Meekness has always been a difficult fruit for me to accept. Too often I have associated it with being kind of wimpish; being unable to speak up or stand up for oneself. A meek person, in my book, was huddled in the corner in fear.
When I began to read Thomas Keating, I began to understand meekness as kindness: a rich and generous fruit. Eventually, I have come to see meekness as even more. With the Spirit as our strength, meekness becomes a willingness to fully accept those we meet – with their strengths and limitations. In fact, it helps us accept ourselves with our limitations as well. Ultimately, meekness allows us to really love self and others unconditionally.
Too often I have wasted precious time and love trying to ‘fix’ my limitations or trying to ‘perfect’ those areas I don’t like about me. Maybe you have done that too. Often that effort boils over into how we view others and we spend energy trying to ‘fix’ or judge them. We don’t accept that another person might just be different than us or just have limitations that we don’t like.
The challenge of meekness is, as Keating reminds us, to accept others, even if they commit harmful actions or possess qualities we don’t like.
Bottom line? With the Spirit’s strength and the assurance of God’s presence within us, we can behave with meekness, extending acceptance and kindness to people as they are and not as we wish them to be.