Have you ever felt you were backhanded repeatedly? It’s quite humbling.
I’ve asked the Universe and my spiritual directors to help me with humility, certainly they have not disappointed. Yesterday I was writing an article for a friend’s website. When I finished I realized a lot of my ego was in that essay. They read it and felt it was too harsh, too strong and certainly not in alignment with their site. They didn’t ask me to change it, but did note the conspicuousness of it all.
At first I felt that self-righteous frustration. “Why can’t they see my view?” “Don’t they know what it’s like from my point of view?” Then I took a break. I drove to my elderly mother’s apartment, dropping off some food. We sat and chatted for a bit and then, feeling some distance to that essay, I re-thought it.
I thought about the idea of humility and how I want to put the needs of other above my own. I considered that the spiritual goals are never mundane, and my feelings right then had been very mundane. Very ego based. I stripped all my ego out, and handed in an article that was without any of my personal views. It was humbling, but it felt good to put my ego under foot.
I’ve written several spiritual books under different pen names. My works are all self-published and rarely get purchases. Today I was browsing Amazon and got the urge to look up my books… I noticed it was like the last time I looked them up… one 5 star review on one book… but wait… a new review on another book… a 1 star!
A 1 Star review. I read it…. oh boy. It was bad. It was one of those rude, ego ridden reviews that I used to give out when I was younger. Getting such a review was my karmic debt I suppose.
At first I was hurt… then angry… My pride swelled. They accused me of rehashing information already found in other “major religions,” which simply wasn’t true. “How could they say that about my writing?” I was outraged.
I was going to write a counter review… and then I realized… this too is a test. I asked for this.
I accepted the 1 star, with all its cruelty. It hurt. As an author we put ourselves out there for others to read, and when someone comes along to trash us… it’s like they’re spitting on us. But this too was a lesson and I accept it.
I’m not sure when the lessons will end, perhaps never. But my reaction to them has certainly changed and that is the most important factor.