There is a song by Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) called "Hard-headed Woman." For about a 10-year span of my life, I used to think of this song in terms of my mantra. In fact, I took pride in being that "hard-headed woman" and I conducted myself in such a way that I actually felt I had earned that title. Realizing in my adult years that the definition of hard-headed is "practical and realistic," I associated that word during that time in my life with a certain stubbornness. Perhaps I made that association because I happen to come from a long line of women who were known as being stubborn and in order for the men to point it out without getting into trouble, it translated to the word "hard-headed."
So what does stubbornness have to do with humility? The answer: absolutely nothing. They are opposites. If we look at where stubbornness comes from, it is clear to see that we are stubborn when we feel we are or want to be right about something. In other words, stubbornness is a cousin of pride. When we are prideful, we already have all the answers and our ego is really good at reminding us about that. Humility is being open to learning and it asks us to be vulnerable. When we don't have all of the answers, we leave ourselves open to learning; however, we can also leave ourselves open to heavy experiences and adopting negative beliefs about not knowing all the answers. I believe these are some of the primary reasons why many of us struggle at times with allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.
When we are humble, we are learning and growing. We step into trust and faith as we willing becoming teachable. We open our hearts and our minds to new experiences, adventures, and dreams. As I sat behind my desk one day, receiving a "download" of inspiration about the mission and purpose of Ollin Talk Radio (I still find it difficult to call this "my" radio show when I know whose show it really belongs to), it took me back because I didn't see it coming. I sat there for quite sometime afterward processing what just happened. My mind became a Rolodex of names of guests I was to invite on our show; some I had never met. I received clarity about the end goal of this show and what that will look like. I thought it was just a one-time experience when in fact, it's become a weekly, sometimes daily, experience. At first, I felt like the least qualified. I knew nothing about producing an online radio show, let alone hosting one, but I chose to put my trust and faith in God, understanding that He would grow me and that all I needed to do is remain open to His guidance. What a wise and loving Father we have. He knew that this "hard-headed" woman who has a tendency to be stubborn at times (ok, many times), needed to learn what true humility is so He placed me in a position where I had to be 100% dependent upon Him for tutoring, with something I knew absolutely nothing about. Then he sent me a staff of 9 others to teach me even more. He has molded me every step of the way and this is truly one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have come to know Him more intimately. I have been able to glean and learn from our guests, our staff, and our listeners.
Humility is one of the most attractive traits we can own. It is in our vulnerable moments where we draw the closest to God and begin to see miracles happen as we step into faith and trust and allow Him to mold us and tutor us. There is no shame in not having all the answers. I have learned that all knowledge and wisdom comes when we are ready to receive it and it always comes in God's perfect way and timing. He knows each one of us. I know the joy of having my children come to me for guidance and for advice...the joy of teachable young adults and children. Now imagine the joy our Father and His son feel when we are teachable and apply what we are learning in life.
To all of those who have ever felt inadequate, incapable, lacking, ignorant, I pray you'll come into an understanding that we are made whole and perfect through God and we do THAT through humbling ourselves. What a beautiful journey this life is. What an incredible opportunity to be the clay in the Potter's hands. We are each a work of art and in turn, we each have this phenomenal experience to be the artists behind our own canvases we call "life." We are co-creators. We are artists. We are ever learning, growing and progressing. We can continue to when we remain humble and when we accept our humanness.
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