Showing how the seven deadly sins are alive and kicking in modern life. How to recognise them, why they are harmful and how to free yourself from them.
Busting the Seven Deadly Sins
The idea of committing a 'sin' seems outdated and even faintly amusing in the 21st century. But although most of us, thankfully, don't live in fear of fire and brimstone punishment anymore, the seven deadly sins have the power to damage your life - if you allow them. Forget the religious idea of offending a deity with these 'sins', because by committing them, the only person you'll harm is yourself. The 'sins' are negative energies, which, if you allow them into your life, will lead you to negative actions and thoughts. If you succumb to their temptation they will control you.
Avoiding these 'sins' will leave you feeling happier and healthier - physically, emotionally and spiritually. It's your choice whether or not to become a slave to one of the seven deadly sins.
Lust Most often associated with carnal desires, but lust actually covers an overwhelming desire for many things. So you might have a lust for money, sex, power or fame. Lust is an intense craving, which over-rides all other emotions or rational thought. Harmful because: Lust causes you to lose your sense of perspective and reason. Nothing else matters except attaining the object of your lust. You'll be unable to learn or grow as a person because you'll be unable to see anything other than your desire. The irony is if you do finally achieve your desire, you'll often find it does not live up to your impossibly high hopes, and the cycle of lust will begin again with a new desire. Purge yourself: Avoid situations where you think you'll be subject to temptation. If you feel tormented by lust, you need to calm your mind, perhaps with meditation, and mentally step outside of the cycle of obsessive thoughts. You can choose to stop lusting over your desire. Shift your focus to something positive.
Gluttony This is all about over-consumption - of food, drink, shopping, gossip, sex, TV. It's about consuming thoughtlessly without stopping to consider whether what you are putting into your body or mind is good for you. Harmful because: Gluttony glorifies in our selfish sides, urging us to think only about our own interests and to forget about everyone else. Gluttony leads to waste, if you take too much then there is wastage, which is sickening considering half the world often goes hungry. Purge yourself: Most material things are fine in moderation. Part of the joy of living is to enjoy good food but indulging to excess removes the pleasure. Practise moderation. You may be over-consuming as a way of filling a void inside you; this is a mistake. The only way to fill the void is to face your fears and conquer them.
Greed An insatiable pursuit of material possessions. Greed can lead to theft and manipulation. Greed gives you a temporary high, when you acquire something new, but immediately you want more. You will never feel satisfied. Harmful because: Just as with gluttony, no matter how many material possessions you accumulate, they'll never be able to fill your longing. You'll throw aside relationships with family, friends and lovers if they get in the way of acquiring more. The danger is that you'll end up surrounded by material wealth but with nobody in your life who truly cares about you. Purge yourself: Learn to let go of your material focus. The purpose of life is to grow and improve as a person and to explore your spiritual side. These are things that will give you deep and lasting fulfilment.
Sloth This deadly sin incorporates physical and spiritual laziness. Sloth is often seen as the most harmless of the deadly sins, even something to laugh about. But there's nothing funny about failing to meet obligations to those who depend upon you, and sometimes failing to act allows evil to flourish. Harmful because: Failing to act can have far-reaching, damaging consequences. Not being bothered to take out the rubbish on recycling day is slothful but not earth-shattering. Whereas letting your child down when you promised to spend time with them, or failing to act when you know somebody is being hurt, is inexcusable. Purge yourself: Use your talents. Sloth wants you to sit back and do nothing. Break free by identifying and using your unique gifts. Explore your spirituality.
Wrath Destructive and devastating, wrath is violence, hatred and anger. Wrath is never about justice; those in its grip are blinded and cannot see the truth. Wrath can be directed internally as well as externally - so a person could be consumed with wrath at their own perceived shortcomings, making them constantly angry and unhappy. Harmful because: Destroying lives and leaving people living in fear, wrath is truly terrible. It can provoke a bloody legacy of violence and revenge as feuds are perpetuated down through the years. Purge yourself: If you are prone to anger, recognise your triggers and control it before it controls you.
Envy Will devour you from the inside out. It is the consuming desire for what others possess, whether that's their house, fame, clothes, career, husband/wife or good fortune. You long to deprive them of what they have because you deserve it more than them. Harmful because: Envy stops you creating your own good fortune. If you are stuck spending all your time feeling jealous of someone, then you'll have no energy to improve your own situation. Purge yourself: Despite appearances, nobody's life is perfect; envying someone will sap you of your strength and achieve nothing. Focus on your own life and make it the best it can be.
Pride In this sense, pride is arrogance, boasting and vanity. Pride is the need to put others down in order to feel good. Pride is being unable to admit you are wrong. Harmful because: If the only thing that is important to you is yourself, you can never have a meaningful relationship or friendship. People will eventually see through your boasting and they will lose respect for you. If you won't admit you're sometimes wrong, you can never develop emotionally or spiritually. Purge yourself: Learn to feel humility; let other people make decisions and support them without always thinking you could have done better. Being sincerely humble is an attractive quality will draw people to you.