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What is “humility therapy”?

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CalypsoArt - Shutterstock

Orfa Astorga - published on 01/14/22

Growing in humility can help us achieve true peace and inner freedom.

Certain personality disorders are often rooted in an inability to think positively about others.

Those of us who dedicate ourselves to psychotherapy recognize this when we listen to someone talking about their problems; at some point, when I suggest to them the virtue of humility as a way to heal all their conflicts from the root, they ask me: “Yes, but … humility? What kind of therapy is that?”

My answer is that humility means, above all, walking in truth with respect to everything that is good — because it is true and good for us.

How can I explain it more clearly? 

What we think about ourselves, other people, and the world around us, affects us positively or negatively. We can learn to identify our negative thoughts in order to modify them, so we can adapt our actions to a more positive way of living that fosters peace and freedom.

It is, so to speak, a whole program of growing in maturity in which our own happiness is at stake, as well as that of others. It’s so important that, in the face of difficulties, it’s well worth asking for advice and letting ourselves be helped by the right people.

In this way we can cultivate the necessary goodwill to understand, excuse, forgive, welcome, and love others, making many problems disappear or be solved or overcome in the best way.

It means learning to be uncomplicated and not giving ourselves so much importance, occupying ourselves instead with making others happy.

A patient told me that he had begun to heal from many inner conflicts bypraying before an image of the baby Jesus in the manger. He was contemplating the humility of the birth of He who, being Master and Lord of all creation, also needed the same care as every other newborn child in order to subsist.

The lesson was enlightening.

God, who as king of creation could have been born in a thousand different circumstances, was moved by infinite love to choose to experience poverty and the indifference of mankind, to show us the need for humility in order to grow in the reciprocity of his love. This is something we must learn, and relearn, throughout our lives.

Therefore, we need to consider the importance of learning to let ourselves be humbled by the things of this world without this translating into complexes, which can make us sick by occupying our whole mind and heart.

How many opportunities are presented to us in ordinary daily life to let ourselves experience humiliation and come out stronger! Instead of berating ourselves for failing, or others for not appreciating us enough, we can take these as opportunities to grow in humility and achieve physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual health. The profound truth is that defects and limitations (our own and those of others) do not detract from the most important thing in our lives, which is God’s love for us.

This is how we can achieve true peace and inner freedom.

If we don’t practice humility, we will suffer much unhappiness, and disorders such as egoistic love, possessiveness, marital problems, self-deception, susceptibility, insecurity, neurotic illnesses, and many and diverse addictions.

We need to have humility to live in wisdom by turning the other cheek. This does not mean a lack of character or allowing an injustice, but true inner strength to act with the strength of love.

It’s a strength by which we become like children again, which is not childishness, but maturity to achieve in our heart simplicity and spontaneity in thinking, saying and acting in truth, so we can smile with our soul.

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