Thanks to my friend Jerry for sharing the following piece on humility. It brings out the multiple levels of mind and personality that come into play when faced with criticism. It offers a method for using the experience to gain greater insight into the way one relates in the world.
"Humility as Nothing to Defend
I find truth in anything anyone ever says about me, so nobody can be my enemy.
Call me a fraud, I can find it.
Call me a liar, I can find it.
Call me a failure, I can find it.
Call me unreasonable, irresponsible, ignorant, deluded, full of ego, totally unenlightened, the worst being in the world, I can find all of it.
As consciousness, I can find anything.
Like you, I have nothing to hide, nothing to lose, and no image to protect.
Every possible facet of human experience is available here.
This is truly the end of war.
It is the end of protecting and defending a mirage called 'me'.
So, next time you get triggered by something someone says to you or about you,
ask yourself this: "What am I defending?"
This inquiry is the key to unimaginable peace.
Deep gratitude to anyone who has ever given me any kind of feedback."
by Jeff Foster
Humility brings a method to the work of cutting through the resistance to criticism so you can take it in and learn from it. Going beyond humility, acknowledge that there is nothing to defend, seek self-transcendence. Maslow in his hierarchy of needs first recognized self-actualization (fulfilling one's potential) as the highest level need. Later he added self-transcendence (going beyond self as the center of it all).
The humility to accept that "I can find all of it" - the ignorance, the liar, and fraud, is key to not getting caught up in thinking thoughts of unworthiness and failure; thoughts that create self-doubt and lead to depression and inaction. The attitude of humility opens the door to improvement. When the cracks and blemishes are ignored and suppressed, the door remains closed. When they are exposed and explored, there is the possibility of correcting them. Humility fuels self-actualization.
Self-transcendence comes when there is the realization that "protecting and defending a mirage called 'me' " is an unsustainable effort. Asking the question "What am I defending," one finds "unimaginable peace."