Sit Down, Be Humble: What to Do When Life Humbles You…

“Prison has humbled me in many ways, because when you go to prison, I became 11 R 2024 you know, I wasn’t Ja Rule the superstar. I wasn’t any of that. I was just a regular inmate.” – Ja Rule

First, let me acknowledge that I never thought I’d ever reference Ja Rule on this website, however, God has a mysterious way of working things out in life. Second, there’s a level of vulnerability in his words that I felt are more pertinent to the topic at hand than him as an entertainer (there’s always a silver lining-except for his concert, there wasn’t anything to save that hot trash). Third, this is one of my favorite Ja Rule moments ever. Think about this: Ja Rule was one of the biggest draws in the late 90s/early 00s, and he goes away to prison, and he’s just a regular inmate. He wasn’t singing about how every thug needs a lady or what happens when he and Lil Mo cry together. He was just another inmate getting regular ass treatment. Talk about a season of humbling.

As we move closer to the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, I keep reflecting back on this year, and the word that keeps coming to my mind is “humble(d)”.  No, not Kendrick Lamar’s song (although it is actually pretty relevant), but the actual word in all of its meaning: humble. I believe that we are constantly moving at a high-speed pace looking to conquer the next rung on life’s ladder in the world and at times, we get “too big for our britches” and forget where we come from. We tend to forget where these opportunities derive from. We get so attached to these roles as husband, wife, mother, director, etc. and we run ourselves into the ground.

We get the degrees, the money, the house, and the spouse, and think that we are untouchable. We actually believe that we have everything figured out and I’ve learned multiple times this year, that this is dangerous thinking for a multitude of reasons. We are never as bad or as good as we actually think we are and that is a very humbling piece of wisdom to chew on. I realized this year that the Most High (or the Universe depending on your own personal belief system) will do the humbling for you if you’re not too careful.

The Most High has a way of shaking us to our core with tough situations whether through physical health, relationships, finances, and more.  At some point in your life, the Most High will humble you and it is never the greatest of feelings. This is for a variety of reasons too.  Maybe God wants to get your attention or maybe He wants to you to stop some reckless behavior before you put yourself in danger. Whatever the reason, when you’re called for a piece of humble pie, it is quite nerve-wracking. I feel like we’ve seen a number of celebrities, athletes, and entertainers eat huge pieces of humble pie this year.Personally, I can attest to this if we’re honest. A lot of people believe that I’m very confident and know that I will make a way out of nothing, but what happens when God says:

 no nope never jay z nah GIF

He humbled me in an instant and I can’t lie, it didn’t feel good. God making me sit down in timeout for a bit hurt me to my core, but because of it, I can say that I’m a better person for it. They say that all things work together for the good, but what happens when you can’t see the good now? Here are a few things to think about while you’re in your humbling season:

  1. Think back to one of the toughest times in your life: How did you approach it? What was going through your mind? Hell, how did you move through it? One thing that I’ve learned about life is the importance of benchmarking. We’ve all had some low moments, but someway, somehow, we managed to get through and those are the moments we have to remember to keep going. I remember when I fell into a deep depression in college and went home for a while.  There was so much happening in my life at that time that I didn’t know how to cope with it all, yet I turned to my support systems to make it back. 
  2. Talk about it: Look, besides marrying my wife, one of the best decisions that I’ve made this year is seeking therapy . It’s an investment that keeps on giving and that’s when I learned about the true power of communication as a vessel of understanding. Talking to someone about the issues or concerns that you’re having can really do wonders during your season of humble. Most importantly, talk to the Most High (or Universe) about it. Why wouldn’t you? When you’re going through this season, you’re going to have questions that only the One orchestrating it can answer fully. Give it a shot!
  3. There’s no L’s, only lessons: I’ve read C tha God’s new book and I must say he has some pretty good reminders in there that I can appreciate now compared to when I was a git. A nugget of wisdom is there’s no such thing as losses, only lessons that I can relate to more than I care to admit. This year, I took a lot of losses that I believed would hinder and hurt me, yet, I’ve come to realize that in each of those losses, I learned something new that contributed to my future. It’s tough to reframe your perspective like that, but it’s needed. I reflect on: what is the Most High trying to get me to do in this situation? What is the takeaway? Sometimes the answers aren’t readily present and that’s okay. Everything happens in time. 
  4. Patience: I remember the old heads always used to tell me that “patience is a virtue” and I scoffed at that idea as a young, hard-headed kid. Now, as a grown ass man, I see the value in those four words. It’s easy to ask the Most High to get you through this season of humble with the quickest of paces, however, it never really works that way. Time is of the essence and unfortunately, that doesn’t work for our timelines and its a stressor when things don’t go as we planned it out. If you move through your season too fast, you might miss something that was critical to your development and if you move too slow, you might be too late to see the point. 

These are just a few strategies that resonated with me this year as I navigated my humbling season and will continue to develop throughout my life. Are these strategies hard? Uh hell yea, but not impossible. What about you? What are some ways that you’ve overcome a humbling season in your own life?

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