As of late, I’ve been trying to live my life as one big spiritual practice. And, truth be told, I’m not exactly sure what that even means. For the most part, it’s simply meant making a series of small, conscious adjustments to my day-to-day, mostly mundane existence. For example, eating less, making an effort to drink more water, spending more time in solitude, walking in nature, etc.

On a deeper level, however, when I find myself becoming aware that I’m feeling a bit impatient or full of myself (not to be confused with confident) and noticing my empathy and compassion for others waning, I do my best to pause, remembering that I too suffer. Doing so brings me back to the present and allows me to connect more genuinely and intimately with my fellow human beings. This isn’t always easy or pleasant of course, for if I acknowledge the pain and my projected shortcomings of others, I’m then forced to humbly look at my own.

For the past several weeks, something I once heard from Richard Rohr keeps coming to mind. In an interview with Krista Tippett of The On Being Project, he states, “I ask God for one good humiliation a day, and I usually get it . . . And then what I have to do, Krista, is I have to watch my reaction to it. And I’ve got to be honest with you, my inner reaction — I’m not proud to tell you — is defensive, is, ‘That’s not true. You don’t understand me.’ I can just see how well-defended my ego is.”

Amen, Richard. Amen.