TGIF. Yes, TGIF. This week I’ve seen a lot of systems in pain; chronic pain. Chronic pain rooted in pride, anger, greed, sloth, envy, lust,and gluttony. Most of you are gonna stop reading right about now. For the few, lets keep going…

Here’s what I see. Pride that began as a strong sense of self and slowly became full of self. Anger that began slowly and suddenly burst forth in rage. Greed that started out as simply an aim to get a fair shake and slowly morphed into a demand for just a little bit more. Actually, a lot more. Sloth that started as simply enjoying our success to one bender after another until we’re f’ing broke. Envy that began as healthy competition with teammates and escalated to a win at all costs kinda death match. Lust that started with tickling fancies and ended as an addiction. Gluttony which began as enjoying a bountiful harvest and ended as another American pig at the trough.

The truth is there is no easy way out of your chronic pain. More acute pain is the only way to combat the slow painful dive down. Want a better week, next week?

Root out your pride. STOP reacting to your triggers. Shut your mouth. Count to ten. Take three deep breathes.  Give something to someone for whom it’s easy for you to give good gifts. Gain more by giving. Start small. Get off your butt, stop the excuses. Move. Practice encouraging another and then practice encouraging another. Amazing how hard it is to envy the neighbor you see yourself helping. Gaze at nature. Stare at sunrises and sunsets. By all means enjoy food and plenty of it. Simply stop short of unbridling your appetite and giving in to pigging out and getting all sugary sweet while doing so.

And, understand your appetites need a bridle. All of ’em. Bridle them now. Don’t wait until your chronic pain becomes overwhelming. Don’t wait until an outsider brings the acute pain. Don’t wait. Remember, pride is the most deadly of the seven – Your pride. Your sense of pride that has become righteous. Your pride that has become an arrogance that just demands we wait, and wait, and wait some more. Your hubris that repairs by blaming others for giving you bad advice. Want a better week, month, year? Look in the mirror. Face these seven deadly sins in you. Get busy rooting. God, help me root out every last strand of pride within this strong and broken man. God, help me.

Funny, I feel better just asking…

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