i'm looking at the man in the mirror
i'm wondering if he can change his ways
I've been contemplating my own imperfections a lot lately. One of my main reasons for coming to Japan was that I felt that I was being called to grow and mature as a person. Perhaps I have in some ways (or maybe I've rationalized enough to myself that I have grown), yet often, I feel what progress I make is always slow...
two steps forward, one step back... two steps forward, one step back...
So I had some free time during a coffee break on my day off and in a rare fit of neurotic leanings, I made a list of everybody's favorite categorized list of misdeeds, the Seven Deadly Sins.
is a favorite movie of mine. Below Fight Club
, of course.
- Pride - Still my worst feature. I'm stubborn. I don't like to ask for help... I HATE asking for help. I don't like being in a position of weakness, such as asking for directions. In fact, I'd rather suffer by myself and be lost... and sometimes, being lost has not ended well. Definitely not helpful to life here a foreign country... especially when I'm not fluent in Japanese. If I can, I always switch up to English...
But yes, I have a lot of stupid stories about how my stubborn sense of pride has hindered a lot more than helped. Heck, just read any month in my archives and you're bound to find at least one. Really.
- Greed - I've bought a lot of Transformers. And I ain't letting anybody play with 'em except me. At least for now.
Generally though, I don't think of Greed as a big problem for me (but maybe that's my Pride talking). Or maybe I don't mind sharing my possessions because I don't have a lot to share...
- Envy - Not a huge problem for me, but still... I do wish often I had things other people take for granted. Like grandparents or a father... privilege... steady job in a field I both enjoy and excel in. Bah. But what can say except that really, sometimes... I wish I had a different life.
- Wrath - I think some people are surprised when I tell them that I think this is my second worst fault. Both my parents were hot blooded, so by virtue of simple genetics, I have a lot of anger in me. And sometimes, it really (in an evil way) wants to be physically expressed. I try to control by it via writing... so it comes it out like this or like this sometimes or like this.
I also tend to hold grudges against people who are not close friends or who are just aquaintences.
There's a really ugly, raging, cruel, bloodthirsty demon inside. Only God keeps him locked down, and for me, the proof of God's grace in changing my life is the greater patience for things that I sometimes have.
- Lust - Obviously... I'm a man. I think women, the embodiment of God's grace, are beautiful. Safe to to say this will always be an issue, because the only men who I would believe if they said Lust is not a problem: blind men.
- Gluttony - In 10 weeks, I gained 16 pounds in Brasil. I like tabehodai (all you can eat) and nomihodai (all you can drink) restaurants. For me to imagine a life without eating meat is for me to imagine a world where I've elected RuPaul to be president, I go to BSB concerts, and I exchange my entire wardrobe for pastel polo shirts from (cR)GAP.
Other gluttonous habits: I enjoy a drink or two of the stronger variety. Whiskey, bourbon, or scotch, please. I haven't reached full alkie status... yet. I also like video games, and I like winning at video games... which relates to Sin #1, Pride.
- Sloth - Number 3 in on the "What Makes Garrett a Flawed Human Being" list. I consider sleep a hobby. I'm a horrible procrastinator. Only Sin #1, Pride, balances my Sloth... given the choice between looking bad by not writing a paper and not doing it at all, I'll still write it... just with a whole lot of grumbling.
I got a lot of rough edges. As the corny platitude goes, I apologize. God isn't finished with me yet
. But change definitely comes from being mindful of one's weaknesses... and being truly mindful means a lot of praying...
On a less serious note, I've also been learning that appreciating the little things in life is a part of growing in maturity as a person too. The little pieces of happiness that God grants me are sometimes as easy to find as the 100 yen ($1) ice cream bars at Family Mart. Yum.
Positive thinking is a crock - understanding the eternal truth instead that being alive is a blessing from God makes infinitely more sense. Even if being alive includes hardship and happiness, laughter and pain.
I should be mindful of that too.