The characteristics of an authentically empowered personality are humbleness, clarity, forgiveness, and Love. Love is the big one. Each time you have the courage to feel the sensations beneath the impulse to shout in anger, withdraw in jealousy, judge or disdain, or need to please, for example, and instead of acting on it, act from the healthiest part of yourself that you can access – even if that means simply remaining motionless and silent with a good intention for the person or people you are with, you create authentic power. The more you create authentic power, the more the characteristics of authentic power become your characteristics, and the more meaning, purpose, and joy enter your life.

This Spring through the beginning of Summer, I am going to explore each of the characteristics of an authentically empowered personality in a different article. This month I am beginning with characteristic of authentic power that few people have thought about – humbleness. What do you think it is, really? What do you think it is not, really? And last, why do you think it would be good to develop humbleness?


A humble person walks in a familiar world. He or she sees friends everywhere he or she looks, wherever he or she goes, with whomever he or she meets. His or her perception goes beyond the shell of appearance and into essence. He or she sees the attributes of people around him or her – big body, small body, strong body, weak body, quick intellect, slow intellect, yellow skin, brown skin, male or female, young or old – and on and on – as costumes. He or she does not believe that anyone will change this costume at the end of the day, but he or she also knows that everyone will leave it behind at the end of a lifetime. Ashes will return to ashes, and dust will return to dust. That is the way it is with costumes. They do not last forever. They do not even last very long – a century at best and much less for most people. The soul is a different story. The soul is immortal.

So the humble person is not as interested in these temporary clothes as in what is wearing them. The soul is wearing them. When a friend walks into the room with a dress or suit that you do not like, do you stop liking your friend? You know about her. You know her challenges, hopes, and aspirations. You know how difficult her life is, as is yours, and that it also has experiences of elation, joy, and contentment, or at least how much she wants to have these experiences. You cannot feel superior to her because you know how much your life is like hers. The humble person see everyone as a friend because he or she knows that everyone’s life is as complex and as difficult as his or her own. How could he or she ever push anyone away who is on the same challenging journey that he or she is on, and so often struggling just as hard. That is what makes the world friendly to a humble person. He or she sees the soul that is wearing the costume and he or she loves that soul, even if the personality (costume) is difficult to be around for too long, or is angry, or jealous.

The next time you feel less than someone else, inadequate, or inferior, remember that “humbleness” doesn’t have anything to do with those experiences any more than it means lowering yourself to make a connection. There are no lower levels to a humble person. There are no higher levels, either. There are only souls. There is only love. Humbleness is one of the great gifts of authentic power – and you give it to yourself.

Next month, I will look at “Clarity.” It might surprise you, too.


  • Published: March 19, 2013
  • Filed in: Blog

8 comments on “HUMBLENESS”

  1. Leena Jain says:

    Dear Gary,
    I am from India which is very rich in its spiritual treasury. I am not an enlightened soul yet, but am definitely walking on that path of finding the same. On the basis of the limited spiritual knowledge that i have gained so far, I think we here have a similar yet different concept of all this.

    I have just created my login and new to this blog. This is just the first article that i’ve read here. I first came to learn about you through Oprah’s show, many years ago. I am half way through the book “Seat of the Soul’. Let me have a good read of other articles here so that i understand your point of view in a more clear manner.

    Hopping to have good discussions and spiritual partnership in the coming time.

    Thanks, Leena

  2. Opensoul says:

    I work in sales and love what I do but it seems that being humble is not the norm in that type of work. Most of the successful people do not seem to be humble at all and it seems that they are succesful at their work. I am waiting patiently for time to come. I truley feel that I am in the right place and doing what I love but as far as money is concerned, I am not successful yet.

  3. montreal6130 says:

    It’s interesting for me as a few weeks ago I was sitting with the idea of ‘life purpose’ and what mine was. All the alternative options that came to me felt so very flat…always leading to a seeming ‘dead end’. And then a thought flashed in me which said, “If I am at essence Soul/Love than there is nothing I can do or not do that will make me any more soul/love.” I experienced a certain inner freedom in that moment and came to terms with the fact that my original search for a life purpose may not have been from a place of Love but rather Fear. From seeing the world from the vantage point of external power and finding my life purpose would allow me to control and manipulate more strongly. How does this connect with humility? Coming to terms experientially with the knowledge that nothing I can do will make me more or less soul immediately brought me closer to all of humanity because they like me are all Soul/Love. We are all…all Soul/Love. We are of course free to make choices that will allow our Souls to shine through more vividly but that does not change our essence just humanity’s experience of it. If I see a beautiful person I can admire the beauty as a gift they were offered in this incarnation. The same with someones intellect and the same with my gifts. Gifts lent seem much less threatening than they once did. The experience is new for me and I am still ‘playing’ with it.

  4. izak.nell says:


    Something within me is resonating nicely with these comments by Gary. I like the approach of equal value in terms of the soul. I have always thought that being humble is when you make yourself lower than the next person which I might add is an understanding that stems from years of Christian training and my cultural upbringing.


  5. oolalu says:

    I learned a huge lesson about 40 years ago from a middle school student. I was working at the time in a state institution for severely and profoundly developmentally disabled children.

    Twice a year middle and high school students came and interacted with our students. Because of the nature of our students, many of the regular education students were scared and did not know how to talk or interact with these special needs children.
    One of the middle school boys was clearly not popular as he got off the bus. He was overweight and had acne. His clothes were not as nice as many of the other kids and no one walked with him or seemed even to notice him.

    As the group gathered in the recreation room and the special needs students were rolled, carried or walked in, clusters of the regular education kids began to attempt to make contact. There was a lot of avoiding contact and giggling and pointing.
    As I observed, the non-popular boy quietly walked up to one of the special needs students who was lying on a rolling cart. This particular student had hydrocephaly, meaning, his head was very large, about the size of a large beach ball. There was no hesitation, no holding back, no awkwardness on the part of the middle school boy. He took the hand of the special needs boy and spoke softly to him. They both were smiling. The middle school student began to softly sing the special needs boy a song.

    It was truly a pivotal moment in my life observing this interaction. This rejected and shunned middle school student was completely involved and receptive without judgment with the special needs boy. It brought tears to my eyes. I was not the only one who noticed either. A few of the more sensitive middle school students joined him after a few minutes and the whole scene evolved with more and more students engaging the special needs kids in a genuine way.

    That boy taught me humility that day and I thank him for it!

  6. jgraham says:

    The timing of your words on humbleness, Gary, are spot on for me. Today, the Catholics are greeted with a new pope who is described as humble. The Easter season is close, and Jesus is regularly regarded as a humble man. I do not travel in religious circles, per se, yet I was guided by them as a child and explored for spiritual depths in many religions. Today, my spiritual goal is authentic power. And so I am learning about humbleness through my step-mother. Her personality is a challenge. Fear creeps into her decisions and actions, and so do mine in reaction to her, from time to time. You reminded me that our “costumes” are temporary and that our souls live forever. Ahh, such a relief to remember who she is and I am. I knew that intellectually, and here I am learning it spiritually. I’ll practice love … thank you.

    From one who is in the roles of stepdaughter and stepsister and daughter and sister.


  7. kcradiant says:

    Thank you for writing about humbleness. I really have not considered this characteristic in the past.

  8. Heart says:

    Gary, I appreciate your take on humbleness. “The humble person see everyone as a friend because he or she knows that everyone’s life is as complex and as difficult as his or her own. How could he or she ever push anyone away who is on the same challenging journey that he or she is on, and so often struggling just as hard. That is what makes the world friendly to a humble person. He or she sees the soul that is wearing the costume and he or she loves that soul, even if the personality (costume) is difficult to be around for too long, or is angry, or jealous.”

    I have been amazed at the level of caring concern toward me by strangers and friends alike at at time of great pain due to a divorce. Doesn’t pain gives one a sense of humbleness too? All I can say is that the world has indeed being “friendly” to me. As I face the challenges and an overwhelming feelings of great personal loss (because I feel like a widow), nonetheless, I am given unexpected gifts by strangers and by friend alike. I would like very much to learn more about real humbleness and how I can expand it within me and helping to co-create it with others in my community and beyond.

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