Today was the last day of my small group of Contemplative Artists gathering together. Today we created Wabi-Sabi collages to represent our own beautiful imperfections. I was amazed at what people created and sat in awe at their interpretations. I felt humility when I looked at my own piece. It reminded me of the childlike ignorance we have at looking at our own stuff.
Some of our time together was spent talking about humility and our own experiences of it. This was really hard. I think most people would admit to feeling humbled at one time. But, could you name a recent humbling…? Could you identify a theme to your humbling? Are there “clues” as to what humility might be teaching you?
I realized that as I was talking about humility today I was learning as I was going. At 50 years old I am beginning to understand what it means to be humble. Sometimes it comes in the surprise of finding out I am wrong when I am convinced I was right. Other times, I see that my circumstances, my perspective, my pain and or joy is so much the same as millions of other men and women. That there is nothing spectacularly unique about my situation after all. This is a more gentle humbling because instead of feeling shame or embarrassment I feel united with mankind. Other times I am caught completely off guard with my issues of perfection and the reality of my imperfections hit me smack dab in the middle of my face. I flush with shock yet the sting afterwards is all too familiar. Then I laugh and say to myself “There you are old friend”.
What does this all mean? Well, I guess I am seeing a glimpse of beautiful humility entering my life and it is making room for more God and less of me. This is probably a second half of life, Richard Rohr- Falling Upward kind of thing. I think I like this new place of acceptance and I look forward to the adventure. So I will leave with the image of a carrot cut into the shape of a heart. It reminds me not to take myself too seriously.