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The Importance of Humility

October 16, 2013

I have almost run out of food. This sounds worrying doesn’t it? Somehow, it isn’t. I went online yesterday at my local library (I can’t afford my own internet access) to check out local Food Banks, there is one just four miles away and if money isn’t forthcoming I shall pop down and get a few days’ supply to last me until Monday, when I have some money being paid to me. I had a similar conundrum back in February but my reaction to it was very different. Of course emotionally I am stronger now and I have a clearer view of what is happening in my life. Back then I had no idea what was happening or indeed who I was – my belief system had collapsed.

Let me tell you what is different about this blip, this time around:

When I first realised that I didn’t have enough money to pay my rent this week, I did something that I didn’t do last time – I asked for help. I text a good friend and asked him to loan me the rent money, plus money for a prescription. I did this because I was desperate but also because I knew that it would only be a week before I could repay him. I was embarrassed, don’t misunderstand me, I was also ashamed but I pushed past this and maybe learned a little humility. I am human and I have worked very hard at getting ‘well’ (depending on your definition!), creating some security for myself, developing new skills and getting small jobs as a result of this. However, financially I am still on the bread line and sometimes this results in me having no money. I currently have…. drum roll please… 34p in my bank and 21p in my wallet! BUT I have now paid my rent, thanks to ‘Jeremy’ my mate and I do have a little food in the fridge, enough for two meals, and if push comes to shove I can visit the Food Bank, which is open on Friday, and get enough food to last me until Monday. Result. I have come to terms with this by doing two things:

·         I surrendered (or more like: collapsed) into the feelings of ‘failure’ and helplessness. Doing this caused the feelings to dissipate almost immediately

·         I did a Buddhist visualisation: I imagined a group of people starving, the visualisation spontaneously grew into a whole country of people crying from hunger. I immediately felt the compassion within me being stimulated, and felt a tingling at the top of my head. I forgot myself. Completely forgot myself. Then all I could think about was sending that country and its people love. So I did.

There is of course a paradox to the above. Whenever I connect with other people’s suffering, truly connect, I have this overwhelming urge to help them practically. I want to jump on a plane and take them food parcels and medicine. All I can do, right now, is to send them love, kindness and yes, humility. My Teacher (Spiritual Teacher) once said to me: ‘All suffering is rooted in selfishness’ and this is quite so. Once I had dropped my own ‘Poor me I have very little food’ mentality, I genuinely became a part of the solution (sending love to others) and ceased to be, in that moment, a part of the problem.

Here’s to Humility, in whatever form it takes in your life,


Matt 🙂                                                                                   

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