Pride is sometimes considered to be the most evil of all sins, because pride confirms a strong ego. The ego tends not to be grounded, lacks faith in God and vanity is an issue.
I must admit, pride has definitely been a sin I have indulged in in the past. I grew up a loner when I was a child, I always worried about what people thought about me. I wanted to be prettier, smarter, cooler and always allowed how everyone else felt about me to determine how I felt about myself.
I was incredibly consumed with looking good, to me attractiveness seemed you were better than others. It was only when I had to deal with my severe case of acne years ago, did I realize I had better start working on myself and looking inward for my beauty.
When I first started living alone, I refused to allow anyone to do any favours for me. Even if I struggled, I couldn’t bring myself to ask for help. I believed asking people for help was a sign of weakness.
I remember once having a quarter loaf of bread and two eggs in the fridge the last three days before payday. I would go to work starving and raid the vending machine with whatever change I had in my purse. I didn’t have my own car at the time and had to walk 1.5km to the nearest shop every weekend to buy my groceries. I remember once having to stop three times on the way back home to put my shopping bags down because my hands were so sore.
At work, I was over-zealous to prove to my boss I could handle any task he gave me. I did my whole interview for that job in Afrikaans, a language I truly stank at. The company was seventy percent Afrikaner-speaking, so I had to learn fast. Pretty soon I was feeling very pressured, I didn’t tell anyone how hard I was perceiving life to be. Until one day, I broke down in tears at work.
My boss asked me what was wrong and I blurted out I was having a hard time adjusting to life in Jhb. I said that I was hungry, and tired because I hadn’t slept that previous night. We had had a storm, and the roof of my cottage was leaking. The sound of water falling into the pots and bowls I left all around the lounge floor was so loud that I couldn’t fall asleep! I told him I was considering moving back home and collapsed into the ugliest cry you could ever imagine in my office. He took me outside and told me that he had been watching me for a while, he knew I had too much on my plate. He told me that there were so many people willing to help me at work. He then said something that I will never forget – ‘Tennille, sometimes you gotta just put your pride in your back pocket and ask people for help.’
Those words made me feel both comforted and scared. Comforted that people wanted to help me, and yet scared because my ego didn’t want people to think I couldn’t handle living on my own. He gave me a big hug and said ‘FTW’- meaning F**K the world. (My apologies, I don’t swear, I cannot bring myself to type this word out!!!)
But he was right. For too long I allowed myself to believe other people’s perception of me was more important than my own. I had to learn that asking for help is truly a sign of strength, not weakness. Allowing yourself to ask for help shows you have compassion for yourself, that you are human and that it’s ok to allow someone else to lend a helping hand now and then.
I took a deep breath and resolved to take my boss’s advice. You will not believe the love that poured out from the people at work to me. My boss carried extra lunch everyday and, because he knew about my pride and that I would never bring myself to ask him for a sandwich, he would leave his lunch box in my drawer so I could eat discreetly. My boss also started delegating more tasks to other employees so that I could settle at home first. After a few months, I learnt how to manage my money better, and was starting to really love speaking Afrikaans! I also made sure I treated my colleagues to special meals like lamb breyani and roti and kebab, apple pie. And I never stopped appreciating the kindness of my boss and friends.
Pride can make you miserable. Our egos hold us back from truly living authentically. Even though I still prefer to do everything without the help of other people, I keep myself in check and have learnt to graciously say ‘Thank you.’ Always keep in balance giving and receiving. Else you will suffer a burn out.
We all need each other here on earth. Don’t ever allow pride to take over your spirit. Just as it feels so good to lend a helping hand to others, it feels good to know that people will be there to help you in turn.
Letting go of my pride in Jhb was one of the biggest learning curves for me. I let my guard down, felt more at ease and learned to laugh at myself. Ego encourages fear. Faith encourages trust.
Love and light,
Your Resident Psychic and Spirit Medium,