Week Five - Hod
If endurance is the engine of life humility is its fuel. As gevurah (discipline) gives chesed (love) focus, hod gives netzach direction.
Humility is the silent partner of endurance. Its strength is in its silence. Its splendor in its repose. Humility leads to yielding, which is an essential element of Humility - and the resulting yielding - should not be confused with weakness and lack of self-esteem.
Humility is modesty; it is acknowledgement (from the root "hoda'ah"). It is saying "thank you" to G‑d. It is clearly recognizing your qualities and strengths and acknowledging that they are not your own; they were given to you by G‑d for a higher purpose than just satisfying your own needs. Humility is modesty; it is recognizing how small you are which allows you to realize how large you can become. And that makes humility so formidable.
Endurance draws its energy from the acknowledgement of humility. Human endurance goes only as far as your tolerance level. Acknowledging that your strengths come from a higher place gives you the power to endure far beyond your own perceived capacity. It gives you part of G‑d's enduring strength.
A full cup cannot be filled. When you're filled with yourself and your needs, "I and nothing else", there is no room for more. When you "empty" yourself before something which is greater than yourself, you allow in much more than your limited capacity. Humility is the key to transcendence; to reach beyond yourself. Only true humility gives you the power of total objectivity.
Humility is sensitivity; it is healthy shame out of recognition that you can be better than you are and that you expect more of yourself. Although humility is silent it is not a void. It is a dynamic expression of life that includes all seven qualities of love, discipline, compassion, endurance, humility, bonding and sovereignty. Humility is active not passive. Not a state of being but an interaction even in its calm and inaction.
Day One of Week 5: Chesed of Hod
Examine the love in your humility. Healthy humility is not demoralizing; it brings love and joy not fear. Humility that lacks love has to be reexamined for its authenticity. Sometimes humility can be confused with low self-esteem, which would cause it to be unloving.
Humility brings love because it gives you the ability to rise above yourself and love another. Arrogance in the guise of love means loving yourself, or what is even worse: making others a part and an extension of yourself and your self-love.
Does my humility cause me to be more loving and giving? More expansive? Or does it inhibit and constrain me? Am I humble and happy or humble and miserable?
Exercise for the day: Before praying with humility and acknowledgment of G‑d, give some charity. It will enhance your prayers.