Humility is a value that tends to go somewhat undervalued in society today. In a world where tennis shoes are status symbols and flaunting your face and body on numerous social media outlets is the relative norm, the concept of humbleness tends to be somewhat overshadowed by ostentatious displays of power, wealth, and physical beauty. However, in the world of recovery, humility is absolutely nonnegotiable. The trait tends to be associated with weakness mores so than strength, though it takes an exceedingly strong individual to show humility in the face of adversity. If humility is not achieved in early sobriety, a barrier will likely be constructed and prevent an individual from making as much progress as possible. Once one gets into the habit of maintaining humility, he or she will find that the practice brings substantial joy and a higher level of compassionate understanding to his or her life. Sounds great… but what exactly is humility?
The Definition of Humility
“A modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.” It may sound slightly negative – a low view of one’s own importance could easily be mistaken for a lack of self-esteem or self-worth. However, humility is really comparable to respectful modesty. It is essentially the opposite of arrogance – a realistic understanding of one’s own capabilities. There is a direct correlation between being humble and being assertive, though it is a common misconception that the two do not coincide. Being respectfully assertive while remaining humble allows one to communicate their feelings directly and effectively while maintaining an understanding of their own flaws and faults in the situation at hand.
Humility is a major aspect of recovery. Addiction in general is an extremely humbling experience. Afflicted individuals tend to lose the vast majority of mental, financial, and emotional stability they started out with, and by the time inpatient drug rehab seems like the only viable option they typically have close to nothing left. If they still happen to have their material possessions intact, emotional stability will have undeniably been severely compromised. As things begin to be regained the longer one stays sober, it may be difficult for some to maintain humility – to remember the depths from which he or she originally climbed. It is important to keep humility and humbleness close as you travel further down the road of recovery, for maintaining this value may help to save your life.