Humility has a reputation for a few misconceptions. Some people think humility implies humiliated, liked to the term mortified, until they realize “humility” in the context of the serenity prayer, means to Accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things that we can, and the wisdom to know the difference. When we see ourselves for who we truly are – realizing the only things we can really change (control) are our own thoughts, feelings and actions, and that others are free to do as they please – then we truly see our place in the world, and we are deemed humble. In the state of humility, the promises (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 83-84) become reality:
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
Do you see? Security and confidence – the total opposite of humiliation. A friend in the rooms prays the serenity prayer this way:
God, grant me the serenity, to accept the people, places, and things I cannot change, the courage to change the people, places, and things I can (and I can only change me), and the wisdom to know that one is me!
The truth is, all words mean different things to different people, but let us express to you the definition of humility from Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Dr. Bob’s favorite inscription. He kept a plaque on his desk with a definition of humility:
Perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted, or vexed, irritable or sore; to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and about is seeming trouble.
Recipe by Julie C., Stepping Stone Alumnae
Serves 4 (years in sobriety)
You will need:
- 1 sponsor
- A Bunch of Accountability Buddies
- A Meeting A Day
- A Mixed Bag of Past Experiences
- Small Bit of Willingness (or more, to taste)
- 1 Set-Aside Prayer
Prepare every day:
- Refer to Sponsor as your Head Chef, utilizing his/her experience in the Kitchen.
- Blend in accountability with the five close friends, carefully kneading in your trusted network.
- Toss in a Meeting, two if preferred.
- Whisk up a little willingness, and watch as it grows, the more you put into it.
- Open the Mixed Bag of Past Experiences; Serve to others in a dish of Strength and Hope.
- Shred your sense of Self-Sufficiency and set aside.
- Garnish with the Set-Aside Prayer:
Please set aside everything I think I know
and especially about you God
so that I might have an open mind and a new experience with all these things.
Please help me to see the truth.
Go forth and realize the peace that comes with a slice of humble pie! Enjoy!