The other day I experienced complete and utter clarity about a situation in my life that had been troubling me. While I much prefer clarity over confusion and uncertainty, clarity does have its’ down sides. Sure, all of a sudden I saw things I hadn’t seen before, but what I saw oh-so-clearly was a difficult truth to face.
When the reality of the situation became evident to me, I knew what I needed to do. I experienced profound conviction that propelled me into action. Yet, even though I felt sure about my conviction, I also felt like a fool for not seeing before what I suddenly saw now. I felt like a fool because I realized I had been a fool.
The heart sees what it wants to see, and usually, it doesn’t want to see the truth. It wants to romanticize and fantasize. Then, when everything falls apart, making it suddenly impossible to ignore the truth, clarity shows up on the scene. When that happens, the heart is broken and we are left feeling foolish.
It is humbling when we realize just how susceptible to misjudgment we can be. I always think I am smarter than I really am, yet I have discovered over and over again that you can’t know what you don’t know until you know it. That’s pretty deep, right? Yet, that’s also pretty true.
Even so, humility is not a bad thing. It’s not fun, and it is often embarrassing, but it doesn’t leave us in a place of ignorance. On the contrary, it is when we feel like we know everything that we will go on to be an even bigger fool.
Humility is different. When we embrace humility fully, acknowledging that we always have room to learn and grow, it will serve as a stepping stone to greater wisdom. When that happens, we will suddenly know now what we hadn’t known before.