sober lifestyle

Humility

Humility is perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted, or vexed, or irritated, or sore, or disappointed.

It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised.

It is to have a blessed home in myself, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and be at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is troubled.

Canon T.T. Carter

When I heard someone quote this passage in a recovery meeting, my ears perked and my curiosity was piqued. Humility, I always thought, meant meekness. Submissiveness. Devaluing yourself.

This definition? #LifeGoals.

I think these words belong in a frame right above my work station. Or tattooed on my inner forearm where I can look at them every time I feel fretted, vexed, irritated…basically, all day every day.

Of course, Canon Carter doesn’t really explain how to achieve this calm state of quiet-heartedness. I’m guessing it’s prayer and meditation. It’s always prayer and meditation.

It’s always the stuff that seems impossible to a busy-brained worrywart who’s basically addicted to background noise.

Example: I regularly do yoga in my living room with the TV on, unmuted. And we’re talking, like, crime investigation shows full of evil and death. 😳

No matter how you define humility, I’m really not it. I mean, self-worth has always been a huge struggle for me, so I’m certainly not walking around with a cocky swagger. I’ve always been afraid to initiate social interactions and have never learned how to take a compliment.

Actual conversation in my house:

Hubby: “I love you.”

Me: “Even though [insert character defect or personal failing here]?”

At the same time, if I’m being completely honest, I’m extremely self-centered. I live inside my own head. I process everything through the lens of how it affects me. I also have serious control issues, which I’ve learned are rooted partly in self-importance. See: impatience. See also: road rage, which is basically impatience on steroids.

It’s crazy, how our personalities can encompass so many contradictions. I heard it put perfectly on one of my favorite recovery podcasts: the addictive personality is an egomaniac with an inferiority complex.

Someone on a podcast also said: Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.

Again, something I absolutely want to strive for, and will have to, when I start graduate school next — OMG, it’s 2021 now, so it’s actually this — fall. My goal is to channel my passion for psychology into helping others beat addiction. Right now, I’m pretty good at intense self-analysis — sorry; did that sound cocky? — but I have so much to learn, and so many tools to acquire, if I want to provide quality therapy to clients as a professional counselor getting paid for their even-tempered empathy and, well, according to the opening quote, for their humility.

I’m beyond excited about enrolling at Delaware Valley University. Unfortunately, in order to actually do that, I have to stop procrastinating and fill out/turn in these federal financial aid forms.

Yes, I’m prone to poor-mouthing myself, but it’s not being humble to say, I’m much too poor to afford higher education all on my own.

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