Humility is not something I come by naturally. It is a damn struggle for me to be humble. I feel a bit embarrassed by my lack of humility because I know it is an important quality to have if you are on a "spiritual" journey. (Whatever that means. I think just living is a spiritual journey.) It is also a quality valued by our culture so I try, without much success, to have some.
I would attribute my lack of humility to three main factors. One, with all the strong personalities and competing needs in my family I had to fight to be seen and heard. I had to self promote to get access to the sometimes scarce resources of love and attention. Two, American culture is not really humble and I am definitely a product of it. Three, no where in my astrological chart does humility actually exist. I am fully a fire girl, an Aries, the pioneer, the leader... the boastful.
Since I do not naturally have humility and don't present myself in the world as soft (although I have a very sweet heart) I never thought I could be spiritual, I simply did not fit the model. Spiritual people speak softly, they are calm, most definitely humble, kind and self effacing. Especially the women (doesn't this also describe the "ideal" woman?) And they wear flowing clothes which look tent-like and ridiculous on my 5'2" frame.
After years of work on the inner aspect of myself I was told that there is a way people create a spiritual ego. This was a surprising new concept, totally strange and even shocking, but made complete sense to me. This means we create what we think is spiritual and then we try to live it or in other words, we live an idea of spiritual. I think many self help programs promote this way of being and to me it is just another barrier or overlay to finding what is really true, to finding what emanates from inside.
Do not get me wrong ... I totally believe that humility is a deep and important human capacity and can be the result of living a life of consciousness (and I also believe some people come by it naturally), but it seems to me that many of us do the "spiritual bypass" and leap to the idea of being humble and then try to live the idea. Have you ever run across someone who has false humility? You can feel somehow that it does not rise up from that place of surrender, of knowing that one is both powerful and deeply insignificant. You can just feel the difference in your body when someone is living a truth and when someone is living in someway they think they should live. We can all feel authenticity.
Being spiritual to me is trying to live my true nature and this means that I am not going to be all that popular, for my true nature is a bit gritty. It has a take no prisoners feel to it and a drive towards Truth that is almost physically intolerable.
Sometimes humility does rise up all on its own and I feel such deep gratitude because it is awe inspiring, but I have noticed that it has little to do with what I am "trying" to do, what I think, or what I know. Yet, I still try to be humble because I think it is the way that spiritual looks... sigh.
Will I ever learn?
Luckily, I feel confident that if I can surrender enough to a process of awakening and take responsibility for my own behavior, that humility will come down the line. I feel very sure of it.... not very humble now is it?!!
So for right now I am completely thankful that I can laugh at myself ... lack of humility and all.