There are times when it is correct to feel pride in what one has been given, knowing that you have been asked to bear a burden for the benefit of others. The blessing is in bearing the burden with pride, not born down or broken by the obligation. This is not self-pride but nobility, a quality of great beauty both denigrated and forgotten in our time.
And there are times when the correct posture is one of submission.
What is meant by correct? Please, no rules. Correct is that which meets the current need without deviation. It is the discernment of deviation that matters. Deviation is always about serving one’s own interests first.
When is submission called for? Personal failure certainly comes to mind. When something I worked for and expected fails to happen, I can panic and imagine all the dire consequences. Or when I fear that something important depends entirely upon me. There is another, deeper challenge…when the heart is unresponsive and unfeeling, seemingly isolated and frozen.
Submission is a wonderful response, a correct response to these problems. The reality is that I cannot myself be correct without the feeling of being corrected, that I cannot decide myself without the feeling of being guided, that my aims and purposes must be surrendered in order to be redeemed. This is not easy. My first thought is usually that I can fix the problem myself, whatever it is. To submit is to relinquish, to give over, and that rarely occurs without suffering.
How can I then submit? In my experience, the process begins with an act of letting go, a full body sensation of releasing tension. It then moves to a posture, inner and outer, of lowering myself, bowing head and heart. In imagination and in fact, I yield the center…where I do not belong…and acknowledge higher powers. This posture invokes humility and that saves me from myself, at least for a time.
Humility is not defeat, not humiliation. In fact, it has an immediate inner complementary feeling of being raised up. We bow and we are raised. This complementarity is not from my intention. It is like a teeter-totter, all part of one movement, of which my part is to humble myself and submit.