The Power of Humiliating Yourself

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2014 Nancy Virden

Most of us want to believe our character traits lean toward the good, some of us strive for perfection, and plenty of others do not care to look at the issue at all. This blog addresses the first group.

He is 42, has been in and out of fights since he was a teenager, and carried a chip on his shoulder until last year. His cockiness covered up a low sense of importance. It is not likely many could decipher that considering he was unaware of it too. 

He has a son in college, an elderly father, and a reputation as a moderately successful business person. His drug of choice would call to him when he was lonely, and he believed he had its use under control.  One night the buried anger of a lifetime trumped his ability to reason, and he landed in jail.

When he had to phone his 80 year-old father to come and bail him out, his humiliation hit an all-time high. His head bowed, this proud businessman refused to look his father in the eye.

Once home he saw the apathetic reaction of his 19 year-old son. The college student was disappointed, yet considered himself to be more mature than his dad. His father’s situation had not come as a surprise. The not-so-cocky parent  bowed his head again and began to cry.

This middle-aged man grew up. He entered a 12-step program, therapy, and began to ask God to take away his character defects. It was an exercise of surrender as he accepted powerlessness over his own life, and learned to give it to God.

We often hear that some people have to hit bottom before they will look up.  This is the power of humiliation we bring upon ourselves. We can choose to avoid reality and continue believing our character is mostly good, or we can look deeper to recognize our faults.

This is not about despairing over your perceived lack of worth. This is the time to listen to those around you, cry out to God, and ask Him to make you whole.


NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

*pictures from

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