The answer to this question should be obvious. Sadly, for me, it is not.
My Monday meeting report: nice meeting, 6 attendees. It was a step 7 meeting, which, predictably, centers on the subject of humility, a key concept in step 7 work. What is always interesting to me is the mindset on humility as it relates to sober time. I have noticed that people in early sobriety (which, of course, is relative, I am in early sobriety. I guess to be more specific, people with less than 12 months of continuous sobriety) focus on humiliation rather than humility… they speak of the various shameful experiences they have had, and they relate their humility to these experiences.
Of course, true humility, at least the quality to which we in recovery are aspiring, has nothing to do with humiliation.
[hyoo-mil-i-tee or, often, yoo-]
the quality or condition of being humble
; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.
Here’s my evolution as it relates to humility: in early days, when people spoke of the importance of humility, I essentially disregarded it. I considered myself a humble person; if anything, I did not think highly enough of myself. As time went on, and I worked the steps, I discovered, much to my chagrin, that in fact I needed to do quite a bit of work in this arena. When I believe that the world revolves around me, I am not being humble. When I insist that my way is the right way, I am not behaving humbly. When I am displaying self-righteousness, I am not displaying humility.
Like I said, I have some work to do.
Here’s an interesting story related to this topic. In the course of the past 4 days, I have had various minor situations come up that have caused me to be irritable, restless and discontent. These situations are minor enough that they are not even worth documenting, but are notable in that they happened in a relatively short period of time. At one point I actually said to myself, “get to a meeting so you can find your answer.” I went to a meeting, the topic was humility. Hmmm. Life goes on, apparently I wasn’t listening hard enough, because self-righteousness reared its ugly head several more times throughout the weekend. Today’s meeting? Humility.
Who says God
doesn’t speak directly to you?
Last night, in what would be the pinnacle (or would it be nadir?) of my bad mood, I was reading a brilliant post by a fellow blogger (please check it out, it is beautiful… Sober Identity
). In the grips of my self-centered thinking, all I could focus on was how not
far along I was, in comparison to her progress. It was progress enough last night for me to shut down the computer and vow to re-read it when I was in a better frame of mind. I did that today, within the framework of today’s meeting on humility, and it was as if a whole new set of words popped up… I could see all of my own progress, as well as feel genuine happiness for Lisa that she can see hers. And so today’s miracle is appreciating the recovery of others… well done, Lisa!