You will always know if you have met someone with true humility because you will feel respected, valued and accepted and the feeling will linger for a long time later.

This kind of humility is a deep spiritual strength and even though it is often displayed by those who have achieved great things in their lives, who have fame and regard, it is not derived from those worldly acquisitions—it is grounded in a deep respect of others.

If they were to base their attitude on their roles and positions or wealth, then although they may command outer regard and obedience, they would not win any hearts. They would be controlling and bossy with those who have achieved less and be dismissive and offhand. These same people would show respect and be on their best behaviour with those they consider ‘superior’ to them or who have more power over them. So, if I connect only with the position or the role that I and others play, then it is more than confusing, it can be very damaging, especially to relationships.

If I am able to have the awareness that I am totally separate from the roles I have acquired throughout my life, and retain the awareness that I am really a spiritual being, a soul, who is deeply and intrinsically full of loving kindness and peace, then that vibration reaches everyone I meet and interact with. Yes, not everyone will behave as I think they should, but when I understand that others are merely different, not wrong, then I can accept their behaviour without getting disturbed. If I become disturbed, I give away my power. This does not mean that I can be taken for granted or abused, because my humility is also born of a deep self-respect, so I can make my feelings and thoughts known, without becoming disturbed.

A true leader (in any sphere) who is humble, will never try to control but will gently influence, encourage, support and empower others, and for this they will be greatly loved. Truly humble people seem to find that others want to be around them and help out in any task that needs doing. If I am able to see things from each one’s perspective, then I will be working with an understanding that can get things done, not necessarily my way, but who is to say that my way is always ‘right’? If I make myself right, and you wrong, that can only cause conflict. If I see myself as right and you as right, but different, then there is an opportunity to explore different approaches, and work with everyone feeling accepted, respected and valued.

So, relationships become harmonious if I first understand that everyone is different, then their behaviour cannot disturb me. Then I accept, but not necessarily agree, with their point of view. Finally, have no expectations but a lot of patience and good wishes, then this attitude of faith and humility can transform others. Staying in this kind of stability, not getting disturbed, no matter what, and having good wishes empowers others. The opposite, frightening others with anger and trying to control them, is suffocating and fractures relationships.

True spiritual humility is born of the awareness of the soul, and takes a little time to establish. I can take a little time in the early morning and a little more during the day, and again in the evening, to go within and recognise who I really am, devoid of all worldly labels, and connect to the Supreme Soul, who is full of love, peace, gentleness and humility. Then slowly I am able to develop the awareness of the whole of humanity as a family of spiritual beings, taking part in an eternal theatre production. I can then recognise that each one has a part to play, each one with a different part, then true humility shines through my every thought, and my words and actions reflect the same. This is the strength of humility.

B.K. Shreya is a Brahma Kumaris Rajyoga teacher based in Mumbai.