In terms of anything spiritual, I normally tell people that my main focus is to take the plank of wood out of my own eye before I attempt to remove the speck of dust out of someone else’s. However, in that part of my life which is a coach to others, it does sometimes seem that there are those who set the bar in their lives so high that in their attempt to remove the final speck of dust from their own eyes they lose sight of the fact that there remains a huge plank in the eyes of others.
With these people, who are sadly in the great minority, it is a case of helping them to re-calibrate their lives so they can see just how much they have achieved. But in the case of others, and I can assure you my own life, life is full of mistakes, and in this instance, the only thing that can help us get back on track is a huge dollop of humility.
In my twenties I can assure you that I did a few things that make me go “gushingughaahhhh”. It’s that feeling of when we did something extremely embarrassing, but at the time we were so lost in ourselves we just couldn’t see what we were doing. In these instances, it takes a real friend to point out when we have been a bit of an arse, since only a true friend has the ability to say what other’s wont.
But this is life and in our twenties when we become adults, perhaps we are not so mindful. Maybe it is just me, but some of us at least have the bare amount of intelligence necessary to recognise that we have been a bit of an arse (excuse my language) and to wince at our lack of awareness in a situation, but then learn from it and mature as human beings.
Sometimes though this does not seem to happen, and a degree of arrogance sets in, causing us to fail to see how our actions, sometimes collective actions, are impacting or being perceived by others.
This is particularly true when we receive criticism. Friends will critique us, and so how many times have we received invaluable lessons, which, perceiving them as stinging criticisms, we shield ourselves with elaborate delusional narratives, sometimes maybe even retaliating with an untrue counter-narrative about those “friends” of those whose words, like a vaccine first makes us ill but then stronger, but who we resist with a fight and a flight?
Maybe we could pause this Christmas and reflect on the power of humility. Was there anything this year we did where we were maybe out of kilter with our true values, where our words failed to match our actions, where we placed all our efforts in point out to others the planks of wood in the eyes of others, rather than focusing on our own development and spiritual paths?
Humility is a wonderous quality, but it is the path less trodden, a tough path indeed. I praise each and every person who seeks to learn from humility, because life can be harsh, especially when we seek to learn from our mistakes. Not everyone wishes to do so, but to those of you who are, all power to you.
May you all find peace this Christmas, and remember, when making your new year resolutions, have a think about your own bars, and wherever you are at, may you aim high and find success.