What does humility have to do with PTSD?

From Wikipedia I found this bit of information…

The term “humility” comes from the Latin word humilitas, a noun related to the adjective humilis, which may be translated as “humble”, but also as “grounded”, “from the earth”, or “low”, since it derives in turns from humus (earth).

Grounded….from the Earth…Low.  When I entered counseling I felt very low.  Severe depression feels like living below ground level in a horrible dark pit.  Some may say I was humiliated to this condition.  I believe there is a fine distinction between humiliation and humility.  The first is something someone else tries to do to me.  Without a firm understanding of my worth, humiliating me was ridiculously easy.  I took offense and put down when no one intended such a put down.  So how do I see humility as essential to coping with PTSD?  Why do I mention it all?  I believe the importance is humility is a state I put myself in.  I need to be in a humble/teachable attitude when attending counseling.  The basis of PTSD counseling whatever method the therapists use is to change my thinking.  If I wrap myself in prideful fear, I won’t change and I stay in the depths of PTSD.  It isn’t easy.  I felt that I lost so much, how could I let go of more.  My counselor informed me that he planned to tear out my entire foundation of thinking.  He explained that the childhood neglect, repeated trauma, the fear intertwined into my thinking created a rotted damaged core of thought.  I had no idea of how emotionally healthy people interacted.  I responded with fear to the kindest gesture.  I needed to choose to humble myself to be teachable.  Change my thinking.  Essentially, starting from scratch as a human being.  One of the quotes states, “True humility is staying teachable, regardless of how much you know.”  I would add regardless of what you believe you know.  My entire childhood foundation was built on fear.  Counseling confronted those fears…my counselor described me as being loaded with more mines then a minefield.  Everything triggered me.  We started with the things I did remember.  The things I reacted to currently.  He also gave me reading or movie assignments to unearth other stinking thinking.  He also taught me to become grounded.  That essential concept that leads to authenticity, knowing myself, and acceptance of who I am and what my past did to me.  I wanted to deny my past.  It took recognizing that my life wasn’t working for me the way I was doing things, I needed to listen to other counsel and change my thinking.  I had to do the work.  My counselor did not fix me, he gave me a plan of attack and let me work through all the years of crap myself.  Sometimes I thought the process was never ending.  Then I would recognize a milestone such as a trigger that no longer bugged me.  A memory that no longer frightened me.  A situation that I could handle that I couldn’t handle before.  Humility allowed me to open up the tight wrappings of protection I enclosed myself in.  Humility is difficult but so worth allowing myself out of my own imprisonment.

Prisoner of my own thinking

Prisoner of my own thinking


2 thoughts on “Humility

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