Monday, July 05, 2010

Me and the Seven Deadly Sins

My good friend Rita is a Catholic. I love discussing her beliefs with her. The other day we got into the topic of The Seven Deadly Sins. She had to memorize them when she was in Catholic School or for Catacism or something. I really have no idea what I am talking about. Maybe Rita will correct me in the comments on where she really had to memorize these. But anyway, I came home and looked them up online. I wanted to know how guilty I was.

I guess I could feel exempt since I am not a Catholic, but, you know, I'm a woman, so I always like to find things to guilt myself over. And you know I really have a problem when I don't have enough guilt in living one of the strictest tenants of faith, that I have to go to another religious sect for a good old fashioned guilt trip.

Here are the seven deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, gluttony.

I am pretty sure that out of all of these seven, my hardest one is gluttony. When I recently saw this picture when I was eight months pregnant and realized that I weighed less then than I do now, I about threw up. I am typing this now as I chow down on a big fat homemade waffle with butter and syrup and a glass of 2% milk. At least it's not whole milk, right? I am trying to give myself props once in a while, along with the guilt trips.

I need to make this glutony a matter of prayer. It is time to get it under control once and for all. But food is my friend. It is my friend that I go to when things are bad, when things are good, and when things just are. I especially go to food when I have a child who sucks me dry. Because let's face it...all kids are needy and they can take every last ounce of your energy if you let them. When little ones stretch me to the max, food is a great place to get lost. I always say that once I am done having babies, then I will be more motivated, but it just isn't true.

I am motivated now, but I just don't want to give up the fat grams, or the sugar, or the white flour. It's a disease. Seriously. An addiction. I hate when I eat gluttonously. I feel like crap. I hate exercising and not seeing any results because I just eat more, guilt free, to fill the calories that I have burned. Because after all isn't that why I walked this morning? So I could have two brownies beyond the one that I shouldn't have eaten in the first place?

What about you? What's your hardest sin of the seven. C'mon people. Let's help each other feel better here.

There is one thing I know. It's that we all have weaknesses. Some people don't like to share any of theirs because they want people to think that they are perfect, but I don't think that allows for God's grace into your life. I also don't think it's being a very good friend.

It's not that I want to know your trash. Don't give me nitty gritty details. You can just tell me one of the very broad seven deadly's. And tell me what you do to try and overcome it. Then I will be validated that I am not alone in the struggle and that you understand and you will reach out for my love and support as I do for yours.

Don't tell me to go to Weight Watchers. Don't tell me what I need to do, because I know what I need to do. Tell me what you do to overcome your weakness, and then maybe I can glean some wisdom for my situation. Even if your pet sin is one of the other six, I think that the help we need in overcoming all of them is universal. For instance, prayer, it would help with any of the seven I am sure. Or how about vacation time. Nobody is glutenous on vacation, right?

One thing annoys me in the blogging world. It is the same thing that annoys me in the Christmas Card world. I don't want to hear your best bragging. I don't want to see all the pictures of your perfectly matching children who have straight A's and play five instruments, and went on 10 mission trips, and have 12 pen pals in Zimbabwe. I can handle listening to all of this stuff, if you just add in one or two pieces of the reality with it.

Consider this my best attempt at reality.

Moms are so competitive. I think most of them will have the deadly sin of envy because they feed into the world created by the other moms. Oh, your kid does that? Then they turn around to their husband that evening and say, "I think that little Bobby should do ballet." Their husband says, "Heck no." But because the kid of the best friend of your sister's sister in law is doing it, you don't want your kid to be outdone. You think, "Why can't my kid do that? My kid is good. I want to be as good as them. I don't want them to have more than me. And you perpetuate this onto your children."

Well, my blog is not one of those places that encourages envy. What works for you, won't necessarily work for me. And I am wise enough to know that my kids don't need to compete with your kids. The only person they need to compete with is themselves. And that goes the same for me. Yeah, you may be a Size 2. I don't care. I don't want to overcome my love affair with food so that I can look like you. I want to overcome it so that I can overcome it and feel better with what I have accomplished in self improvement.

Come to my blog to feel better. Know I am on the journey with you. I'm imperfect. And I know you are too, whether you want to admit it or not.

Rita just stopped by. We were discussing sloth. I noticed all the cobwebs in the corners of my home. Maybe I have another deadly sin.

Oh no! I can't breathe. I'm dying. Oh yeah, I'm not Catholic. It's all good.


Anonymous said...

you make me laugh!!!! i'll have to think on this there are sooo many!

Donna said...

Mine is wrath. Piss me off enough and see what happens. As for overcoming it....yeah I haven't yet

Rita said...

I am laughing so hard I'm crying -- not at the soul searching part of your post -- that last sentence just got me. We Catholics do guilt like no other -- or at least it used to be that way. I am a poster child for feeling guilt, guilt and more guilt. Catholics nowadays don't seem to be quite so guilt-ridden. And you are correct -- I had to learn the seven deadly sins as part of my catechism at school. My mom probably taught me at home too...I'm just too old to remember whether she did or not.

I love this post for so many reasons. I could go on an on. I love that you are honest and real with yourself and the rest of us. I'll take real over a fake perception of something any day of the week.

I really do think sloth is my main vice because when I am down or angry or frustrated or "lost" -- I let it paralyze me. I put things off -- I waste time -- I lose my motivation -- because I allow myself to be stuck. It is SO VERY frustrating -- but I too, am able to justify it to myself. I am also unsure how to get out of my rut so very much of the time.

Prayer and trust in God -- true abandonment to His will and His plan is definitely a major piece of the puzzle for conquering these vices. But I think another big piece is giving ourselves a break -- realizing we aren't perfect and it's okay to give ourselves time to ourselves to recharge our batteries and focus on what we need to heal and enrich ourselves on the inside. (And I know I know -- I do not practice what I preach!!)

I am sorry my comment is about as long as your post. :) Geesh...

I love you Alice!! Thanks for always being you -- I think you are amazing!

crashomatic said...

Missy eats lots of icecream to maintain a proper relationship with food.

Lori said...

Just one? Pride and envy are probably my top two. But really, I think pride covers so many other sins that it may be all I need to claim. If I were more humble, I wouldn't be jealous, selfish, mean, spiteful, etc.

Angela said...

Wrath and sloth. I can go from happy to yelling at the kids at the drop of hat. And for sloth..I'm sitting in our "office" with mounds of papers/junk mail waiting to be put in the recycle bin and 2 house plants dying due to lack of water but I've read lots of good books lately.

As for overcoming them: I run... alot - it gets out alot of frustration and helps with my anger issues. And for sloth..I downloaded a free calendar/to do list for my desktop so I can't lose my list and forget which and when the bills are due. It's a constant nagger

cally said...

I ate 2 dozen cookies today. And drank 2 sodas. Because I'm waiting for my house to sell, and what else am I supposed to do while waiting? Sugar is my friend.

I yelled at my kids because I'm waiting for my house to sell. And it's not. So I yelled. wrath-fully.

I'm not a sloth, right now, because my house is clean because I want someone to buy it. But I ate 2 dozen cookies. And watched Wizards of Waverly place for 2 hours.

I envied Katie's hair. And wanted money. Greedily. And envied your humor.

I'm trying to think of when I lusted...uh... I got nothin.

how many is that? Oh yeah, and none of it is my fault because I'm so darn humble I could kiss myself.

I shall die a slow death.

Kathy said...

PRIDE. That one kills me. I don't have to be better than other people (neither do my kids for that matter) but I hate it when I'm not the very best me. I don't know if that makes sense or not but I am very internally competitive and I push myself too hard and my pride rarely lets me accept help or just relax for 10 minutes.

I really don't compare myself to those around me anymore than the rest of us....but I always wonder if I can do more and push harder and why I'm not able to do the same things I could 10 years ago, etc.

I'm sure I should work on fixing it. But I got nothin.

Klin said...

I used to struggle with gluttony. I don't know what helped I just one day decided I had to much sh** and wanted to get rid of everything.

Wrath is my current struggle along with envy. But it's reverse envy. I am envious that my children are better than many others. I work with troubled youth so when a parent whines to me about their child's delinquent record I want to slap them and tell them to be a parent and hold their kids accountable, then I think about how awesome my kids and how grateful I am to have them.

About the wrath. I know just enough people that if you really cross the line with me I know how to take care of it. I am trying to just not act on that knowledge.

Prayer is my biggest helper. It only works when I listen though ;)

Are you sorry you asked? Wonder what Kathy will think of me now? :0

Anonymous said...

After reading the definitions of the two deadly sins I feel most guilty of; it seems as if they are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Pride and Envy. Both make me a liar.

My pride convinces me I am better than I really am and envy convinces me everyone else is better than me.
Both of these sins cause me to compare everything. My family, my things, my spirituality, my parenting, my husband, my weight, and my youth.
A wise man named Joe at our church once discussed a piece of live music. After it was over he asked "why was the piece so beautiful?" We all discussed; each giving thoughtful answers. After some time he related "it is because each person knew their part".
I just need to learn my part.

thanks for sharing. excellent & thought provoking.


RedefinedPossibilities said...

Food, we do get to eat in heaven - right? If one morsel is good, 12 are better. What more can I say?

Lindsey Rose said...

I am with Donna, wrath is my little thorn in my side. I am only wrathful to my kids which make me even worse than the typical wrathful person. Is wrathful a word? Who knows. Tomorrow will be better right?

Marilyn said...

I'm guilty of all except maybe lust. I'm too busy being wrathful, slothful, envious, prideful, etc. that I don't have time or energy to lust after anybody. Plus I'm menopausal right now and we all know what happens to you then. Advice? well I know that I'm less of any of those when I'm immersed in the scriptures and the temple and serving.

Lovable Lies Family said...

Did you say envy, cuz that's mine. I just want everyone to like me. Not just like me, I want them to like me for me. The problem is, if I don't think they like me...I don't like them and that is a hard hump to get over. Right now, I'm just trying to like everyone, especially those that "don't like me." Prayer gives me the extra strength I need, especially with my family. You amaze me! Thanks for your words. Smile.

ShEiLa said...

I just asked my husband to help me figure out which of the seven describes me. I was thinking gluttony and then I looked at the list again... and pondered. Maybe it's sloth.

He asked,
can you read them all off to me. So I quickly gave him the seven. He has such quick wit. Oh for YOU it's ALL seven. :P (that's my raspberry) Then he said as American's he thinks we ALL are guilty of pride and that one allows us to take part in the other sins. Interesting take on it huh?

Thanks for making me think.


Renee said...

Hmmm, maybe a little of all seven. I'm also guilty of posting cute pictures of my kids, as we all are, and bragging about them too.