I find revisiting humility to be a rewarding pursuit, something an arrogant soul like myself needs to do every once in a while.
As a beginning student of Knowledge, I do, like everyone else for that matter, occaisonally have the odd bad day. And this just happens to be one of them as I share on a Step I did quite some time ago. I reached Step 34. “I Am A Beginning Student of Knowledge” on December 10, 2012. Today I am on Step 335. Much water has flown under the bridge, so to speak, yet today I feel I as though I am back at the beginning, back trying to find my way. It is just one of those days. A good day to remind myself again that I am a beginning student of Knowledge and revisit humility.
The notes I wrote on December 10, 2012 for Step 34 actually show a certain amount of awareness and sound thinking: “Recognizing that I am a beginning student is always humbling and always paves the way to new learning. I am happy to be in a position to learn, not draw any premature conclusions, and not have to defend my accomplishments. I am waiting for the light of truth to shine upon me and I have no doubt that it will as long as I remain open and willing.”
Today, from my vantage point higher up the mountain, one year and a little over five months later, it was brought abruptly and even brutally to my attention that I am still very much a beginning student of Knowledge, which is why I am revisiting humility. It seems I have still not learned my lesson. Not only are premature conclusions way out of line, I have no accomplishments to defend, even if I wanted to. I am still naively waiting for the light of truth to shine upon me. And not only that, in my arrogant hope that as long as I remain open and willing it no doubt will, I have succeeded in bringing myself back down to earth again with a resounding thud.
All is not lost however. Remembering that I am a beginning student has its rewards, since it prompted me to think again about humility and look further. In the process, I came across an interesting article called “A Lesson in Humility.” One passage struck me in particular and spoke directly to my experience. I share it here.
Allowing the lesson of humility
“From my own personal experience, I can understand how difficult it can be for someone who has an inherent inclination to ‘arrogance’ to allow the understanding of humility. It feels like a loss of identity, a sense of deep defeat/failure, a strong feeling of vulnerability and helplessness – in fact, whenever you get these feelings you can be sure that you are learning a lesson in humility …
“The only deal is that you won’t stop being given the lesson until you learn it – much as you would hope that life would just give you a break, it doesn’t. Sometimes, what feels like an achievement or a build-up of success or an experience of joy ends up being a setup to bring you the lesson of humility – what’s called the ‘high before the crash.’ If you allow the intended growth you wouldn’t need to learn the same lesson again, but most of us are too hard-headed and hence there are a few repeat lessons until we finally learn. The lessons usually come from the things that you value the most – for example, if relationship is what is most important to you, your lessons will come from your experiences in a relationship, and if career is what’s most important to you, you lessons will come from the field of your career.”
The “high before the crash” mentioned here is so familiar to me. It is precisely what I am referring to when I talk about “being brought back down to earth with a resounding thud.” I have been shown today that even though I have supposedly moved on from Step 34 and being a beginning student, I still have a long way to go. Sharing in this space and being reminded of where I was and where I am now is certainly humbling. Remembering that I am a beginning student has its rewards, and I will no doubt be revisiting humility time and time again.
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