring: Putting my ego in check.

I’m looking back and realizing how many of my wonderful friends have talked about their own battles with their ego in the last month. Ego takes many forms – self-obsession, self-destruction, self-criticism. And it can be easy to miss.

I’m recognizing now, that I obsess over doing well, as well as ensuring that I look like I’m doing well. I also obsess over acknowledging my flaws because in order to be a perfect human I can’t ignore my shortcomings.

But lately, I’ve been continually hit over the head with my own imperfection, struggling, and mistakes. I feel like I’m constantly searching, constantly making amends.

A few days ago, I was scrolling through Instagram and I stumbled upon my friend Lauren’s post, “God gives the hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.”

I thought, DAMN RIGHT.

But then I saw a large comment underneath where Lauren’s mom wrote, “Or maybe to His weakest, so that God can show His self through them. ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit.’ say The Lord of hosts. Zachariah 4:6.”

Well now that threw me for a loop and made me uncomfortable. I was so annoyed by my discomfort that I didn’t even like Lauren’s photo. Talk about ego.

But human’s react to discomfort because it’s an unfinished thought in their mind. This is something we learned copious times in upper division marketing courses. When you present an unanswered question or an unfinished thought to a human, it’ll embed itself in a human’s mind until they can close the circle with an answer. It’s probably why we’re all obsessed – for better for worse – with Miley Cyrus. Like damn, is she on drugs or is she just nuts or is it a clever ploy!? Meanwhile we all understand what’s going on with Lindsay Lohan, so a majority of us don’t mind stepping away from all that nonsense.

Well, the same thing applies here. I keep thinking back on this Instagram post, trying to look at Zachariah 4:6 with an open heart in order to discern what it means to me.

Maybe I’ve become so ego driven that the greater power in this universe is trying to wake me up – “Girlfriend you are not all that and a bag a chips. And all these people who hurt you are NOT the scum beneath your shoe. You are all human. Be humble! Be gracious!”

Then, this morning true epiphany struck! (Well, actually afternoon, but I didn’t wake up till noon haha). I was listening to a Talking with Terry – monthly inspirational talks that my boss puts out, and it was as if I was smacked in the face with the answer I was so carefully avoiding: Adventure is really the last piece to happiness.

It’s not that it isn’t important, but I had forgotten basic Comm. Theory. Self Esteem is the most basic and important piece that one needs to build up in order to find satisfaction in life.

I’m sitting in Starbucks listening to Terry talk about the fundamentals of life, and It’s taking everything in me not to cry. I’m so mad at myself for being so closed, but I’m so happy that the answer has finally struck me. I finally feel hope and relief.

The irony of finding my answer through work isn’t lost on me: I’ve been so self-absorbed, focusing on my pitfalls and shortcomings, I didn’t have anymore room left to appreciate this beautiful woman and all that she knows. Instead I was acting like a 14 year-old who thought she knew it all.

I feel a resurgence of energy. She and I both knew coming into this relationship, that based on our birth dates, she had something huge to teach me. And perhaps this is just the first piece. In order for me to learn anything from her, I first had to chip away at this wall I’d built up around my heart. This wall of mock perfection, faux empathy, and blatant ego.

I feel as though, in process of knocking down my wall, I’ve fallen on my back; but as a result it’s created an opportunity for me to get back up and climb even higher than I ever thought possible. Without the wall, there’s nothing to hold me back. No more boundaries to hold me in.

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