Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Humility and Humanity

I have been reading Thomas Merton and read a passage where he says the humble accept their humanity.

I talked with my therapist about this. I am a seeker and a searcher and a mighty self-improver. In that way that our strengths are our weaknesses, it has been my self-improving urgency that brought me to The Course in Miracles and from there to 12 step programs, OA and then Al-Anon and then AA. Once on the 12 step path I gobbled, perhaps binged on books, tapes, ideas, classes, workshops, retreats, teachers therapists…seeking always, wanting a better me. I had those experiences of seeing some stubborn, painful part of me finally let go gave me more hope that even more could change.

But then I began to sense that even this seeking to improve is also self seeking. And we know what AA says about that. Can I stop even the self-improving kind of self-seeking? At what point does self-improvement become a way of telling God who and how I should be? In what ways is constant self-improvement a way of not accepting myself and not trusting God?

Then I read Merton. The humble are not arrogant or proud, they accept their humanity.

So my fear and my anxiety and my wanting to be loved and wanting recognition are all parts of humanity, all things humans desire and want and experience. So can I accept these parts of me without trying to remove, edit, adjust or eliminate them?

Can I coexist with my own humanity?

When we practice the 6th and 7th steps we often begin by telling God what defects we want removed. But if we read the step carefully is says that we ask God to remove the defects that are in the way of our relationship with Him, which means he knows best. Does God want us or me to NOT be human?

Can I coexist with my humanity? And when I cannot is it a form of pride or arrogance or spiritual arrogance: I know what needs to be fixed; I know how to make the best possible me. I see the lack of humility there. I see that lack of faith and trust.

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