The 7 deadly sins (?)

LUST

I wanted her body. Not her mind.

She’d hurt me a long time ago but I could feel myself getting closer to conquering the pain. It would only take one act.

She invited me to stay with her. I wanted to get my hopes up but I didn’t dare. I knew what I wanted to happen but I wouldn’t go there. Not fully. When my friends asked me what I was doing that weekend I was vague. This was between me and her. The old me and the present me.

It was her friend’s birthday and that friend got too drunk and didn’t look like she was going to make it out.

It had to be now.

We went to “chill” in her room and I took her glass from her hand, put it down on the bedside table, and we did what I’d wanted to do for years.

And we did it the next weekend. And many weekends after that. We were texting every day. We started saying to each other “I miss you.”

The next time I went down we talked all through the night and into the morning. I can’t remember what we talked about. It didn’t matter.

What mattered was that we’d fallen in love.

Which wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t fallen in lust.

*****

GLUTTONY

I started noticing it in pictures and that was alarming.

I was putting on weight. There was no question about it. No doubt.

So I ignored it. I figured if I ignored it and kept eating junk food and doing no exercise then I’d get back in shape. Right?

I started to get sick of myself. I was almost only eating junk food. Lots of pizza, sweets, cakes, fast food, fizzy drinks. Ugh. It makes me sick thinking about it.

I used to go to the gym 5 times a week. I used to play basketball. I used to be able to dunk. All that had gone.

I was in the worst shape of my life.

So I continued down that road.

Because I was scared.

I’d never been out of shape before. Not even close to it. I knew it would be a long road to get back to where I was.

But then I decided that I didn’t want to keep putting junk into my body. I didn’t want to keep doing what I was doing. I didn’t want to be who I was being.

Someone who was out of shape. Someone who made excuses. Someone who wasn’t being his best.

So I stopped.

I’ve written before about there being no technique. There’s not. There’s just honesty. There’s just knowing you’re more.

I stopped eating junk food. Apart from on “cheat day.” I joined the gym and started going 5 times a week. I ate “clean.” I drank lots of water.

I feel good. I look better. I’ve lost over a stone in just 5 weeks.

I’m grateful for my gluttony.

*****

GREED

I’d sat out the past few games with an injury and I was ready to come back.

I was looking forward to the game from when I arrived at the court but I didn’t quite expect to play how I played.

As soon as I got the ball I hurtled towards the basket. I drove as hard as I could and threw myself towards the hoop. The other team fouled me and I slammed onto the floor. That’s one way to test out an injury.

I was ok. I was more than ok. I didn’t realise how much I’d missed the physicality. The intensity. The competition.

I did the same on the next play and I scored. They couldn’t stop me.

I barely passed. I attacked over and over again. I shot more than I’d shot in a while but I didn’t miss.

By halftime I had the most points I’d ever had at halftime (23) and our team was up by about 25 points.

The first thing I did when the second half started was shoot. And score. And then I sat down for the rest of the game. I was done.

I’d never played with such greed.

I’m glad I did.

*****

LAZINESS

I wanted to be a life coach but I didn’t know where to start and so I procrastinated. I guess I’m just a born entrepreneur.

I also procrastinated because I thought there’d be a lot of hard work and I didn’t want to do it. Well, part of me did. Part of me didn’t. The part that didn’t won.

I continued to be that part. The part that procrastinated. I continued to do nothing but read articles about being a life coach and being an entrepreneur. It seemed like the best way to pretend procrastination was productivity.

Eventually, after reading so many articles, after being only a consumer, I thought to myself “these aren’t that good. I think I could do better.”

I became a creator.

I wrote on my Facebook page. I wrote for a website. I wrote for more websites. I started writing every day. I committed to writing every day. I started my own blog. I found more websites to write for. I found Quora. And, now, I’ve written a book.

I’m often more productive in just a few hours a day than I ever was in an entire day.

Thank goodness I was lazy.

*****

WRATH

When she told me she just wanted to be “homies” I felt my heart deflate.

But it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would. I suppose I’d prepared myself for it. I suppose I expected it.

The pain left anger. At me. At her.

At her for how she’d treated me.

At me for how I’d let myself be treated. For how I’d treated myself.

But from that anger came some of my biggest learnings. Some of my best writing. Even an idea for a book.

Maybe you’ll read it one day.

I’m glad I followed my wrath.

*****

ENVY

James Altucher has hundreds of thousands of readers. His writing moves me and is creative and is different. He’s a multi-millionaire.

I was envious. There were so many things he had that I wanted.

I’d forgotten that he’d been writing for 20 years. That he’d been on the planet for twice as long as I had. That he’d already made and lost millions. And not just once. A few times.

That calmed me down. That and the fact that I’m not him. I’m me. I want some of the things he has but his path isn’t my path.

I read an answer he’d written on Quora and I was in awe. “That was incredible,” I remember thinking.

And then I commented on it.

“Every time you write something like this it makes me want to raise my game. Thanks, James.”

I was glad I’d been envious.

*****

PRIDE

Is it a sin to be proud of ourselves?

Is it a sin to have love for ourselves?

Is it a sin to believe we’re the most important person our own world?

It can’t be. Can it?

Being proud of myself and having love for myself and knowing I’m important to me doesn’t mean I think I’m better than anyone else.

It means I think I deserve those things. That I’m worthy of those things.

I don’t feel like that in every moment. Sometimes I’m not proud of the things I do or I find it hard to have love for myself or I put lots of other people above me.

But I know, too deep down sometimes, too far into my real heart, that I deserve to have all of that.

Don’t we all?

Don’t you?

I’m proud of knowing that.

*****

Are we sure these are the seven deadly sins

What’s stopping them from being heavenly wins?

Is anything that happens good or bad?

Or is everything just what we would’ve had?

All these “sins” have built me into me

It doesn’t seem like they had it in for me

Because, thanks to them all, right now, I’m here

They helped me believe in me so what’s to fear?


Originally published at www.matthearnden.com on October 20, 2015.

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