Oneness Ministry

We are One

Humility Revisited

Each person has their understanding of what humility is and it will depend greatly on the traditions in which you are raised.  Let’s face it, we are the culmination of our beliefs and our beliefs are handed down from our forefathers.  With Loving care and diligence these beliefs can be shifted and molded to direct your life in the direction of the most high.

The origin of the word humility is “early 14c., from O.Fr. humilité , from L. humilitatem  (nom. humilitas) “lowness, insignificance,” in Church L. “meekness,” from humilis  “humble.” In the Mercian hymns, L. humilitatem  is glossed by O.E. eaðmodnisse” (Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010).

Look now at the dictionary meaning of Hum·ble, which is the root word for Humility.

–adjective

1. not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful.

2. having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.: In the presence of so many world-famous writers I felt very humble.

3. low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly: of humble origin; a humble home.

4. courteously respectful: In my humble opinion you are wrong.

5. low in height, level, etc.; small in size: a humble member of the galaxy.

–verb (used with object)

6. to lower in condition, importance, or dignity; abase.

7. to destroy the independence, power, or will of.

8. to make meek: to humble one’s heart.

(humble. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved December 02, 2010, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/humble)

Now that you have a good feel for the word, consider how this feeling serves you in transition.  Most people and especially the transgender community are well familiar with the feeling of embarrassment, disgrace, and humiliation.  These are typically emotions we avoid like the plague!  When you do experience them it is painful and the effects last for days if not longer.

What if instead of getting upset about these events you choose to be grateful for them and accepted them as a gift?  How is this possible you ask?  Quite simply shift your perception and see these events in their true light.  The truth, by the way, is always humbling.  As an example, assume that you are wearing a wig (because you feel your hair is too thin) and in full view of public your wig falls off.  Several people turn and see you, including a cute person behind the counter who you like.  The first reaction is to panic, grab the wig and run!  This would of course make things worse.  Instead consider the possibility of breathing deeply, moving slowly, picking the wig up, and carefully putting it back in place, asking for help if need be.  Feel the humility of such an event and do not run from it.  Allow that cute person behind the counter to see the real you, the part that God sees, the lovable part in God’s eyes.

So often in life you allow the ego to run your life and this is where the fear and discomfort comes from in the first place.  When Spirit is what animates you then Love is behind every action and even if you fall flat on your face in a restaurant full of people, Loving care, and concern is what reflects back because it is Spirit that fills you.  You see – whatever you experience is a reflection of what flows through you.  If it is ego, then pride fills you and your experience is that of embarrassment, however if it is Great Spirit/God/Universal Intelligence that fills you then Care and Compassion is your experience.  This is the gift of humility!

🙂  Sequoia Elisabeth

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Humility Part One

Each person has their understanding of what humility is and it will depend greatly on the traditions in which you are raised.  Let’s face it, we are the culmination of our beliefs and our beliefs are handed down from our forefathers.  With Loving care and diligence these beliefs can be shifted and molded to direct your life in the direction of the most high. 

The origin of the word humility is “early 14c., from O.Fr. humilité , from L. humilitatem  (nom. humilitas) “lowness, insignificance,” in Church L. “meekness,” from humilis  “humble.” In the Mercian hymns, L. humilitatem  is glossed by O.E. eaðmodnisse” (Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010).

Look now at the dictionary meaning of Hum·ble, which is the root word for Humility.

–adjective

1. not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful.

2. having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.: In the presence of so many world-famous writers I felt very humble.

3. low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly: of humble origin; a humble home.

4. courteously respectful: In my humble opinion you are wrong.

5. low in height, level, etc.; small in size: a humble member of the galaxy.

–verb (used with object)

6. to lower in condition, importance, or dignity; abase.

7. to destroy the independence, power, or will of.

8. to make meek: to humble one’s heart.

(humble. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved December 02, 2010, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/humble)

Now that you have a good feel for the word, consider how this feeling serves you in transition.  Most people and especially the transgender community are well familiar with the feeling of embarrassment, disgrace and humiliation.  These are typically emotions that we avoid like the plague!  When you do experience them it is painful and effects you for days if not longer. 

What if instead of getting upset about these events you choose to be grateful for them and accepted them as a gift?  How is this possible you ask?  Quite simply shift your perception and see these events in their true light.  The truth, by the way, is always humbling.  As an example, assume that you are wearing a wig (because you feel your hair is too thin) and in full view of public your wig falls off.  Several people turn and see you, including a cute person behind the counter who you like.  The first reaction is to panic, grab the wig and run!  This would of course make things worse.  Instead consider the possibility of breathing deeply, moving slowly, picking the wig up, and carefully putting it back in place, asking for help if need be.  Feel the humility of such an event and do not run from it.  Allow that cute person behind the counter to see the real you, the part that God sees, the lovable part in God’s eyes. 

So often in life you allow the ego to run your life and this is where the fear and discomfort comes from in the first place.  When Spirit is what animates you then Love is behind every action and even if you fall flat on your face in a restaurant full of people, Loving care, and concern is what reflects back because it is Spirit that fills you.  You see – whatever you experience is a reflection of what flows through you.  If it is ego, then pride fills you and your experience is that of embarrassment, however if it is Great Spirit/God/Universal Intelligence that fills you then Care and Compassion is your experience.  This is the gift of humility!  

🙂 Sequoia Elisbeth Carpenter

Unity in Gender Diversity

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Embarrassment

Most people do not think of embarrassment as a tool for spiritual growth, however I am here to tell you that it is one of the best tools we can use.  The fact is that it works quite automatically and takes little effort.  So for all you people who avoid embarrassment at all costs I just want to make you aware of what you are missing.

“Embarrassment is an emotional state experienced upon having a socially or professionally unacceptable act or condition witnessed by or revealed to others. Usually some amount of loss of honour or dignity is involved, but how much and the type depends on the embarrassing situation.” (Wikipedia 2010) An important distinction that separates this from shame is that no moral code has been broken.  So what is happening in our mind when something embarrassing happens?

As the definition states it is an emotional response and anything happening in the mind is secondary.  Our thoughts about the embarrassing event can be changed or to be more accurate our thoughts can be chosen.  We will have the emotional response no matter what because that is part of the very definition; however, how we then react to that emotional feeling is a choice.  So let’s look at some of the choices we have and why we would choose them.

Behind all thoughts we have our ego mind which is the driving force that judges and condemns all actions whether by us or them.  The ego mind says that this embarrassing act is awful and then points out all the ways that it could be awful.  We also have the Spiritual mind or the aspect that connects us to the One and to each other.  Ego separates and Spirit unites.  The Spirit mind does not judge anything or anyone.  Instead it simply observes and looks for the good within what just happened.  It is the part of you that despite the message from ego, laughs at the event and finds Joy. 

The choice then is do you listen to the ego which is telling you embarrassment is bad and undesirable or do you listen to the Spirit mind that is showing you the Joy?  Saint Francis often used the tool of embarrassment to bring him closer to God and he did it on purpose.  For instance when he made the move to a secular life he renounced his association with the material world in a public display of returning all he owned to his father including the clothing he was wearing and walked away totally naked.  For most people this would be unbearable embarrassment, but for him it feed his soul.  When you read about his life you will find many instances where he or another monk would do something most would find embarrassing on purpose. 

Embarrassment is a way of moving beyond the ego mind which often controls most people.  This then frees the Spirit to guide our actions.  The choice is constantly being made, so do you listen to your ego or to Spirit?  Embarrassment is a tool that automatically takes you to your Spirit mind once you have made the choice to allow it.  See that embarrassment is simply a choice and that often times it is funny and you can laugh along with everyone else!  The feeling of freedom that comes from this action will far outweigh any difficult emotions that may come with the ego mind.  It will take a few practice runs to get comfortable with it, so do not be discouraged.  Let go, Listen and Love.

🙂 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity

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