I’ve often heard people say after getting a compliment that they were humbled. I wonder about that.
A compliment is humbling when it brings you down or back or close to your humanness. A compliment is humbling when it makes you see what you brought to an event and what you didn’t. A compliment is humbling when it helps you see who you really are vs. who you aren’t.
If those pieces aren’t a part of a compliment, it isn’t humbling but congratulatory. Nothing’s wrong with congratulatory words because we need those. We need to be praised, validated, and affirmed. But we also need to call something humbling when it really is.
“I am humbled” is reserved when a person says something that really brings you to your truest nature. Of course, when you come to your truest nature, you may not be pleased. But keep looking. There’s something divine in that soul of yours. There’s the stuff of God there, in my way of seeing the world. Look at your real self, seeing the ugly but looking for the wondrous, too.