I will be away from the office at a conference all day... I’m in a rush, but I will finish my “Jesus” series on Sunday. Some would say that the most important relationship is the relationship with your Higher Power. I disagree: anytime you perceive your Higher Power as outside your self, your disassociating yourself from reality. Today, a little on the most important relationship in your life -- the relationship you have (or don’t) with your self.
* * *
-=[ Spiritual Dignity ]=-
What we strive for in the effort to resolve the tension between our sense of inferiority and our grandiosity is not modesty but humility -- spiritual dignity.
-- Jean Hardy
A common mistake in the self-esteem movement is the mistaken belief that by merely feeling better about yourself, or simply being “positive,” will solve all our problems. Self-esteem is respecting the self. But what is it exactly that we are esteeming? If our sense of self is based on feelings of grandiosity it follows that that puffing that up won’t result with more effective ways of dealing with yourself and others. Put more simply, if what you’re esteeming are the same issues that are causing you pain, then how will that help you?
I see a lot of two types of people these days. I see a lot of angry people walking around these days full of self-esteem on the one hand and many ego-maniacs with low self-esteem on the other. LOL!
Maybe we need to adopt a different strategy...
I like this notion of humility as a “spiritual dignity” because true humility has nothing to do with putting yourself down -- or what could be called self-abasement. There is a certain elegance and internal dignity to genuine humility.
Grandiosity is the opposite of putting yourself down (self-abasement); it is inflating your ego (self-exaltation) in order to feel better about yourself. Humility -- spiritual humility -- is as much the opposite of self-abasement (putting yourself down) as it is to self-exaltation (puffing the old ego up).
Self-abasement -- which alternates with feelings of superiority and inferiority -- comes from feelings of guilt and self-loathing and has nothing to do with the spiritual quality of humility. When we operate solely from an ego perspective, we feel small and powerless. These feelings in turn have the effect of instilling fear and judgment. Look around at those who pass their days judging and ridiculing. Do they seem like “big” people? LOL!
When we respect ourselves and our place in the universe, then we are humble in the true sense of the word. Humility is about keeping ourselves in perspective, knowing we are connected, accepting how small and powerless our ego-selves are, but also knowing that we contain a spark of the divine -- of something god-like -- within us too. Spiritual dignity is knowing that beyond the ego, we are powerful and eternal.
With this spiritual feeling comes a sense of awe and respect for the world we live in and a feeling of gratitude for the life we’ve been given.