Lust, wrath, greed, sloth, pride, envy and gluttony.
Is there a way to flip these deadly sins upside down, to take away the challenges they bring into our lives and instead learn something immense from them?
Can we turn them into miraculous opportunities for evolving ourselves into better people and bringing more light and love into the world?
Can we knock these sins off their high horse and instead crown them with a little shining halo?
Here’s my take on how to flip the 7 deadly sins. It's all about channeling that energy in new ways, by creating virtues where problems may otherwise exist.
Life offers you endless opportunities and experiences – any career you desire, any relationship you long for, any sport, hobby or activity you want to participate in, any country you dream of visiting, any food you wish to savour, any views you long to see, any songs you want to hear… anything! Lust for it. Lust for life. Channel all your passionate energy into a full blown love affair with life itself.
Notice the difference between a healthy lust for experiences that add value to your life, versus trying to find happiness by desperately and blindly seeking outside of yourself. Happiness starts first by accepting and loving yourself just as you are. When you live consciously from your heart, lust becomes a natural expression of your joy for life and as such is always channelled in a healthy way.
Is life grating on you, stirring up heated and explosive emotions? As you go about your daily life, notice what little (or big) things irritate and annoy you. Notice what pushes your buttons and triggers you to react negatively.
Then take those moments as motivation to change your own way of being or to change your situation. Life is not happening to you, you are happening to life. Own your reactions to what you experience ‘out there’ in the world. You have a choice as to how you interpret and respond to those triggers.
Don’t wait for full-blown wrath to set in. Take empowered actions now to evolve. Channel your frustrations as motivation for change. Let wrath-like emotions teach you where you are ready to grow beyond your old way of reacting, and to point you towards where inner transformation is available.
Do you intensely and selfishly desire something for yourself? If so, ask yourself these four questions.
- What is the ‘thing’ you so desperately have a hunger for?
- How do you think that ‘thing’ will make you feel after you go about amassing it for yourself?
- Reflect on what other paths and means may support you to achieve that same feeling (internal experience) but in less ego-centric and destructive ways.
- How could you share what you have amassed? There are two key reasons to share in this context– it benefits the people you share with, plus it allows you to literally practise letting go of whatever it is that you’ve become obsessed with.
Turn your greed into generosity, gratitude and personal growth.
Feeling reluctant to make an effort? Feeling a little lazy? You know what? That slothful feeling might just be telling you something very important. Channel that feeling into gaining a better understanding of what your true needs are.
If you’re tired, you need rest. If you’re overstimulated, you need quiet, alone time. A balanced life means regularly taking time out – perhaps to lie under a blanket, read, watch a movie, or chill out doing absolutely nothing. That’s what healthy people do to stay energised so they can be on their A-game and contributing fully in all areas of their life.
If your slothfulness goes beyond this healthy balance, listen to what that fact is telling you. Perhaps you’ve lost inspiration or joy for your life, for your career or for your passions. In that case, let sloth help you see that reflection time is needed – to reassess what lights your fire and set you in a new direction. Sloth is simply a pivot point, calling you to act in new ways.
Cockiness and arrogance are nobody’s friend. A pinch of pride, however, is not a bad thing.
Is it okay to be proud of yourself? Yes it is! Embrace who you are, love yourself, acknowledge your strengths and your achievements. Relish the joyous moments when you create something wonderful and contribute into the world.
Is it okay to be proud of your loved ones? Yes it is! Tell them that you’re proud of them just for being who they are. Help them to take a moment to celebrate their own wins in life, no matter how small.
Be aware, however, of pride that is driven from ego; hungry for image, status and recognition. That’s the dark side of pride. When it rears its ugly head, it is a marvellous opportunity to call yourself out and to go back to your values and what is most important in life.
Pride that is expressed from genuine love and joy is no more of a sin than love itself.
Do you ever look at other people and feel a twinge of envy? Ever wonder why that is? Are they living their life in a way that gives you a sense of greater possibility for yourself? Perhaps they are out there in the world being the type of person you admire.
Pay close attention to your feelings of envy – those feelings are often a signal to you that what you admire or ‘envy’ in another person is simply an unexpressed part of yourself yearning to break out and develop.
Use envy to better understand what you yearn for. Decipher what your own healthy needs for personal growth are so that you can step into your full possibility and full self-expression in a bright and shining way!
Is excess a bad thing? Perhaps it is in many cases, and most definitely if it’s a regular habit that negatively impacts on your health and happiness.
But remember that life is all about balance. Don’t make yourself feel bad for moments of complete and utter indulgence. Allow yourself to indulge from time to time if that is what you’re inspired to do.
If gluttony is part of your daily life, then use that fact to better understand yourself. In the midst of a gluttonous act, how do you feel about yourself? What are you hoping to experience? How do you view your body?
Reflect on your overall sense of self. Notice any inner gaps and then seek harmonious and healthy ways to plug in the self-love and sense of worth that you might be missing. These are things every human craves and gluttony may be a pointer to the unfulfilled needs within you.