Humility: The Key To Better Relationships & Happiness
“We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility” – Rabindranath Tagore
How can humility make us more loving? Humility is a modest, meek, and gentle quality; and a well-defined attribute of living a spiritual life. It is our innate and natural state of being that is not overshadowed by ego. As quoted from Confucius, “Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues”. A quiet and inward quality essential for personal growth and leadership, it reveals strength of character beyond status, rank, or class. Through humility, everyone is regarded as worthy, and not based on perceptions of worthiness to give and receive love. Being humble enables us to achieve self-mastery, transforms our relationships, and enriches our lives through selfless service.
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Humility with self
Achieving self-mastery is the capacity to maintain self-discipline, self-control, and discern what is most important to live a life of love and fulfillment. Self-discovery is an ongoing process to ultimately become our best selves. Humility enables us to gain insight through self-questioning, self-examination, and self-reflection. Through silence, we are able to see ourselves from a fresh and new perspective. It provides an opportunity to observe our thoughts, be attentive to our feelings, and alert to what needs to be addressed. As Confucius says, “The quieter you become, the more you hear”. We can become more compassionate, forgiving of ourselves, and find joy in who we are meant to be.
Viewing ourselves through a wider lens, we achieve clarity, tap into intuition, and ascend to our natural state of being that is love. Our life’s journey provides valuable lessons and opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. We can choose to attain freedom from self-righteous, overly critical, and prideful behaviors. There is a childlike quality of humility with an overflow of love, tenderness, forgiveness, and enjoyment of the simple pleasures of life that brings peace to our heart and joy to our soul. Humility can be personified by being teachable, asking for help, and being open to constructive feedback with appreciation and gratitude.
Humility with others
We grow and learn within the context of our relationships, and humility can bridge the gap. As we demonstrate humility, we become more understanding, attentive, and compassionate. We can discern what is needed to help and motivate others without inflated pride, arrogance, and haughtiness. Henry Drummond says, “Love hides even from itself. Love waives even self-satisfaction. Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up”.
Our relationships are enriched by listening deeply and being open to hearing others. Through humility, we are not quick to be reactive, argumentative, and judgmental; but take the time to allow another to feel seen and heard. Genuine and sincere interest in others make us more loving. The wisdom of humility is healing. Its subtle influence is transformative and creates a positive ripple effect for change.
Humility in service
Selfless service and charitable acts of love demonstrate humility in action. During my time spent in the Orient, I volunteered at an autistic center for children and traveled throughout the land to indigenous communities where I witnessed the spirit of volunteerism and selfless service. Humility is giving and serving with pure intentions, and without motives for personal gain. Henry Drummond states, “If you have not love, it profits nothing…people feel love in your heart“. Altruistic service is personally and spiritually rewarding with opportunities to grow in humility. No task is beneath you when you understand the role of service and our capacity to serve. For Mother Teresa, “We can do no great things; only small things with great love.”
Through selfless serve, we discover more about ourselves in profound and unique ways. According to Mahatma Gandhi, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service to others.” I found this to be true during a challenging time in my life. I spent time volunteering at the Children’s Hospital serving coffee to parents and greeting families. This experience enabled me to step outside of myself, view life from a different perspective, open my heart to gratitude. Our labor of love, through selfless service, enables us to share our gifts and talents and serve for the greater good.
Humility is an ingredient of a loving spirit, and a most honorable virtue. It is the spiritual essence of who we really are, and fills our heart with peace and joy. We see the best in ourselves and others, and our lives become richer. As we move away from the ego, we grow and advance personally and spiritually. Grow in humility and become more mindful, take conscious action, and embody this valuable virtue in your daily life. You will enjoy your own company, and people will love being in your presence. It make us inviting, irresistible, and intriguing as we do all things in the spirit of love.
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