Friday, February 24, 2012

Seven Out of Seven

I was checking out the Seven Deadly Sins this morning—I hope you know me well enough by now not to ask where that came from—to see if they are listed in any particular order of sinfulness. Apparently they are not. However, I was a bit surprised—its having been so long since I last checked them out—to find that I am or have been at one time or another, guilty of every single one of them.

In case you might have forgotten, they are lust, greed, gluttony, sloth, anger, envy, and pride. Having devoted a great deal of time to each of them in the past, I thought I might stop to consider whether I might have lost a few. I haven't.

Lust? Oh, my, yes. The problem with lust is that it is best when reciprocated, and the passing years tend to rob one of the chance for reciprocity. Every time I see a beautiful (to me) man, my chest still aches with longing, but the only result is frustration. If frustration were to be an eighth sin, it would overtake most of the others.

Greed? Yep. I am, as noted several times in these blogs, insatiably greedy for approval and praise. But again, greed is one of those things that tends to be tempered by reality over time. I am always greedy for more money, but know that’s not likely to happen. So I have learned that greed can be fairly well dealt with by simply ignoring it.

Gluttony? Once, but no more. I always associated gluttony with greed, and in a way they are related, but gluttony is limited to food, and my bout with cancer effectively robbed me of both the desire (nothing tastes the same, and certainly not as good) and the ability to eat nearly enough to qualify for gluttony even if I wanted to--though I'm sure if I could, I would.

Sloth? Alas, yes. If procrastination is a form of sloth, it’s pretty high up on my list. I’m really very good at finding a million things to keep me from doing what I should be doing.

Anger? Uh, if you’ve read any of these entries, I think it’s fairly obvious that I am totally at the mercy of this particular sin. I have turned anger into something of an art form, and often go beyond mere anger into outright rage and fury over far more things than I should. But until the world is what I want and expect it to be, I don’t see any improvement in my anger management abilities.

Envy? Whereas I actually take a perverse pride…coming up…in some of the other sins, envy is the one of which I am probably most embarrassed. Just as I frequently ache with lust for all the unattainably beautiful men who cross my field of vision every day, I far too often ache with envy over what others have/do that I do not. I do not read nearly as much as I should because I become so terribly envious at how well other writers write. I slide into the bottomless depths of envy and despair when I see people with incredible talent in any field, and when that talent is compounded with beauty, as it is in far too many to count, the ache matches and possibly even surpasses that created by lust.

Pride? This is a strange one, for when it comes to my own pride it is so often and thoroughly mixed in with self deprecation, insecurity, and a dash of greed, that it’s like a blender set on “puree”. But the fact is that I am extremely prideful. I have formed my own concepts of dignity and will go to any lengths not to violate them. I am proud of who I am, even though I would like to be many things I am not. I am proud of my writing, though I am not a great writer. But probably one of my greatest areas of pride is in my refusal to acknowledge the hegemony of reality. It may be a silly pride, but it is very real and vitally important to me. And, finally, no matter what, I am a survivor. And I take great pride in that.

Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please take a moment to check out his website ( and, if you enjoy these blogs, you might want to check out Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs ( ).

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