Some of us are compelled to be humble while others humble themselves.

When you are compelled to be humble, it usually means you have painted yourself into a corner. You have no way out without help. You may need to seek forgiveness (sometimes in ourselves). Restitution will have to be made – which I suspect is why we wait so long to begin with.

However, when we learn to humble ourselves from the beginning we create open space. We have options, direction, and guidance available.

The difference is that the person compelled into humility has usually exhausted all options before doing the hard thing (restitution, forgiveness, recompense). Those who humble themselves are willing to do the hard thing first.

So why not just try the hard thing first?

There are a plethora of reasons, the primary being our self-image. We don’t believe we can pay the price of doing the hard thing while at the same time don’t feel worthy for the peace that follows. In other words, the shame is too great to bear.

And you may be right when you think all the gifts you have come from you. But when you realize that your gifts don’t come from you but come from a higher place (in ancient Greece they were called Muses, Christians call them Angels, some call it inspiration) maybe you can draw strength from a deeper well.

Choices and circumstance might have compelled you to be humble at some point but humility comes when you realize the gifts you have are just borrowed – you don’t have the strength to do this on your own.