The past six weeks have been replete with sorting, eliminating, packing and moving our stuff as Ann and I downsized from our home in the suburbs to our loft in downtown Kansas City. Along the way I have had two awkward experiences..
Several weeks back one of my neighbors offered himself and his truck to move a few pieces of furniture to my daughter's place. I gladly took him up on the offer. After we repositioned a piece of furniture in his truck I felt a twinge in my back as I was standing up.. within a few moments I was looking for the Tylenol (extra strength of course).. my back was in pain. Nevertheless macho Bob was pressing on until Mike (who is 69 years old) looked at me and said: "You need to just let me handle the rest of this". Ouch.. more than my back was now bruised.. it was humbling.. but it felt like humiliation.My back has done pretty well since then.. a bit sore at times but nothing like that Sunday.. until Friday night that is.. and of course ..
Saturday morning I had a time set up to move a few things around with a guy at my storage unit in the basement/garage of my new place. I tried to contact him ahead of time to tell him about my back woes but could not reach him. When I met him at 10 yesterday morning I explained about my back to which he immediately told me that he would take care of it.. and he proceeded to go about doing all of the heavy lifting.. and I was very thankful.. albeit a bit humbled again.. not sure that he was older.. we were probably close in age.. either way it did not feel that I was humbling myself.. it felt like humiliation.. it is hard to stand by and watch a stranger (albeit a great one) do something for you when you planned on doing it yourself.I think these are pretty common scenarios in the world of humility.. what we want is something that makes us feel good about humbling ourselves when in fact the things that make us feel good are probably more about stroking our ego than humility. Got to wonder if humiliation is the way that humility should feel.. to some degree anyway.. after all.. when the ego/pride in us dies it should probably hurt a bit. And like I often say.. in the spiritual life humility is simply not an option.. we either humble ourselves or someone will do it for us. ツ
...originally posted in July 2010.