Humility is a gift, and it’s when I’ve learned the most, about myself and this world.
But many of us run from this, the chance to be humbled.
We built up defenses to avoid the very thing that can set us free and crack us open.
These defenses stop us from experiencing the greatest gifts that humility brings: truth, love, healing, awareness…
In the depths of humility is a experiential knowing that cannot be unfelt. It is transformational.
Among other places, I have experienced this in parenting. The parenting place is such a ripe place to experience growth through humility. Why:
a) Because a parent never ever really would have to do so. It must be a choice. A choice for a higher purpose, a purpose bigger than oneself.
b) The power dynamic is so discrepant that being humbled as a parent is extra potent. 😄
I was working in a school earlier this year and on the first day a child smacked me in the face. Not too hard. He was 4. But still the teachers gasped and there was tension in the room. I took a deep breath, told him “no thank you, I don’t like that”. And then taught him how I wanted to be treated instead. He did. He listened, and for the rest of the year all was good. I was able to keep my composure and maturity in the moment, model the right behavior, and to teach the right lesson. And I gained his trust too.
I was able to do that because my son taught me. There were moments with my son where I just wanted to dominate him and make him do what I wanted, especially when he wouldn’t listen or when he would directly disobey me. And there were times when I would dominate or control. It ended up being a massive lose lose scenario. Dominating is not the game I really wanted to play. I want to empower.
I decided there were times that I had to “lose the battle in order to win the war”. What I mean is there were times that I had to take (what I thought was) disrespect and disobedience and just eat it. And just take it. Those were the moments that I felt so small, angry, powerless and….humbled.
The humility that I endured in those moments allowed me to get through to actually feeling my own real emotions… and work through them. It also allowed me to see the situation more clearly for what it was, as opposed to what I was thinking it was.
It allowed me to stay calm enough and give my son what he needed, which like that little boy in school, was a strong loving presence.
Misbehavior is a way of communicating and calling for help. If you can get past the discomfort and the labels judgement outrage or embarrassment, you can come out the other side. You can FEEL your own feelings. You can heal. And you can remain a calm, wise and loving parent.
And that feels great.
❤️ Drew Tupper