Stop playing small.
Today at church, I heard humility defined as, "acknowledging the truth about yourself."
See, all this time I thought that humility was this thing that was sometimes borderline on being the person who hid their talents in the Matthew parable (Matthew 25:14-30). I thought that humility meant walking this thin line of being egotistical but coating it with a shyness. I thought that humility meant responding to compliments with “To God be the glory!” This definition of humility has struck something in me that I don’t think I was aware of before.
Here’s where I’m coming from, it’s really hard for me to take compliments because I have always felt as if they didn’t belong to me. I often respond to compliments with a really nervous and repetitive “thank you” and shortly turn the conversation back on the other person or I just blush and ask what their name is if I don’t know them and that leads into a bunch of other questions I can ask about them. When it comes to my “gifts” I often hide them as if they’re not engrained into who I am, as if acknowledging that I am talented, is just giving myself something that isn't mine to have.
That stops here.
Humility is not making less of the gifts and abilities that God has planted into who we are.
Humility is not neglecting where true credit is due, but it is acknowledging that you are worthy of being a vessel.
This doesn’t mean we walk around as human beings who just think we’re the greatest and then we start putting ourselves on a pedestal and ignore who gave us that small trace of greatness to begin with. This means we start learning truly what humility means, acknowledging the truth about ourselves.
If that truth is that you are gifted, embrace it.
If that truth is that your beautiful hands have the ability to create alluring images, embrace it.
If that truth is that you have some things to work on, embrace it (by the way this is all of us).
Practice the humility of realizing that we are not perfect, but the truth and reality that we are worthy, prized, knit together so intricately in our mothers wombs and that is a ravishing truth.
This is going to look a lot different for everyone.
For me personally, humility is the process of acknowledging that I am loved, that I overanalyze, that I’m sensitive and sometimes controlling. Acknowledging that I occasionally have OCD, and often want a lot of what’s not good for me, that I am a passionate, beautiful mess, that I sometimes love too hard, that I have a way with words and that I am gifted with the ability to be the fullest version of myself on a stage meant for art.
Humility is reminding yourself that you are an overflowing cup of worthiness. That you were created for so much more than anything you could ever imagine. It's about reminding yourself of the level of intimacy that it must have taken in order to create every magnificent layer of all that makes you who you are. We shouldn’t down every downplay that because that minimizes the creative power that was used to create us in the first place.
Yesterday, a little piece of a quote popped into my head, “you do not serve the world by playing small.” I knew that wasn’t phrased right, so I looked it up to refresh my memory. And then I stumbled across this wonderful declaration:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson
We were born to manifest the glory of God within us. Isn’t that the truth of who we are? These stumbling blocks called human beings walking around with the grace and glory of the God of the universe in our souls.
What a benevolent truth to realize.
You try it, explore this definition of humility and find the truths of who you are.
I hope you blind yourself slightly with that beaming truth. I hope you captivate yourself; I hope it continues to shape and mold you into the brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous child of God that you are.