Humility Check

Hey!  It’s been a while…

Over the last month I have been focusing my writing efforts on putting together the first chapters of my book, Renovatio (latin for “re-birth”).  Each day I have spent 2 hours in a quaint little coffee shop in Adair Village putting together my thoughts and memories of my journey to and through alcoholism while cueing up the latest sets from Gareth, Markus, and Ben Gold.  I am currently working on the chapter that explores the brotherhood that I share with Matt and Matt, my two inherited older brothers…the trip down memory lane has been a blast.  Overall, writing has been a very cathartic and revealing experience so far, I look forward to continuing the process.

My ego and humility have been tested recently.  Just the other day I had a conversation with someone that helped reveal to me that my ego is still firmly in place.  The conversation boiled down to a one way onslaught of how they were smarter, brighter, and better than I.  I’m convinced that the reason the conversation irked me the way it did was because of the fact that I have an ego and I can spot it in someone else a mile away.  This was the case.  It took everything in my power to bite my lip, shut up, and just get through the interaction unscathed.  Luckily, I succeeded in getting out without saying anything regrettable in the process.  Big win!

Where my ego truly began to manifest itself was in the proceeding two minutes after the conversation.  I remember saying out loud, “who the fuck was that guy!”  I was pissed, annoyed, and fired up.  I could tell that if I remained in this state of mind that it would ruin the rest of my day.  I needed a humility check.

Lately I’ve heard some fantastic definitions of the word humility.  Merriam-Webster defines the word as follows:   The quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people : the quality or state of being humble.  What I had just witnessed in myself during the conversation was the boiling up of ego along with the disappearance of any sort of humility.  My ego told me that I was smarter than this person, why should I listen, and that I was right and they were wrong.

As I walked away fuming that I had just been “attacked” a wave of energy hit me upside the back of my head as if to say, “dude, you haven’t learned a damn thing yet, have you.”

In sobriety I have learned that humility can be one of the keys to my success, if I let it be. When I was drinking I became a master of believing that I was right and everyone else was wrong, that I had all of the answers.  What a load of BS!  I’m coming to find out that in many ways I truly didn’t know what the hell I was talking about. Today, I am grateful for the fact that in times where my ego is tested I can step back and acknowledge that I don’t know everything, that I am only getting started in the process of understanding and liking myself, as well as getting used to the fact that I could always use a little more humility in my life.

The kicker is, as I continue to process that conversation, there were many good ideas presented my way.  Fortunately I was able to see great value in what was discussed.  But, if you had told me that just two minutes after the fact I would have said you were crazy.  As great as we think we are sometimes, for me at least, it’s always good to have an opportunity to check my ego at the door and let more humility into my life.