I am humbled

I am not easily humbled.

Status symbols don’t wow me. Your car, boat, square footage and social standing are of little interest.

But show me something that matters—incredible internal strength, grace under pressure, acceptance—these things may humble me.

I am human enough to appreciate a beautiful sports car or a lovely waterside home. I tend to love them more for their aesthetic value than for what they say about their owners. I love creature comforts as much as they next gal but . . .

. . . these things can be attained by weenies.

Strength, grace, acceptance? These must be earned. And no one else can do that for you. So, if you possess these qualities, it tells me something about you as a person. Among the things it tells me: you are not a weenie.

Hey, I was raised a Midwestern girl by parents from the Greatest Generation. What can I say? They’d be happy to know some of their values stuck like glue.

Moments when I am humbled by what I see before me are some of the most beautiful I’ve had.

And they’re not always predictable.iStock_000023790484Small

For instance, when my home is filled with my boys and their friends. Smelly shoes, cracking voices, shouts, gales of laughter. Sometimes, as I sit in the midst of the whirlwind of activity, I wonder. At the quantity of food being eaten and crumbs on the floor? Of course. More importantly, I wonder at the absolute magic and science involved in these living, breathing not-quite-men being born—of all things– through me. And of the life that fills my house. The life that would not have existed had I not helped the divine will this into being. I am humbled by my part in the divine.

I am humbled by the kid who sits on the bench for much of every lacrosse game his team plays. The one who shows up for practice faithfully anyway, trains hard and keeps his head down. I watch him endure what I would consider harsh physical punishment in the form of pushups, burpees, endless sprints. And I watch him miss out on the glory awarded the players for whom it all comes naturally, or at least more easily. I am humbled by his persistence, his honoring of the commitment he made, with no flashy reward. It seems a very mature attitude for one so young.

001A quiet sunrise over a still lake humbles me. As do mountains and rushing water. I am humbled by what a small cog I am in a very large world. And by how beautiful the bits of it not touched by our penchant for concrete are.

I am humbled by people who sit quietly by the beds of their loved ones as they lay dying. I saw plenty of these when my parents were in hospice. It takes an inner strength of unimaginable depth to do that, to hold space, and then to have to go into the world and be a mom, a dad, a spouse, an employee.

I am humbled by those who endure the judgment of others without wanting to lash out and set them straight. Parents who are judged for their children’s errors. Divorced people who are judged for ending a marriage. Creative types who are judged for risking a new idea, one we’ll never benefit from because it was quashed rather than considered.

The risk takers, the ones who endure, those who look into the void and say “yes” to their part in the unfolding of good. These people humble me. They are a spark of the divine in a world that sorely needs a bonfire of the divine.

Weenies need not apply.









21 Comments Add yours

  1. A bonfire of the divine.

    Damn girl, for a tough old journo you are such a poet!

    1. candidkay says:

      A contrast in opposites, I guess. Thanks for the kind words! Mean a lot coming from you.

      1. Tough old boots! 🙂

  2. Thank you for the post. So well said, I needed to be reminded of this today 🙂
    with respect, hope, joy and love, Carmela

  3. Jim Simon says:

    Some would say, and I am one of them, that you are on your true path to enlightenment. You find beauty in the moment and that is what living is truly about. I haven’t posted in a couple days, but this post has given me an idea… Thanks for the the beautiful words and the inspiration.

  4. words4jp says:

    I agree with you. Wholeheartedly.

  5. I love this! Thank you, beautiful! Needed to read this, “The risk takers, the ones who endure, those who look into the void and say “yes” to their part in the unfolding of good. These people humble me. They are a spark of the divine in a world that sorely needs a bonfire of the divine.” Justine

  6. Kami says:

    I loved your depiction of the “boys-not-quite-men being born” through you. Beautiful! You clearly have your heart and head tuned to the divine, the subtle detail and the sublime of everyday life.

  7. Very insightful and beautifully written. Peace and Blessings.

  8. Debbie Mallernee says:

    I am a friend of Patti’s and I love to read your posts. They humble me. Thank you.

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you for reading! Any friend of Patti’s is more than welcome on this blog:).

  9. Amitiel says:

    When you really take the time to stop, step back, and examine life as a whole, it can most certainly be humbling. A gentle reminder of the vastness of the universe and how small we really are in it is humbling. The fact that it’s not the physical things in life that matter, but rather the strength of one’s character to continue to push through things, no matter the challenges life might throw your way, the ability to keep on going no matter what. To see people with true strength of character truly is humbling. These things are all necessary reminders as we get bogged down in life. Thank you so very much for this reminder.

  10. lmarieallen says:

    You’ve outdone yourself with your metaphorical wisdom today, Miss K. Beautiful words. I think it should be a goal at the top of everyone’s list to resist the weeniness and strive for the sublime:)

  11. candidkay says:

    Amy, I am truly touched by your words. I know you appreciate many of the same things, as I’ve seen your beautiful posts. And thank you for the kind words on a day when I needed to hear them!

  12. suemclaren24 says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more on this post. Well done. One humbling experience for me, as a Grandma, is to watch the grandkids as they mature, and fledge. The tie is different than for a mother. There has been no sense of loss, but an honoring of their maturation process and a joy in seeing them become young adults. Remembering how difficult it was to grow up, I am humbled by their experiences, their dramas and traumas, their survival, and their successes. I live in a rural area and am humbled every day that I am not consumed with personal goals, by the beauty around me.

  13. Ned's Blog says:

    I am humbled by this post, and the way you expressed the truest measures of a person’s character. My father always tried to impress upon me the importance of never losing sight of the small things that bring us happiness and contentment. It takes a keen eye and spirit to recognize and appreciate those things, but they are abundant once you learn how to see them. In turn, you have a life filled with “everyday” joys. This post was one of those joys for me.

    1. candidkay says:

      I’m glad it struck a chord with you, Ned. My father was a genius at noticing the beauty in small things. I just followed his lead.

      1. Ned's Blog says:

        Clearly, our dads were wise men, Kay 😉 People who can do that have a lifetime of happiness. Those who don’t are easy to spot. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with everyone, even the wienies.

  14. Amy says:

    Oh, yes – yes, K., to your part in the unfolding of good, for sharing your innermost thoughts. You are a woman of heart and mind, a gifted writer, a beautiful human being. Thank you for your clear-eyed vision, for writing about what is important. You, my dear, are amazing, and I am humbled to know you. xo

    1. candidkay says:

      Amy, I am truly touched by your words. I know you appreciate many of the same things, as I’ve seen your beautiful posts. And thank you for the kind words on a day when I needed to hear them!

  15. You are so right on! Inspirational post.

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