This past Sunday at Mass, the readings were all about humility which was a great reminder for myself to be more humble and to be grateful for the good in my life.
A reading from the book of Siracha talks of the greater you are the more humble you should be; it speaks how God will find favor with you. However I interpret God’s favor as one who doesn’t believe they “know it all” and therefore are open to listening, open to learning. Someone who believes they know it all, are not capable of listening or learning or gaining wisdom for in their mind they already know. You lose out with a closed mind.
It is fine to be confident; it is a good thing to be confident. When your words impact others around you and hurt others, it is not okay. In Judaism, there is an expression called “Loshan Hora” which means evil tongue. It includes gossip, but it also includes boasting and bragging. For example bragging about attending some prestigious party, which others were not invited to, and would never receive an invite. This is “Loshan Hora” as your lack of humility is causing harm to others.
When I speak of humility and minimalism, I am not saying women should not wear makeup or take selfies. We all have moments when we like what we see and want to share our joy. I am talking about our North American culture of having lots, more than enough variety of shoes and clothing. Or we update our lamps and put the old ones in storage just in case we need them again. We collect stuff which we become stupidly attached to and we hoard. Share with those who have little. Give your old lamps to The Salvation Army, allowing money to be raised for those in need, and giving the opportunity to someone who has to buy second hand.
Brian gave me a gift card to one of my favorite shops “Lululemon” because he felt sorry for my self imposed shopping ban. I wanted to buy a rain coat with a hood which is functional & light to carry. I used my gift card and bought a rain coat. I went into my coat closet and found a few coats I rarely use but like a lot. In my moment of gratitude, I thought to myself- someone may use these coats a lot more often than I do. One jacket I have worn twice in the past two years. Into the give away bag they went. I plan to donate three of my coats to the Red Cross and I know some fine ladies will have something really nice to wear.
I didn’t want to let go of one Coat as it was designed in France & it was expensive, but it doesn’t fit me right, it never did, but I wanted it. I realize a lot of past shopping was to try and compensate for a lack of self worth. That some how by having designer wear I would be better. All it did was put me in the hole financially trying to live up to an image I thought would give me value.
I am far from cured from wanting more and wanting the best, but I am getting there, and I like myself more for it.
I want to be more humble and more grateful as I am sure these two attributes are the key to sustainable happiness.
Peace & Love – Rachel