I’ve been thinking a lot about certain emotional skills where I fall short. Anger and envy are two social objections where more recently I have been going directly to God in meditation to better understand why every avenue I take does not adequately heal the upsetting thoughts and feelings which fuel these harmful emotions.
As I work to understand and heal my mercurial shortcomings I realized how approaching my challenges with compassion is not only the most effective way to release my pain when it pops up, but through that same tenderness I can then extend that same kindness and understanding to those who hurt or offend me.
Through this compassion, I have been able to live more authentically, taking firm stances of opposition during times of unrest – instead of pretending to be perpetually agreeable – while still holding space to understand why the other side thinks and feels the way they do. This has enabled me to feel much more confident in my own convictions, and to feel more hopeful for a more positive, free, and reconciled future.
After many years of studying what true love and kindness is, I finally discovered what these are this past year through trials of fire and in putting one foot in front of the other long enough to get me to where I truly wanted to go. I committed to God as I understand Him, by taking the time and trust required to in solitude do the meditation work needed in order to come to the epiphany that there is truly no such thing as polarity: there is only the perception of it.
Nevertheless, I believe there is the regenerating paradox of neutralizing negative characteristics with positive ones, and through my own revelations I have matched the fruits of the Holy Spirit with the Deadly Sins. This draft took a bit of maneuvering because not only has the Church already matched each sin to a “virtue” (a gift of the Holy Spirit, which is easy to confuse with a fruit, but are quite different), but I also needed to add two ancient sins that were merged into two of the now seven, in order to have an even number of corresponding responses.
The following chart is what I have come to understand through my own battles with sin, and through the lessons learned in both acting upon them, and in intercepting them with the power that is expressed through the fruits of the Holy Spirit:
|Vainglory (Unjustified boasting)||Gentleness|
What do you think about these pairings? Would you have matched them differently, or have you or would you use one of these positive attributes to neutralize a destructive one?
Leave your thoughts or experiences in the comments below!