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Humility vs. Humiliation

Dec 15, 2022

Jerry Green | Recovery Services Manager

I pray that each of us finds Humility but that none of us are humiliated. The difference, of course, is that humiliation is created by humans to raise their own egos. True Humility comes from understanding that without a Power greater than ourselves, we are doomed.

“Humbly” and “Humility” are used 13 times in the Big Book.

It takes Humility to surrender and admit that we are powerless. After practicing this spiritual program of action for a while, we eventually learn that this powerlessness goes far beyond being related to drugs and alcohol. We are also powerless to manage ourselves, other people, events, tragedies, and everything.

What we begin to realize is that there is a Power, a Creative Intelligence, a Creator.

We cannot successfully live without it. This is Humility. Humbly saying to ourselves many times each day, “I am no longer running the show. Thy Will, not mine be done.” Standing in the ocean, feeling the currents moving you, gazing at the stars at night, whatever works for each of us, these things are the Creator’s handiwork.

When I doubted the Power of the Creator, my sponsor opened the door of our 12-Step group right before a meeting and told me, “Grow a tree.” Sure enough, when he checked at the end of the hour, there was no tree.

We may say, look at the farmer; he grows things. No, the farmer creates an environment where things can grow. God does the growing. A doctor does not heal; he creates an environment where God can heal.

So how and where were we to find this Power?

That is exactly what the Big Book is about. To find something, we must first realize we need it – Humility. Then we must be willing to believe it is there – Humility. Then we have to surrender our will and our lives to it – Humility. Part of that surrender is taking some actions I don’t want to take, including getting honest – Humility. Then we have to realize we can’t fix the things that are wrong with us, so we have to ask God to remove them – Humility. Then we have to be willing to set right, to the best of our ability, the mistakes of the past – Humility. Then we have to surrender to this process daily – Humility. And after all of this, we must be willing to go out and help others, knowing there is nothing we can do to fix anybody – Humility.

And here is the craziest thing about Humility. By definition, just at the moment that we think we have it, we have lost it. However, it is not achieving perfect Humility that is our goal. It is in persistently seeking it. That our Creator continues to show up, and we learn that our own weakness is an asset, for without it, we wouldn’t need The Power.

Because of that lesson, I am today a grateful recovered alcoholic and addict. Without this weakness, I would have never thought I needed God.



Origins Recovery Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.

For information on our programs, call us today: 866-875-1558.

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