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Recovering from Superiority, Part 3 – Become a Channel

smooth river running through green landscape
Photo by Peter van der Meulen on Unsplash

Writing this series of posts on superiority has me wondering—is superiority an addiction? At the very least, we are socialized into this culture with its drive to feel superior. How do we overcome this tendency? One of the things I’m learning is this: focus on becoming a channel for inspiration to flow through.

A Channel is Structure

Take writing, for example. My best writing comes when I get myself out of the way enough for the words to flow through me. The words don’t come from me, they come from somewhere beyond me. When I become a channel, they pour onto the page. But when I try to be clever, when I try to be smarter than that flow of spirit, nothing works right. The words start to stutter and feel forced.

Maybe this is what humility is about. It’s not a matter of being “less than”, but rather it’s about focusing on that flow and removing any obstacles in its path. I am not nothing; I am a shape, a structure, a hollow reed. But I don’t focus on this structure, I focus on the water (the words) flowing through me. And I’m continually smoothing out the inside of my “channel” so the water can flow freely.

Sometimes my intellect gets in the way and I constrict the flow. Sometimes my emotions get in the way and I get tangled up inside. But when I let go of all that and listen for what needs to be said, the right words come. Then my heart is connected and my soul is plugged in. At that point, my intellect becomes the servant of my spirit. And my spirit serves something greater than itself.

Connecting the Mind and Heart

All my powers have been given to me so I can serve that which illuminates the world, whether you call it inspiration, light, love, spirit, energy, divine wisdom, or whatever. This is the flame that illuminates. I am simply the match. If I try to use my intellect without engaging my heart, I’m just a small stick of wood. Try as I might, no matter which surface I strike against, I cannot create light. The wooden stick is necessary, but not sufficient. We need the ignitable blob of the match head; we need motion, and we need a rough surface (adversity) to ignite the flame. Then we need kindling for the fire to take hold and wood and oxygen to keep the flame alive.

So when that sense of superiority starts rearing its ugly head, these are the things that keep me mindful. I am the hollow reed for love and inspiration to flow through. And I am the match, one of many elements that ignites the flame.

Check out these links for more posts in the series:

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