Humility Without Humiliation
I have a friend in the program that jokingly says he went to humility school and graduated first in his class. Humorous, but revealing.
Our program of recovery tells us all that we need to become humble people if we wish to recover. For some of us, that is a daunting task. The way that practicing alcoholics and addicts live, the only humility that they get usually comes in the form of a humiliating experiences. But even then, that is not true humility. That is just shame and guilt mixed in with booze and delusion. True humility is not the presence of something; it is the absence of something: pride.
They say that pride goeth before the fall. I have heard it said that pride is an abomination before God. I have experienced that pride is nothing more than idolizing ourselves, which we are explicitly told not to do. Pride is what allows us to take credit for what we did right and empowers us to blame others for what went wrong. So, how do we enjoy and celebrate our accomplishments and not fall into this trap?
Gratitude is what allows us to give credit to God for what we did right and empowers us to accept the blame for what went wrong. Gratitude keeps us right-sized. Gratitude creates perspective and accurate perception. We are all here by God’s Grace and anything we get is an undeserved gift anyway. If nothing else, we can at least be grateful that we are no longer a slobbering drunk damaging everyone along the way as we protractedly commit suicide.
I personally do not need to be humiliated anymore in order to learn life‘s lessons. When I remain grateful about all things, I not only find humility without humiliation, but also find peace without penance. Gratitude ensures I never need to be the big shot, the head honcho or commander-in-chief, ever again. Let us always give the credit for everything where all credit is due, to God.
James A. Francetich is a freelance writer and author. The opinions expressed are solely of the author and do not represent any community based recovery programs, private or public entities or any governmental agencies.