Today I arrived late to church. I might, under normal circumstances, be annoyed at myself for “committing” such a self-proclaimed embarrassing action. Today I couldn’t care less. It’s the first time I’ve been to my relief society meeting in a long time. I was really proud of myself for making it there at all. Late is nothing compared to the alternative, of recent.
Our lesson was on humility. I listened as different women raised their hands to discuss what humility means to them. One woman raised her hand and started with, “Hi, I’m sorry, . . .” After that intro I struggled to hear what else she said. I don’t appreciate the need so many women feel to apologize for themselves. For their actions? Their words? For taking up space? What, exactly, are we (I include myself here) apologizing for?!
I apologized on Friday night. I apologized to my partner for wanting to dance with him. Let’s just let that sink in for a second. What need have I of apologizing for that? None. But I did.
So now, humility. This is an important topic for Mormons. I’ll tell you what I think it’s not. Humility is not playing small. It’s not feeling like what you have to say is unimportant. It’s not believing that your words make no difference. Humility is not apologizing, although in some circumstances it can merit that. In contrast, I think humility is something powerful.
Look at Christ’s humble life. He knew his divinity and declared it. He taught with boldness. He loved with passion, he healed, he made outlandish promises that only He could keep. He walked on water. He allowed others to love him adoringly, intensely, and imperfectly. (Clarification: He perfectly allowed others to imperfectly love Him.)
What if humility comes from knowing who you really are, from recognizing your own divine value and eternal worth and acting on that? What if humility manifests your talents, instead of hiding them? What if it drives you toward greater accomplishments, and brings you accolades? I guess what I’m getting at is that humility might be knowing just exactly how great, how powerful, and how influential you are. Maybe humility means not quieting down, but speaking up. Maybe humility embodies boldness. Christ was humble. So too, was He bold.
Maybe I’m wrong. Our station in life, which is in constant flux, acts as the filter for everything we experience. I do know this, for too long I’ve believed too many lies. The lies have told me to apologize and to play small. Today’s lesson seems to have placed me in a position to experience humility in the way Christ intended for it to be. In bold humility I’ll drink life’s experiences without apology and without shame.
Let's get personal again. I'm not sorry I wanted to dance. I'm not sorry I walked into church late. I make no apology for being me.
Ha, now that we've been through all that, maybe what I am experiencing IS actually pride. Either way, still. I make no apology for being me.
What do you think is humility?
Until next time