Pride and Humility–Brothers or Adversaries?

The Axes of Pride and Humility“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

Ordinarily, I don’t quote the bible because I think it’s pretentious to do so. (Also, growing up Catholic impressed upon me I was too stupid to understand what the “good book” said in the first place. Reading the bible was only for “trained personnel” like priests and nuns.) But today, when I saw this quote, I had to pass it on because it fit what I’ve been experiencing this week.

If you’ve been following me through this journey of the world of “have nothing,” you know I’ve been humbled. I’ve had to accept help from sources I never thought I would have tap. (Like energy assistance to keep warm, and food stamps to put nourishment on our dining table, and prescription help to keep Ken functioning.)

Before these last three years, I’ve been competent, strong, and successful, achieving top honors in most everything I’ve ever done. So, now when I have to swallow my pride and accept help from others, I get a big lump in my throat. I feel like I have to choke. It drains me to know that I’m not as strong as I thought I was. It humbles me to know that I’m not as smart as I thought I was. I’ve come to realize being humble is a hard job.

Asking for help all of the time is exhausting. . . only because my pride gets in my way. My true friends have proved again and again they are an army standing beside me, ready to spring into action. They hold me up when I can’t stand on my own any longer. Their generosity overwhelms me with humility, and the words, “Thank You” hardly seem adequate. They help me see there is light at the end of the tunnel and it isn’t yet another train coming to mow me down.

And to you, my loyal followers, I say thanks, too. Somehow it’s helpful to know that this journey is followed by others who care. From my worn-out living room chair, blogging has opened my world to terrific folks who think I have something worthwhile to say.

The most wonderful thing about this journey is knowing someday these experiences, along with the feelings that go with them, will manifest into new characters for my stories and novels. They will be richer and complex because I know how it feels to fall from a pinnacle.

And believe me, it’s not the fall that’s bad, but the landing is hard; and deciding to either get up and carry on or to lie there and give up is the dilemma we all have to face, isn’t it?



9 thoughts on “Pride and Humility–Brothers or Adversaries?

  1. Circumstance will put us on our knees. On our knees, in the darkest moments, pride gives way, but on our knees, a new yet humbled strength comes. We are still strong, and we live that strength when we stand back up and carry on in the present circumstance, whatever the dealt hand places on the table.

    Barbara, you are a testament and an inspiration to the falling and the getting back up!

    And my experience has been this: the falling can be done on its own, but getting back up will require asking for and accepting help. It is a huge life lesson!

  2. This is such an inspirational post, Barbara! Being humbled by the love of friends is a wonderful experience, no matter what is happening in our lives and how we get there. You are a very strong and wise woman indeed! 😀

  3. Dear Barbra,

    I don’t know the full extent of your circumstances, but I would like to offer a thought that might be helpful. While it is obvious that you now need to be more dependent on people and organizations etc., I can see how people are quite inspired by your blogs. And the fact that you ARE transcending your pride in order to do what love requires you to do, is what is making you more emotionally responsible to people, and emotionally successful with the people who are in your life. In the end, if you have a great career but you lack the humility, the gratitude, and even the openheartedness that it takes to have really good relationships, what is that worth? These days, many people are trying to be cool and independent, perfectly autonomous, trying not to need anyone, etc. It’s the ideal of the day. It may help their careers, but it’s hell on their love relationships.

    You may be making a much bigger contribution to this world, and to those around you, by opening your heart in the ways you are.



    • Dirk – Thank you. You are very kind. It makes me happy to know you find my blogs a true contribution to the world. To know I offer inspiration to someone else by just being me is a gift.


  4. Pingback: ACoAs – Arrogance vs HUMILITY (Part 2a) | HEAL & GROW for ACoAs

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