As a counselor, I work with a lot of people who feel emotionally stuck. They want to know how to move forward. They want to know how to live in recovery and be well. Even when someone is facing a chronic condition, health and life are possible with treatment and wellness strategies. It’s an uphill climb for many, but I have watched so many inspiring people press through some very dark days in order to grow. And in walking alongside many, there is one common thread when people grow emotionally and spiritually: humility.
Humility comes when we fully accept all that we do not know. We enter humility when we accept the things we cannot change and become empowered to change what we can. Jesus himself offers the perfect model of humility, captured beautifully in Philippians 2. He gave up everything — status, power, comfort — to live with us. He joined our suffering. And when, in humility, we join in his suffering by humbling ourselves, we grow.
Pride tells us we have everything figured out. Pride tells us that we know better than others. Pride says we have arrived. Which is the opposite of a posture towards growth. Pride keeps us stuck because we believe we are all set. Or that we can’t get better. Or that there is nothing we can do to move forward.
Humility is what brings someone to an AA meeting for the first time. Humility is what leads us to dial the phone number of a counselor or psychiatrist. Humility is the risk we take when we share honestly about our struggles. Humility fully embraces how much help we each actually need.
Part of mental health is emotional and spiritual growth. Therefore, humility is central to your mental health. It is vital to your spiritual well-being. Some have mental illness, but we all need to attend to our mental health. The practice of humility will carry you to deeper emotional and spiritual places as you sit with yourself, God, and others and live with nothing to prove to anyone.