Yesterday, I hosted a meditation retreat day where someone tried to give me credit for the color of the blankets. How I had chosen just the right blankets for their enjoyment.
I explained I could not take credit for the blankets, as they were just the ones at the community center.
The meditation retreat was a success. People really went deep and felt nourished. And watching them feel nourished brought fulfillment back to me.
But not because I caused it—just because the moment existed.
This is what we need to remember.
I know we are all supposed to get better at accepting praise and raising our self-esteem and seeing our own greatness, but really, humility.
It can take us far.
The definition of humility is, “a modest or low view of one’s own importance.”
At first glance, especially for someone raised in a culture that idolizes the power of the individual, this can seem horrible.
But I am supposed to have a high view of myself, we think.
However, the key word here is “self.”
When we put so much pressure on everything needing to come from “self,” it becomes exhausting and paralyzing.
When we are thinking that as a “self” we can do a good job or do a bad job, this sense of self becomes inflamed and takes up too much space.
What if instead we were to have a high view of our love of being who we are, but a low view of actual self?
This would mean when we were criticized we would be aligned with the love—and not the self—and wouldn’t have to take such a big hit. This would mean when we had successes we would still be aligned with the love, so we wouldn’t inflate a false ego through the praise.
Why do we want success? Hopefully, to be of service. When helping others, we need a low sense of self; we need to put our needs aside a little and be present for the person or cause that needs our attention.
This pushing forward for success from a sense that our self needs to feel higher or satisfied is perhaps a great way to find disappointment.
Why not try on some humility and see what it brings to your endeavors.
This is not the same as self-hate. We are still filled with love for our own being, but this sense that we are crucially important diminishes. From this perspective, we can show up to our task an empty vessel. We can offer our own goodness with no strings attached and let humility be our guiding light.
I hope this brings all of you a bundle of success.
Author: Ruth Lera
Editor: Toby Israel