Whether you come from a religious background or not, you’ve been confronted with the concept of being humble. It’s highly likely, if you asserted yourself in the company of very religious people, you’ve been accused of being self-promoting, and you should humble yourself. In other words, back off, calm down and get a grip on how lowly you really are.
Grab that Dictionary
Dictionary.com defines humble this way: “Having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience. Low in rank, importance, status, quality.
For the non-religious, just to get you up to speed, Jesus supposedly said, in Matthew 23:12, “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” The traditional interpretation of this passage has been that somehow, if you stand up for yourself or acknowledge what you might be good at, you’re going to get some bad karma, you’ll be “abased”.
If you belittle yourself, at some point you’ll be exalted in rank or character. Your ship is more likely to come in if you don’t think much of yourself. Or go for your dreams.
How’s that workin’ for us?
This understanding of scripture has been used to get people to conform to a weak sense of self and purpose, to acquiesce to other’s wishes. Others, who by the way, are being anything but humble by telling another person THEY should be humble.
Warm Up Your Engine and Drive!
We all have gifts and talents, especially if we have others around us who encourages us to use them. (Like I do in my Ready, Willing and Able Officiant Prep course :-)) It’s in our nature to use our gifts as much as it’s natural to rev the engine of that new Mustang convertible we’re going to test drive. We’re going to explore and expand these talents, take ’em for ride and see how they do in life.
Or to quote something else Jesus is supposed to have said, (and I paraphrase a bit), “Let your engine warm up and drive, don’t hide it in the garage.” Matthew 5:16.
Too many people, especially if there’s a profession or goal related to religion or spirituality (such as being an Officiant), we may get this unconscious hit that to believe we’re good at something, and promote it, there’s something wrong with us. That in fact, bad stuff is gonna happen.
Back to the Self-Esteem Issue
People may walk around with this terrible sense of self-esteem thinking that believing in their gifts, their talents, AND charging appropriately for them is somehow going to get them in hot water. (Case in point-Officiants who charge so little for their services. Maybe that’s because officiating is still connected to religious beliefs we should be doing everything for free because God’s gonna take care of us. Well God will take care of us by inspiring us what to fee to charge. But that’s a whole other article to write!) Because NOT thinking much of yourself is what’s really going to keep at bay that ship you want to come in.
Making a List and Folding it Twice
Here’s a way this misunderstanding of humble shows its ugly face. It’s so much easier for most of us to name the things that are wrong with us than it is to list the things that are great about our self. Go ahead, right now make a 2-column list on an folded 8×11 sheet of paper. Take 5 minutes. Write down things that are good about yourself and things you need to fix about yourself. Go ahead, do it. Now which list is longer?
I rest my case.
I’ve been proficient at naming what’s wrong with me and how I’ve screwed up. I wish it weren’t true but ask my friends. I’m very practiced at being critical of myself. I know I’m not alone in this proficiency. HOWEVER I AM getting better at believing in myself. I’m living proof of the results of being one’s own worst enemy. Stagnation. Reluctance. Suffering from the disease of people pleasing.
Heck — I may have stood up in front of anywhere from 50 -500 people and delivered a great talk. And what trap could I fall into? I’d focus on the few people who didn’t seem to pay attention, or who didn’t accept my premise. Who was I to think I had anything to offer?
Better back down and get back to being a nobody with nothing to say. Someone or some miracle will happen to save me someday!
“By this premise, I should be riding high on the hog because I’ve certainly “humbled” myself often enough.”
Reality check: What I / we / us focus on grows. The more I coulda woulda shoulda myself, the greater momentum is generated to prove over and over what’s wrong with me. “What you fear comes upon you,” it says somewhere in the Bible. What we repeat over and over, focus on and live inside of grows in magnitude, whether it’s self-appreciation or depreciation.
We gotta stop that crap of making ourself small when we really are naturally big. Created in the image and likeness of goodness it’s been said in some alternative spiritual circles. Believe in yourself. In your abilities. In promoting and offering the world your unique talents and skills. You know, let your engine rev!
Try This Humble On For Size
I’d like to suggest a new meaning for the word humble. Try this on for size.
To be humble is to be open. So rather than having these preconceived ideas about ourself, if we go back to basics, we become open to our self and the possibilities for goodness without prejudice. If we’re open from the standpoint of beginning again we are more likely to see from a new perspective.
We become elevated because we have no where to go but up!
Rewrite of an Old Teaching
Here’s the rewrite of that scripture: “And whosoever thinks they’ve got it all figured out is going to miss out. But if you’re open, you’ll see from a new perspective that can show you a whole other world of wonder.”
Much better definition, don’t you think?
So seek to be open, with a sense of wonder and curiosity about life. See yourself in a new light, not a negative light. Give yourself a break.
As an Officiant, if you want to really serve your couples — if you want to stand out in the crowd of so many online ordained officiants who may have little or no respect for the responsibility of ordination, you have to know what’s good and unique about you and your talents. You have to be the new humble — know and promote what’s good and unique about yourself and how that will make your couple’s wedding day all the better. Because the good that you are is now at THEIR service.
Check out the wonders that are within you and let those beautiful facets of your character shine. Make that column of good qualities 10 times longer than the negatives. Go on. Do it. And get yourself into the habit of exalting those qualities, rather than those parts of yourself that are “still under construction.”
And I’ll see you being the first one walking down the aisle.
Rev Crystal Y
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