So it is that we first see humility as a necessity. But this is the barest beginning. To get completely away from our aversion to the idea of being humble, to gain a vision of humility as the avenue to true freedom of the human spirit, to be willing to work for humility as something to be desired for itself, takes most of us a long, long time. A whole lifetime geared to self-centeredness cannot be set in reverse all at once. Rebellion dogs our every step at first.
Again, the words and the concept of at first. I see the self centeredness in two different ways. The one is being mostly concerned with myself. What I have, what I want, how I feel, how I look, where I am, etc. The other is when I’m often concerned about others, and enjoy helping others, but do it in a people pleasing kind of way, and when I consistently think I’m less than most others. So the one is where I think I’m the most important person in my world, and the other is where I think I’m the least important. Neither puts my on track to be just one in a fellowship.
I should also say that I have seen people come into the program who are thirsting to learn humility and serve others, they just didn’t know how to do it without the program and the steps as a plan of action. Rebellion may dog them, but it’s a different kind of rebellion to my eye.
And I understand and know it to be true that humble people are taken advantage of, and they do suffer. But of course self centered people are also taken advantage of and they also suffer.
So at first it’s necessary to have some degree of humility in order to get sober. A person has to admit they are licked, and can’t do it, and need help.
I’m trying, but I’m not 100% sure I can apply this to those vexing problems that present themselves in late sobriety. And I’m talking about problems in the world that I, after many sober years, wrestle with in a serious and disheartening way. If I could clearly see that vision of humility as the avenue to true freedom of the human spirit (though now we see through a mirror in an enigma), perhaps these worldly difficulties wouldn’t vex me so.
And I’m not at all saying that I’ve gotten no where through the years. Every year sober I know I’ve improved and gained greater serenity and understanding. I’ve heard it and I’ve tried to remember it that when a challenge presents itself, it is God (or something) saying, “Time to grow.” Sometimes I can see my own progress and sometimes I can’t. Now I see a new challenge and a new level, and because I see it, I can’t ignore it and go on as before. It’s made me very uncomfortable that I’m not accepting of situations in my life. I know that I’ve gained comfortability through the program in the past, so here I am now.
Now, at this moment, I believe that there’s some key to my understanding that lies within the concept of humility.