Humble and Humiliation Have the Same Root

I woke up this morning thinking of all the times in recent years that I went to someone asking for help.

I remember once, when I realized my marriage was about to be over and I had no back-up plan or income, I knocked on the door of a mother in my son’s class because I needed someone to talk to, and she let me in, and then we formed a friendship that helped me through many troubled months.

I remember calling my mom one day from work—and I can’t believe I’m telling you this—when I knew I couldn’t do the job anymore and I was going to have to take a leave of absence and what I really needed was a grilled cheese. I really just wanted to meet her at my apartment and go somewhere to eat a grilled cheese. And it was February, and the weather was strangely warm, and it was the first time in a long time I wanted to be in a church so I could smell the frankincense and maybe turn to God in a new way, because things had been so tough for so many years. And later, after going to a restaurant and not even ordering a grilled cheese (I had changed my mind by that point and wanted a salad with falafel instead), she drove me back to her house and the air was coming in the open window and the sun was setting and the sky was pink.

Earlier this year I was talking to a yoga teacher about what I thought was my potential, and she didn’t really like what I was saying, and she told me that I needed to be more humble. And there was another time I was talking to a yoga teacher friend about humility, too, and it was the only time there was discord between us, because he, too, thought that maybe I was not so humble. And on both counts, I disagreed. So this term, “humble,” really deserves some attention.

I can have dreams, and know my worth, and speak my truth, and still be humble. Humility is not cowering down and curving your spine and thinking you’re shit, see. Because I am humble, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to birth my vision into the world—and it’s a big vision—and I know I am not shit. I know I am fucking awesome. I know that, and no one is going to convince me otherwise, no matter what happens. No matter what. Being awesome just doesn’t mean I end up making millions of dollars or having millions of friends, or being called some kind of “influencer” on some sort of social media platform, or having everything arrive at my door in a neat little package. Those things are kind of up in the air. There are a lot of people who rise to a level of social status and they ain’t worth their mustard. (Oh my God, I love mustard.) And I found my mustard right inside, without any of that, in pit after pit after pit of despair and awakening.

I know my worth. And my worth goes beyond money. Although money is nice. I love money the way I love grilled cheese. Actually, I love it more.

But not as much as God, see.

Some people kind of get jealous when a person is confident. Especially if that person is a woman. Please prove me wrong, because this is a terrible shame. Because I am, like, the nicest person in the world, and I just don’t know why someone would turn away from the nicest person in the world, unless they’ve crafted some weird story in their minds about what is the real motivation of nice people.

(Oh, and remember being nice doesn’t mean people get to step all over you.)

So let me get back to my English lesson on the word “humble.” To humiliate, or to be humiliated, is to humble, and humble comes from the Latin root “humus,” which means “earth.” And humiliation means “mortification,” which is about dying in some way.

So the act of humbling or humiliation is getting grounded, and it is about the death of the ego.

Instead of existing in your head, on some kind of ego trip, or in some story of who you are or your prominence in this world (whether that prominence is your status as victim or God), an event that humbles you takes you down into your body, kills off your pretty pictures and assumptions about socials status, and makes you remember who you are, makes you remember what matters, makes you remember what life is all about, see. It is not about elevating yourself over other people, or even undervaluing yourself, which is a form of pride, too. It is not about living in your mind at all, see. Humility, or an act of humiliation, reminds us we are all interconnected, and we are meant to take care of each other in this world, and offer what we have to one another. That is the fucking Christian message, and that is what it is supposed to be, and yet you have people who call themselves Christians worshiping assholes who care only about money and status and prestige and do this under the guise of some “pro-life” bullshit, acting like they’re all about the babies when they’re locking up parents instead of taking care of babies.

You want a piece of me? I got you. And here’s the other cheek, too. And once you get both cheeks, honey, I’ll plant a kiss on you that leaves a lipstick mark because I always like to leave a lipstick mark because I like people to know where I’ve been.

It is not easy to rise up from the rubble of this life, and move through your demons, and lift off of you the weight and heft of the Christian church, which has been built on telling people they are awful inside and must repent, which often makes beautiful, kind-hearted and underserved people feel like they are shit, and think that faith and love and Godliness only comes through a fucking whip, which is not what the Teacher taught, not in any fucking way.

And I’m not putting up with it anymore. I’m finding a new way to work with all of this.

There are really shitty people, and they step all over others, and they don’t care about other people’s needs, and they ignore a poor person who looks them in the eye and asks them for money—you can at least smile at the bugger!—and they think they are pleasing to God because they have a dick, or something, or they assume they know the higher hand, and those are the ones, oftentimes, who will tell you, especially if you’re a woman, Be humble. Those are the ones who will tell you, Step down, step back, bitch.

But my guy, the Guy who Always Has Me? (SexyJesus.) What does he say?

He says, “Talitha Koum,” he says Rise up, my sweet, He says, Don’t let those dickheads judge you, He says, Come sit with me and leave the dishes. He says, Blessed are those who have been outcast, beat-down, trampled on, talked to like shit, because those are the people who will know and see God. 

So when everything works out for you, my dear? When it all just magically fits into place and the hours of your day are accounted for and you rarely take any risks and you can’t see the opportunities for growth and life and abundance in spirit that are lying right at your fingertips, and you read the news and prefer to judge others and think your place in the world is neat and clean?

You are likely very far from God.

Maybe the best thing in the fucking world, my sweet, is when God the Master, the Divine Mother and Sensual Healer, smacks you over the head with a great big hammer, and opens your fucking eyes until you see stars, and yeah, maybe it’s time to get on your fucking knees and be thankful for what you have, and figure out what you can do to help other people, and stop sitting in your own world thinking only about what you consider your “tribe.” Maybe you need a bit of humiliation to tell you what’s what, to make you real again, to make you alive, to make you new, to die to that old business that has been haunting you and keeping you in a cage, and finally walk into a gorgeous life, which is the wealth and riches you have within you, and not only what you can get from other people but instead what you can do, how you can contribute, how you can deliver forth for someone else the resources you’ve been given.

That’s what.



Photo by Agnieszka M on Unsplash

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