What do we mean by humility? What does courage have to do with it? I’ll begin by sharing how these words fit together for me, you’ll find some quotes by Friends in the next lesson “Humility and Courage Quotes”, and you’ll have the opportunity to reflect on this topic in the forum below.
First: God. This is the first topic we’ll explore together during the Faithful Meetings retreat in March. We don’t have time to go into it now but know it is on our agenda.
And, so you know what I mean: I use the word God as shorthand for the Divine. For me, God is the generative, loving, creative, connective energy that flows through everything and is always available. God, for me, is both infinite mystery and completely intimate.
About humility and courage: I believe that everything is in God and God is in everything. Everything I am, my body, my mind, and even my ego, all come from God. I believe that God is present in every cell of my being, every jot and tittle of me. And because of that, because everything I am comes from God, I feel that my spiritual work is to make everything I am available for God to use. This is not easy. Parts of me– like my sense of humor, creativity, and quirky way of being– I’m really attached to and take pleasure in. They define me for myself. I own these parts and don’t really want to relinquish them. I fear that God would ask me to change, to become less attached to them which might open me to new possibilities, new ways of being available for God to work through, and it disturbs me to think of myself less connected with them.
Other parts I don’t want to relinquish for opposite reasons–because they feel shameful, flawed, or weak. These parts are my woundedness and hurts, the parts that I want to keep hidden away because they are filled with pain, anger, regret, or sorrow. I struggle with making them available to God because I can’t imagine them being useful. I’d love to be shed of them, to have them miraculously removed from my emotional memory, but that’s not the way it works.
For me, humility is remembering over and over and over that every single thing about me–good and “bad”, loving and not-so-much–are already in God through me. When I cling to them or keep them stuffed in an emotional closet I am blocking the flow of Divine Love that wants to move through me. Courage is being willing to risk change. Am I willing to submit my love of wordplay to God? Am I willing to bring what is hidden into the Light so that God can make what God will of it? Courage is trusting God with my fullest self. Humility is accepting that my fullest self is exactly what God needs from me. It helps, also, to realize that God created me–with my goofy, sometimes snarky, pun-loving sense of humor–and loves me exactly as I am.