Saturday, March 8, 2008

Eating A Little Humble Pie

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You see it's now time to confess. Things outside of my self still control me. It's the bugaboo haunting me at the moment. Sometimes I win more than others and sometimes I lose even more. It occurs to me as I confess that through my struggles, the best intro for the topic of humility has been found. Because by confessing, you'll find me eating several pieces of humble pie today.

Pull up your chair and join me. Yum. This pie tastes good.

Interestingly, despite my inability to keep my promises to myself lately, I am still not reverting to self-bashing. Now that does feel GOOD. But I am still not winning this inner war. Still things outside of me have power. So far, I have yet to wage a strong enough battle.

Carolyn Myss would tell me to "Get a backbone."

"I hear you, Caroline, I hear you."

My confession demonstrates my weakness. My weakness and confusion could, note the operative word here is "could", lead to humiliation. Could. But it doesn't. It's my choice of whether or not to allow my failure to humiliate me or not. And this time, I am saying no to humiliation. Chalk one up to the school of life. That is what is going on here. Nothing more. Nothing less. Certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

And I can make a new promise—a new vow...I can promise myself that I will keep working. I will not give up. Now, that's a promise I think I can keep.

Let's turn our attention to the lesson for today—humiliation.

The only person who allows you to be humiliated is yourself. Do you get what's being said here? Only we can label something as humiliating or embarrassing. No other person can humiliate us. Yes, they be cruel and unkind. But the decision to be humiliated is ours—and only ours to make.

If you find yourself saying things like, "I am humiliated, or I am so embarrassed," then it's likely you are concerned about opinions of others. The good news is you've found your starting point. Begin making decisions for yourself that are not influenced by what others will think about you. Start focusing on your own internal hunches and acting on your own guidance instead of what you think others would like you do.

Wayne Dyer in his book Power of Intention helps us put the opinions of others into perspective: “You’ll find no shortage of opinions directed at you. If you allow them to undermine your self-respect, you’re seeking the respect of others over your own, then you’re abdicating (handing over) yourself.”

Something else Dr. Dyer shared makes sense. “Your reputation is not located in you. It resides in the minds of others.” He goes on to tell us that we have no control over the mind of someone else. What they think is what they think.

And if we are honest with ourselves, it is humanly impossible to please all the people all of the time. A few years ago, when grappling with this very idea, I had a dream.

In the dream I am sobbing. I am heart broken. I am back in college surrounded by the girls who never liked me. In reality, for one semester I lived with a roommate who disliked me and openly shared her feelings. In the middle of my sobbing, I heard a clap of thunder and a loud voice say, "Allyn you cannot be liked by everyone."

The message was powerful. The message changed my life.

Now the message can also change yours. Do you feel the weight being lifted off your shoulders?

Dr. Dyer said, “Leave your reputation for others to debate; it has nothing to do with you.”
Amen. Wayne. Amen.

Would love to hear your comments. Your thoughts and ideas are helpful to others. I promise!

Allyn Evans


Nicole said...

Can't remember where I first read it (and a google search couldn't help me!), but I like the phrase: "what other people think of you is none of your business."

I think that, sometimes, the more we try to "control" things, the more they control us, and so you're absolutely right when you say that if you vow to keep going and keep making choices from within yourself, in the best interests of yourself and based on what YOU think of YOURSELF, then all is well.

The minute we try to step outside of ourselves and perform any kind of "impression management," or making ourselves look good from the outside to others who are watching, then the whole process gets mucked up.

I have also recently discovered that forgiving myself is the key. Because really, I can only IMAGINE what others are thinking, and that fantasy is created by ME, so really, it is ME judging ME. Just like you said, only we can choose to feel humiliated or embarrassed. So whether we agree with others' derrogatory comments/responses, or if we invent them ourselves to flog ourselves with, it is always we ourselves who treat ourselves the worst.

Love yourself. Truly love yourself. And then nothing else can get in the way.

Simple, right? =) Hey, that's what we're here to practice. And that's what life is...practice. So live with loving forgiveness for yourself, a student of life.

We're all the same, no matter how much we try to differentiate and separate.

End of sermon (teehee), or here BEGINNETH the lesson...amen.

Anonymous said...

Finding out what folks think of me is shocking most of the time. Regardless of whether someone has a good or bad opinion, I'm always amazed. For example, someone said to me that I was competitive. It made me laugh in that I rarely notice what others are doing -- and when I do, they are never doing anything that I want to do. However, I am brutal with myself as my husband can attest. I usually find myself in the unique position of trying to do things that don't interest others until long after I've moved on to the next activity. Perhaps that's a freeing situation. It leaves me to figure things out on my own, which is a good thing I suppose. Regardless, what people think seems to have little relationship to my reality.

What matters to me more than what people think, is how they treat me. I have little patience for nastiness. Negative energy just takes up too much time.
In the end, my relationshops with others revolve around behavior -- theirs and mine. Kindness costs me nothing -- unkindness is a stain on my heart that lasts forever.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

So, do we really have to eat humble pie (or humblepie!) to get this? Allyn, I am not much for the word humble--a fact which I proclaim in the seminars I give. (We need to be proud of our work,of what we do!) In fact, I think we need to develop our assertive qualities to say "no," to get our lives organized. I'm all for that outcome.

BTW, I have seen you do a good job of taking care of hourself. So don't get too humble. I like that in you!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Award-winning author of the HowToDoIt series of books for writers.
Also author of This Is the Place, Harkening and Tracings.

Allyn Evans said...

Hi, All!

Great comments and such fun to think about all your different viewpoints and opinions.

Carolyn, when you are saying you "aren't much for the word humble," I am assuming you mean in the sense of "having pride" in yourself and your work.

I agree wholeheartedly. Pride is a not a bad thing. When it comes to self-esteem we need pride in ourselves. Researcher David Hawkins tells us: “There is a normal, benign level of pride that is more correctly termed ‘self-esteem’. This refers to putting one’s best foot forward and the normal satisfaction that results from successful effort and achievement.”

To me, being humble means not being arrogant. I also tie it to humility and believe being humble means you are free of making decisions and choices simply because of pride and arrogance. Therefore, you live in a state of being humble.

Thanks for all the comments! :)

Kathe Gogolewski said...

Allyn, I have been practicing a parallel awareness: I am also trying to filter out what others think of me and my behavior. Not that I am not interested in hearing from others, but that part comes easy for me - I don't have to work at it. The truth is that I have probably let in the opinions of others a little too much in my life, and I've been actively working a new theory into my psyche, which is "What you think of me is none of my business." Someone told me that's the title of a book. I think I want to read it. It is SO liberating to allow one's own soul to speak for itself, and trust one's own ability to love and be loved. I don't need anyone else's judgement on that! say Hallelujah!

Nicole said...

Hey, in the spirit of completely unrelated stuff...

Tag you're it!