The Joy of “True Humility”
I spent over 1,000 hours observing myself this year.
That’s mindfulness practice — it’s studying yourself. Study yourself long enough and you’ll humble yourself. You’ll realize that you’re delusional, hypocritical, and an ego maniac.
That’s the human condition!
I guess I have my shit together more than most. But ultimately, I’m a fool. I’m an idiot. In meditation I often say “wow I’m stuck in here with a crazy person!”
I call this “true humility”. It’s true humility because most capable, functional folks (like you and I) have humility.
You’re not arrogant. You don’t brag or put people down. You have external-facing humility. You are humble in your dealings with others but on some level you still think you’re something. You think you’re rational, logical, and on your shit.
That’s what I thought too.
Then I found myself sitting in the shower at 2 AM in a two star New Jersey motel pouting because my past love interest wouldn’t meet up with me during my one night layover near her house.
In that moment I saw myself clearly: a fool, an idiot. And I had a good laugh. I thought I was this wise and rational Zen monk who learned self-mastery. Hilarious!
I’m just as cluelessly human as everyone else.
I was humiliated in front of myself. There’s no better feeling.
A Zen master said in enlightenment you realize that nothing is left to you at this moment but to have yourself a good laugh. This is liberation.
This is the feeling of relief of having dropped the burden of taking yourself so damn seriously.
Imagine at all times you have to be on alert for someone or something shattering your idealized view of yourself as this perfectly capable and wise being. You can’t relax. If you drop your guard for a second your illusion will be pierced by reality.
What a burden that is.
But when you can just say “I’m a bit of an idiot, I don’t know what to do” or “no wonder I messed up, I’m kind of a dumbass”. That’s freedom. That’s insight. That’s true mindfulness practice. Nothing can touch you.
Happiness is internal-facing humility. It’s true humility.
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