Often, we hear the sentence I am proud of you or I feel so proud, don’t we? Although the dictionary meaning of pride is to feel deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one’s own achievements, it’s misleading and half. There’s more to the meaning.
Means, there are more layers and hidden vibrations attached with this word and I love to dig out the hidden part; that may or may not be true—this is all from ancient wisdom and my personal experiences with life.
What is pride?
Pride is a two-faced emotion. On the one hand, it can be noble and good, and on the other, it can be selfish and mean. It all depends on how it is used and not everyone knows how to use it.
Pride is one of the seven deadly sins and just one-step behind false ego. Read closely, not ego, false ego. Ego is essentially everything you identify yourself with. So, you can show signs of n false ego if you possess traits of arrogance and narcissism. But the false ego is more complicated than how you may think you’re better than anyone else—it can destroy you from inside and outside both.
From inside, you always think that you’re better than others and that may not be the case and from the outside people will stay away from you. People will resent your company because people usually like simple and humble people. No one wants a pride-monger or a narcissistic besides them.
Example from my life
I was the victim of the pride some years ago. I was doing good in my career and received several appreciations from organization and peers. The appreciation often came in form of monetary benefits and I couldn’t control the temporary pleasure attached to it. The result—I tuned in to a narcissist.
It was only after some time that I—fortunately—realized that my pride has turned into a false ego and I need to let it go. This inspired me to do an inner journey and I planned a 4-year-long sabbatical to get rid of this dangerous disease.
In this period, I read many books on ancient wisdom, studies different belief systems and met many scientific and spiritual people to discuss what I understood. The ancient wisdom was right, the pride turned itself into a dangerous monster because I couldn’t handle it. Read carefully, because I couldn’t handle it. That means feeling proud may not be dangerous if you can handle it.
But how many of us can?
The problem in society
I see parents and friends around me who use the words I am proud of to their close ones. I feel scared. What if the same thing happens with their loved ones? And you can actually see that the world is full of people with false ego.
If you dig deep, it all started with the childhood. When the parent or teacher says I AM PROUD OF YOU, it ignites a feeling comparison in the children and they feel they’re better than others. This feeling cultivates as the children grow up and take a dangerous form in adulthood. It’s like the balloon; the more you fill the air, the more it grows and in the end, it bursts into pieces.
What does ancient wisdom say about pride?
According to Prophet Muhammad, pride is a disease. Pride is one of the greatest sins in Islam and he who is proud is arrogant. The prophet told his followers that no person with an atom’s weight of pride in his heart shall enter paradise. All human beings have the tendency to become proud but there are different degrees of pride. It could be so little that it becomes unnoticeable and it could be in a large amount, which is why we always pray to Allah not to make us among the proud and arrogant people.
Is there not in hell an abode for the proud? Quran 39:60
It shall be said—Enter the gates of hell to abide therein; so evil is the abode of the proud. Quran 39:72
There is a lot to learn about our lives in the Bible. We are all dealing with our pride. These Bible verses teach us about pride.
Pride leads to destruction, and arrogance to leads to downfall. Proverbs 16:18
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
In Hinduism, Arishadvargas are six enemies of the mind and pride is one of them. Ego is nothing but pride in its inflated form. Pride is too self-satisfied to care for seeing the good in others and in praising them. Having excessive pride in oneself is a problem and an obstacle to one’s peace and happiness. Pride is considered both a desirable quality in some cases and an undesirable quality in some other. For example, on the spiritual path, it is certainly a major impediment and needs to be avoided.
Pride is often driven by poor self-worth and shame. We feel so badly about ourselves that we compensate by feeling superior. We look for others’ flaws as a way to conceal our own. Watch this video from 1:40 to 2:40 or so.
So, the next time you use the I AM PROUD sentence, please think about this blog post and the journey that word can make. Think about the self-destruction that sentence can do.