Care for a Nice Big Scoop of Humble Pie? ~ Catherine la O’

Via elephant journal
on Aug 13, 2012
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Photo credit: Joselito Tagarao

Humble pie is an acquired taste.

Personally, I don’t much care for the taste of it—a little too bitter for my preference.

In fact, I don’t know many people that do.

Unfortunately, it’s one of those foods that fuel our relationships. Without it, we are left hungry and void of any real connection.

Nonetheless, we go to great lengths to avoid eating this bitter dessert: we claim to be allergic; we pawn it off on others trying to convince them they need it more than we do.

Sometimes, it’s just unavoidable, so you get yourself a nice big heaping spoonful, shut your eyes, plug your nose and shove it down.


Last week, I experienced an exchange with a friend that resulted in my feasting on an extra-sized portion of Humble Pie. My friend shared her opinion about an area of my life I was feeling challenged in.

What I heard her say is that I wasn’t managing my life well enough, so I snapped at her, calling her judgmental and hypocritical. I immediately regretted saying those words to someone I care for, but I held my ground anyway.

For days I rationalized how I was tricked, victimized and forced to behave the way that I did.

I told myself all sorts of stories about how wronged and misunderstood I was; how it was the ignorance of the other person that caused me to speak out in such unkindly ways.

It would have been so easy to just throw the pie in her face and be done with it.

But I knew better.

The only thing she did to me was trigger concerns I had myself, but was in denial about.

Facing them meant acknowledging the need for changes I wasn’t ready to make yet. I knew blaming her wouldn’t make it any easier and it certainly wouldn’t help our relationship much.

The worst part was, not only is it clear that I am not perfect; I now have to stand in front of someone else, someone whom I love and respect and tell them I am not perfect.

Stripping off my clothes and running naked on a weekday at lunch hour through downtown San Francisco would feel less vulnerable.

But, my relationship is more important to me than my ego is, so I knew I had to do it.

I spoke clear and steadily laying out the truths of my imperfections. I explained how her words triggered my own internal judgments that I was not yet ready to face.

When I was done, we sat there in silence—my ugliness exposed and dangling through an open wound from my chest.

Expecting a reaction of disgust from the sight of me, I was surprised when she instead responded by taking ownership of her own role in the exchange.

She acknowledged how she might have contributed to the argument and expressed how important I am to her and how she appreciated me talking to her about it.

I’ve never felt more love for my friend.

And I have never felt more connected to myself and to my truth.

As it turns out, Humble pie comes in different flavors and can be shared with others.

You should try it.

Catherine la O’ is a Certified Integral Life Coach, Blogger, Wino, Yogini, Cyclist-ish and Music Lover. There is more to her, but we thought it would be better to just list the good stuff because there isn’t enough room for the rest. As a Blogger, Catherine offers self-exposing personal insights gathered from her own journey of self-discovery. She hopes her writing will inspire and support other women on a similar path. As a coach, she facilitates group workshops, monthly women’s circles and offers individual coaching to women all over the U.S. who are looking to evolve to the next level in their lives. She can often be found in the ER taping up wounds from her many clumsy bike crashes. If you don’t believe us, just ask her to show you all the scars on her legs. If you are interested in connecting with Catherine you may find her through her website or Facebook. She will be waiting by the computer to hear from you.

Editor: Jamie Morgan

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8 Responses to “Care for a Nice Big Scoop of Humble Pie? ~ Catherine la O’”

  1. Lana N. says:

    Oh how often do I feel like throwing a pie into someone else's face and walking away feeling like a champion. Facing my own flaws is the hardest thing, but so incredibly rewarding once I challenge myself to do it. Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. Diana K says:

    It's an aquired taste, but I know that it's really good for me. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Paula says:

    Catherine – your wisdom AND ability to articulate your experience with heart and clarity is beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for your accountability, sharing and humility. Mostly for being you.

  4. Dionne says:

    Catherine, I've been eating my share of humble pie this year. I like your article. It hits home for me right now. Thank you for sharing and for reinforcing the good that comes from of acknowledging our own faults and being held accountable for our own "stuff."

  5. katherinelao says:

    That's a great point Lana, "..walking away feeling like a champion", because that is what seems to drive us in that moment, however, in retrospect, a champion of what? Certainly not the relationship. I have found that sharing "Humble Pie" feels much greater than throwing it, or having it thrown at me. Thanks for sharing!!

  6. Lori says:

    The tricky part to humble pie is where you get it/ who gives it to you, isn't it? I just realized that I am a bit prejudiced about whom I'm willing to take a slice from; and whom I'd rather smash it back in their face… but an interesting conclusion to think about from your post is whether all sources are equal and deserve the same receptive audience??? I dunno… do we have to be equally open to all?Or are there different degrees "allowed" without getting some kind of collective-conscious "demerit"?
    Anyway – thanks for giving my brain something to ponder! It LIKES to think very much! 🙂

  7. […] matter where you are—in an ashram, in the city, married or unmarried. Because when you have humility, observation and awareness, you know exactly how attached you are and where you need to practise […]

  8. […] our response to them. In the case of my experience which I wrote about in a previous posting, Care for a Nice Big Scoop of Humble Pie, by allowing myself to see my response as a reaction to a trigger I was given a choice: 1. Blame it […]