- : inordinate self-esteem : conceit
- : proud or disdainful behavior or treatment : disdain
- : ostentatious display
Pride is a slippery emotion that I believe many a slave deal with, even if we don’t recognize it. I’m not talking about the feeling of elation and accomplishment after a job well done or when we’ve been recognized and given kudos. But, there is this thing; this lapse in judgment that many slaves have had (or still do) at some point along the way, where at some point the selfishness of the slave is placed above the position of the Master. I haven’t come across one so far that hasn’t experienced this at least once (myself included)… What I find interesting is that I’ve only heard one Master speak of pride in a direct way; yet, many Masters speak about the desire for a slave of humble ways (will have to ask about this in an open forum eventually).
Here’s a short illustration of pride at work:
“But, Sir, I just wanted to be in your presence.” “Did you ask me what I wanted?” “I did not, Sir.” “Hmmm, so you did what you wanted to do?” silence “You got nothing to say now, huh?” “I’m sorry, Sir…”
This illustration seems benign, but pride is still there. Truly what is at the heart of pride is the unwillingness to not be selfish or at the very least not focus on personal selfishness. In short, the focus is on the self (slave) rather than the other (Master). Recently I had an experience that expanded my understanding of pride and how it had operated in my life. It was succinctly pointed out to me the error of my ways – I had placed my desire, want, and even need above that of the other. Amazingly, if anyone had asked me while everything was happening if I felt that I was being humble or even behaving as a good slave I would have said emphatically, “Yes!” Ha! I was wrong-er than wrong! I really had to take some time to sit down and think about my actions and my thought process. Yes, I had placed myself at the top when that shouldn't have been. If we've accepted being a slave, we have no place at the top.
And the further I went into this self-reflection; I realized that I had acted with a sense of entitlement on occasion before that point (gasp!). When caught up in moments of pride, not only does the slave remove the focus from the Master to herself, she also steps out of the humility/humbleness of her position. There is an air of entitlement as if the Master owes the slave whatever it is she desires or is seeking. “I deserve this, Master!” “I've worked so hard! Don’t I deserve _____?” As soon as we utter anything like this either internally or externally, it can serve as a cue for us to do a ‘pride examination’. This was such a huge epiphany to me! How humbling is it to realize that your Master doesn't owe you anything. In a manner of speaking, the slave is truly always at the mercy of the Master when it comes down to having her desires addressed. Now, I’m sure someone is saying, “Well, then what’s the point? This is too extreme!” Yes, approaching M/s from this perspective is intense, but for me and how I was ‘raised’ in understanding M/s and being a slave, if I have the mindset of “I've worked so hard, you should give it to me,” then the service I've given is only to receive something in exchange from my Master that’s not submission/surrender. Again, it goes back to the slave placing self over the Master’s requirements/desires.
In this day and time, we place so much emphasis on the self and everything that we feel we deserve and just how valuable we are that we probably overlook how that really affects our position which is essentially that of a servant. Candidly speaking, if we are there to serve the Master, his requirements, wants, desires, and leadership is first and foremost – in this sense he is sovereign in his ownership. Who are we to go beyond that? But this is what pride will have us do! Unchecked selfish pride will pave the way to just about anything that can or will undermine the power exchange/authority transfer. Even worse, it will cause us to justify our thoughts and actions all the while.
True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.
~ C. S. Lewis
Lots of love, blyss