Honest Habit 3: Knowing Your Deadly Sin

Yes, this reading will be as upfront as you can get. I’m not going to bore with the angst but fair warning —– we are diving into a very deep topic.

There is a dark side to us all and while there are heavy debates about the word “sin” – it plays a huge role in our everyday life. Feel free to substitute it for whatever makes you understand better, as this is something I personally believe everyone must come to terms with. “Sin” by definition is “an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law”. Again, taking into consideration that not every person has taken on biblical principles or some sort of religious understanding, I’m sure there are principles you follow in order to “just being a good person” or just the general idea of “good vs evil”. Measure these “sins” to your own principles.  In our humanity, the dark side has a pattern. However, from everything dark, there is also light. So I promise, there is a point to all this.

The seven deadly sins are defined as pride, envy, lust, gluttony, wrath, sloth and greed. (You can find more details here.) So how do you know what yours may be – from my standpoint, it’s the one your conscience is screaming at you. THAT is what it is. We have a combination and in varying weight but there is one that is completely undeniable; the one that sits right at the top of the list. The honest truth, you cannot get rid of it completely. BUT, here is the good news, you can accept and learn how to discipline it.

We are faced with moral dilemmas every day. Let’s exam greed for a minute. On a small scale, say it’s the Jimmy Choos that you always wanted and now are 50% off. You know, the one that matches soooo well with the red dress you never wore, to a party you’ll never go to. But still, you really want them so do you buy them or not?! (Famous Meme: “LIFE IS SHORT, BUY THE SHOES”, sounds about right in justifying that purchase huh? But you know you shouldn’t. This is what I call the logical fallacy from last week’s post.) On a big scale, it’s something equivalent to actually hurting someone for personal gain. So, say the Jimmy Choos are 50% off and after paying all your bills for the month, you’re spread thin. Your budget is telling you to move on. But just so happen to magically see your significant other’s credit/debit card in your wallet. (How did that get there? Was the Universe telling you something?!) Tempting. Tempting. But you REALLY want those shoes. Do you ask to borrow money or just swipe? If they love you, they’ll understand right? (Famous Meme: “IT IS BETTER TO ASK FOR FORGIVENESS THAN TO ASK FOR PERMISSION”, but is it really though?) You know the answer. Those are the impulses that run pretty deep and while we can never get rid of it, we can most certainly limit its grasp on our actions/reactions.

For a long time, my issue was wrath. Yep, I’m saying it right now: WRATH. And I say this as my ownership of it. Wrath was my defense mechanism as protection against the world/people (in my perfectionist mind.) I had a certain structure and understanding (although I felt I had a wide view on life, some people close to me would think otherwise) on life. I swear this “sin” of mine really ruined a lot of things for me; essentially robbed me of my very precious time. Being angry all the time made it really hard for me to come back to reality and reconnect with those around me. It even changed my perception of some of those people closest to me. Most times when dealing with an issue, once my mind was set, it was set. No opinion, kind words/advice or biblical teachings could soften my hardened grasp of whatever I decided. Some call this “stubborn” – but really, I was reacting with the underlying emotion of anger. It also did not help that I was OPPOSING my feelings. I did not want to feel them (ever) so I would block them out and associate those feelings and anger with whomever evoked them. (Emotions still confuse me. UGH!) There’s more to this but I gather, you get the idea. My wrath was like wildfire.

In my early adult life, I came to understand on a very heavy scale of what consequences come about from not acknowledging shortcomings/faults/sin, whatever you want to call them. I could not change without seeing the true cost of what damages my actions would or could cause, to not only to myself but those who received the brunt of my wrath. I’ll be even more honest here: may times I did not give a damn who it affected because I felt I was more important in that time and space. I’d like to believe I am (as many of you) an objective person however, when the veil of wrath covers my eyes, I would become increasingly subjective. It’s just the pattern I had.

Over time, I learned to balance and recall my reactions in real-time. “Real time” as in right in the moment that I was acting on my impulse. I could dial it back some. The discipline was realizing what my red flags were in the split-second moments when someone or something would normally upset me. For instance, driving on the road and D*ckhead Driver cut me off without signaling (while I have my kids in the car) or receiving the worst customer service in human history (soooo annoying). I use to get hot under the collar but now, I take a step back and quickly examine whether the issue is worth getting worked up over. Come to find, it’s NEVER worth it to get mad over something completely trivial, something you cannot control or you know you can fix. I later understood on a deeper level that I avoid the consequences of wrath/anger when I do not act on it. It was a pretty simple solution to disciplining myself. What I appreciate now is having the understanding that if I do not control or discipline my anger, it would definitely control me.  The same goes for all other “dark and dirty” issues you may have.

We have the keys to unlocking the mysteries of ourselves if we would dive deeper and understanding everything about ourselves in the good and in the bad. Harboring your “deadly” sin is not the goal, it is accepting and releasing its control. That is the bright side. It is using your innate weakness and turning it for good.  A change that can stem from what we exhibit at one of the roots of our being. Now that, is something worth being a catalyst for.


Find me on IG & Pinterest @shesgoodcompany. Until the next one! XOXO Friends!

 

 

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