thoughts

SINS & VIRTUES

Hello, my dear readers!

Thank you for joining me today. This is going to be a simple post, but I just want you guys to know that I am so appreciative you have followed my two-week blogging marathon. Your support over these past few weeks has been incredible, and because of you I haven’t grown weary or tired when working on these collections.

Two weeks ago I began this series, dividing it into the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Heavenly Virtues. Now that I am done I can attest to the value of forcing myself to write, even when I didn’t want to. As I mentioned in a previous post, there was one morning where I cranked out a poem despite the fact that I had no interest in doing so except for the fact that I knew you guys were holding me accountable. Then that day turned out to be my highest viewed day ever. (Wow! If that doesn’t apply to diligence, I don’t know what does, right?)

This journey hasn’t been totally easy, but it has been fun. So before we say goodbye completely, I want to go over a few things I’ve learned from this poetry journey.

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SIN VERSUS VIRTUE

Parallels, parallels. The Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Heavenly Virtues perfectly parallel each other, and this really intrigued me. While some may argue that nothing is ever black and white, I saw a sort of equilibrium in my study, as if these sins and virtues are further proof of Newton’s Third Law of Motion that states: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

Here is how this is shown, and how I set up my poems:

SIN VIRTUE
Lust Chastity
Gluttony Temperance
Greed Charity
Sloth Diligence
Wrath Patience
Envy Gratitude
Pride Humility

Though I do appreciate a certain gray area when it comes to philosophy, this structured comparison chart made things easy for me to understand. Am I struggling with greed today? Well, let me check my handy dandy chart, and there is the antidote: Charity!

Obviously life is not that simple, but honestly we can aim for it to be. For example, the major thing with which I struggle on this list is probably pride. My pride is an enflamed sore in my side. Poke it, prod it, and it only burns more. But when I put a little bit of a salve on it in the form of humility, the sore begins to slowly sink away.

Okay, that was probably a terrible metaphor, but I know that when I’m getting a big ego, I need to sit down, take a breath, and recognize that there really isn’t anything special about me, because everyone is special and has special, unique talents.


YOUR GREATEST STRUGGLE…

Like I just wrote, I struggle the most with pride. A bunch of polluted air (probably from inhaling all that California pollution, to be honest) gets in my head, and my ego inflates even more.

Sometimes I find myself thinking, “Wow. I’m so ahead of the game. I’m doing this, and that person can’t even do this. Well, know what’s best for me, and what’s best for everyone.”

This thinking can be problematic. Why? Because it puts all the emphasis on me. The me, me, me mentality is an example of negative pronoun usage, whereas positive pronoun usage (the implementation of we, us, ours) involves more than just ourselves. It puts us directly in a relationship mentality, where our connection humbles us a little bit.

When I’m the center of my thoughts, I’ve found that my thoughts swirl around my failings, accomplishments, future, and past. To the point that I’m not only destroying my relationships, but I’m either inflating my ego out of the sky or deflating my ego to the point where I think, “Who would ever want to be friends with me?”

But let’s not forget the antidote to pride…


… CAN BECOME YOUR GREATEST STRENGTH.

If humility is the antidote to pride, then why am I not implementing it more?

One of the best qualities (in my opinion) that a person can have is humility. A specific example I have for you guys is from a chico I met this past summer (and for the sake of this story, we will refer to him as Chico). Now this guy is absolutely incredible. A friendly, motivated young man with endless opportunity, Chico would casually tell me little facts about himself when the conversation headed a certain direction. Not because he was arrogantly telling me that, yes, he’d graduated college by age twenty and was going to be a full-up regional airline pilot at twenty-one… But because he was kindly telling me that if he could do it, anyone could.

This isn’t the kind of thinking most guys at this age have. Not by a mile.

I remember saying, “How in the world did you do all this? That’s amazing! Not many people could have done what you’ve done.”

And he could have said, “Well, it was easy.” Or… “I just did it. I figured out how to use the system to my advantage.”

But he didn’t.

He smiled, and suddenly he didn’t seem as bubbly and talkative as normal. He became almost embarrassed. But what he said has stuck with me: “It isn’t that special, I don’t think. There were so many people who helped me and showed me the right way, the right classes… Anyone could do it, but I was just lucky to have people help me along the way.”

That didn’t stop me from saying: “Um, you were still the one who pulled it all off.”

The smile got a little bit bigger, and this told me a lot about Chico’s character.

Humility goes a long way, even when you don’t realize it. Chico probably has no clue that what he said has stayed with me all this time, but it has, and that’s the kind of power we all have with our words and our actions and our virtues. This is why it is so important to know how you carry yourself and what you say can have lasting impacts you did not know were possible.


STUDY THE SINS AND VIRTUES YOURSELF.

These past two weeks have thrown a lot of my thoughts your way, but now it’s your turn. If you want to dive more into your soul, then whip out a Bible, jot down some notes, and think to yourself: What is my greatest sin? What is my greatest virtue? What does all this even mean?

Isn’t that a great mystery of life anyway? What does this all even mean?

Now think for yourself. It’s your turn. And if you want to share with me, please know that I’ve got two ears ready to listen (or two eyes, ready to read, as we bloggers typically communicate with our written posts LOL). Don’t be afraid to send me your poems or thoughts, and I’ll get right back to you! Our conversations make my day, and I truly mean that. ❤

You guys are amazing.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

-K.

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The rewarding environment of nature! (Hilo, Hawaii // July 2019)

 

poetry

PRIDE (a poem)

pride is a bubble blown
from lips dry with the
sound of my own words

pride is a balloon rising
into the sky with my
soul at the helm

pride is a humble POP!
when things fall apart
and i realize
i do not
know it
all

and what i know
means nothing
when my blood
has dried up


SUPERBIA*

a foolishly and irrationally corrupt sense of one’s personal value, status, or accomplishments  used synonymously with hubris. In Judaism, pride is called the root of all evil. -Wikipedia

According to the internet, the sin women struggle with most is pride (for men, it is lust. I am not the internet, so hopefully you don’t take offense to my claims). I know I am guilty of a hyper inflated pride at times, and this is why humility is a cure that must be cultured in response to this particular affliction.

In high school I read a play called Oedipus Rex by Sophocles that offered my first in-depth study of hubris, a term that “describes a personality quality of extreme or foolish pride or dangerous overconfidence.” In this play, Oedipus’s downfall culminates from his own ego. While the play has a fatal ending, we can examine our own lives under a similar (but hopefully not as dramatic) lens.

Have you ever been around a cocky person who seems to know it all? There’s a good chance you have. Maybe you are that person, and you don’t know it. The thing is, it’s okay to admit you don’t know it all, but when your ego inflates and inflates, it’s like a bubble (kudos to the poem above). Eventually the cockiness will expand to capacity, and the bubble, the balloon, the ego will pop–leaving damaged shreds of you in its wake.

Pride should be harnessed for motivation’s sake, as you must be willing to counter this ego problem with humility. A humble spirit is one that cares for others, the earth, and the self with a lens of emotion for the greater good, whereas pride asks its host to rely on the self.

What happens when one relies on the self? It may feel good for a while, because pride is a good feeling. But like most good feelings, there’s a timestamp, and then things are going to change. Eventually, a person will be knocked off his or her feet and forced to reexamine everything.

Consider your own heart today. Are you prideful? Is your heart consumed by pride? Learn to recognize your struggles, and combat them with humility.

*According to our good old friend the internet, there are two definitions of pride: One being the aforementioned negative “sin” on which I am writing, and the second as follows: “A humble and content sense of attachment toward one’s own or another’s choices and actions, or toward a whole group of people, and is a product of praise, independent self-reflection, and a fulfilled sense of belonging.” This second, positive vision of pride is not what we are discussing today.


DAY 7 OF THE SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE.

Can you guys believe we’re all ready at the conclusion of this challenge? I’m at a complete loss! Where did the time go?!?!

While I am sad that the week is gone, I am super excited to move into lighter territory. It’s time for some heavenly virtues! Beginning on Monday (which is tomorrow, yay!) we will dive into our hearts and look at the antitheses of these Seven Deadly Sins. We will dive in the Seven Heavenly Virtues that ask us to sift through our hearts with care and compassion for all.

Thank you guys for following me on this incredible journey! It has been wildly rewarding, much more than I can fully write.

Much love,

-K.


QUICK SHOUTOUT TO YOU GUYS!

Yesterday was my best viewed day since beginning my blog. Funnily enough, I had some stress from the prior days that made me say, “Screw it. I’m not writing a blog post today” (that post being the poem “Envy”). But my spirit rebounded, I wrote “Envy,” and published it that morning. All the sudden I was getting so many views from you guys (my favorite supporters!), and my heart soared.

I say this to remind anyone who is struggling out there to remember what you love doing. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Be yourself, and things will eventually fall into place, even if it doesn’t feel like that’s possible at first.

How do I know this?

You guys demonstrated that for me just yesterday. For that, I will always be appreciative.

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P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BEST FRIEND AND BLOG SUPPORTER SINCE DAY 1, MISS GIVENCHY!!!

poetry

ENVY (a poem)

i am envious of my innocence
and the things i knew not

i am envious of repentance
and the sins i forgot

but envy is an emerald flame
that will always burn hot


INVIDIA

occurs when a person lacks another’s superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it. –Wikipedia

Envy is a sin that rots away at our bone marrow like a flesh-eating bacterium. It’s nasty, grueling, and appalling–but it’s something that is innate to our human structure. While others may struggle with this more or less depending on their mindset, I’m sure we can all pinpoint a moment in which we realize, “Ah, what good is this doing me?”

I encourage you to consider how important on this planet you are. There is no one else like you, and this is a blessing to us all! We all have strengths and talents that will come to light, and it’s only you who can show us what that is.


DAY 6 OF THE SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE

Well, I apologize for this poem being so short. I had a bad headache yesterday (when I should have been writing this poem), and came up with this little guy quite on the spot. I promise tomorrow’s conclusion in this series (FINALLY!) will hopefully be more up to par with what I wish to produce for this blog.

Thank you for reading!<3

-K.

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poetry

WRATH (a poem)

is this the surface of the sun,
or the hot boil of my blood?

is this the rupture of my veins,
or the mighty dawn of a hurricane?

is this a clot in my heart,
or am i just falling apart?


IRA

is an intense emotional state. It involves a strong uncomfortable and hostile response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat. -Wikipedia

Now I know we all have been here at some point or the other: Wrath is a destructive force with the power to tear us down within seconds of its activation. When we are consumed by our anger, bad things happen. We do and say things we don’t mean to the point of potentially harming ourselves or others.

Righteous anger is possible, but we must not let our rage eat away at our hearts for extended periods of time. Forgiveness is a requirement for us to sustain our hearts, and we must be willing to pause, take a breath, and remember our sanity. This is obviously easier stated than done, but it is true.

If you get angry today, take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay. Eventually wrath will dissolve into something that can be used for good.


DAY 5 OF THE SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE.

Only two more days to go! I am super excited to share the final two poems with you in this collection, and then we’re off to more positive imagery with the Seven Heavenly Virtues. After the conclusion of this two-week challenge, I don’t know what I’m going to do!

You guys are the best supporters, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

-K.

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poetry

SLOTH (a poem)

i want to do nothing
nothing at all

please turn off my lights
until i fall

asleep with my dreams
of nothing at all


ACEDIA

is a habitual disinclination to exertion, or laziness. -Wikipedia, our trusty source

Well, let me just share my superior level of sloth with you guys. It is the night before this post will go live, and my laziness is at quite the peak. This poem took me five seconds to write, and I’m honestly too lazy (too much like a real sloth) to write more.

Laziness can be a real detriment to our productivity. We have one life to live, with twenty-four hours in each day. A big chunk of this is gobbled up by work and other activities that we may or may not find enjoyable. So why waste any additional time to sloth? (Even when they are this cute. Look at the picture below, and you will know what I mean. For those of you who may not understand, sloth in English can mean either laziness or this cute little lazy animal.)

Maybe you enjoy being a couch potato. I know I do. But then I recognize how much time is wasted, and it really hurts. Our bodies desire a certain amount of relaxation, but we cannot give in to this ideology 24/7.


DAY 4 OF THE SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE.

Day 4 is already done. How? This is just a testament to the constant speed of time. We’re now halfway done with the Seven Deadly Sins challenge, which means there are only three poems left in this series.

Thank you as always for reading, and be on the lookout for tomorrow’s poem!

Much love,

-K.

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poetry

GREED (a poem)

greed sickens me
everywhere i look

someone passes by,
just another crook

but there i am,
eyes in the mirror

and my heart drops,
things become clearer

i am guilty,
guilty as charged

chain my wrists,
sound the alarm

i open my mouth,
taste all this sin

“tread lightly, my dear,
or the devil will win.”


AVARITIA

is the inordinate or insatiable longing for material gain, be it food, money, status, or power. -Wikipedia, the source of knowledge LOL

Greed, greed, greed. The stereotypes suggest that greed is most prevalent in the upper echelon of society, where the rich and fabulous only grow more rich and fabulous as time goes on. I associate this with Manhattan and Malibu and mansions and maids. But guess what? I’d bet all my money (which isn’t that much, I’m afraid) that we all struggle with this Deadly Sin.

Greed is a core flaw in our hearts. We want more, and we think we deserve more in all we do. And once we complete a goal or task, we’re likely to push even harder to climb the ladder another rung higher. While motivation and hard work can be a great thing, greed is not. It requires a certain amount of selfish energy coupled with sinful desires. Greed asks its inhabitant to put everything on the bottom shelf–except the self, because the self is the only thing on which to rely.


DAY 3 OF THE SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE.

There you have it! Day 3’s done. Only four more poems to go in the Seven Deadly Sins challenge, and then we’ll head to some lighter, more positive virtue poems! I’m really excited to share those with you all as well–especially so we can have a more sunshiny tone on this blog again.

Thank you all for your support. ❤

Until next time,

-K.

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poetry

GLUTTONY (a poem)

There’s a lump in my stomach
that should not be. It spindles
and spindles a web within me.

I eat and I eat until I can eat
no more, but this does not matter
to me; I’m not that poor.

Not like those who have nothing,
their stomachs rotted; yet I feast
and drink, my arteries clotted.

And then I’m aware of the raw,
complicit truth: Gluttony, oh
Gluttony! You make me uncouth.

You’re a craving my swollen body
wishes to remain, but my sojourner’s
spirit sighs slowly: “Not this again.”


GULA

(Latin for “to gulp down or swallow”) means over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or wealth items, particularly as status symbols. -Wikipedia once more

Gluttony, oh gluttony! You make me uncouth. And if we’re being honest, you strip me of my youth!

When I think of gluttons, my mind first heads on over to the movie Seven, a 1995 thriller starring Brad Pitt and the legendary Morgan Freeman. It’s a murder story revolving around the Seven Deadly Sins (gasp!), and the glutton in the story is a big poppa man, someone who has over-indulged himself to death.

But the truth is that I commit the sin of gluttony every day. I overeat sometimes. I drink way too much Diet Coke. What’s worse? Sometimes I can’t finish my meal and waste food that should be going to help others who are not as fortunate. And when I’m not overeating or drinking in excess, I’ll bet you I’m as gluttonous as they come when it comes to consumption in general. More, more, more! is the motto here in the Western World, where capitalism is king. Though I am forever indebted to capitalism, indulging our palates can sometimes lead to our downfall (which reminds me of pride, and we’re not quite there yet).


DAY 2 OF THE SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE.

Thank you guys for reading Day 2 of the Seven Day Challenge! Your response for yesterday’s “Lust” is overwhelmingly supportive, and I feel so blessed to be able to share my ramblings with you all. ❤ Much love!

Thank you again, and until next time,

-K.

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poetry

LUST (a poem)

dear lust,

i wish i could bottle you up
and stick you on the top
shelf of my closet, under
dirty clothes that i will
never wear and old paperbacks
that i will never read.

it’s not your fault
that you exist, that your
glow sizzles my skin.
in fact it is mine, and
i’ll bear it every day
that i should live.

because every time i catch
a breath of your scent
i remember the words
he told me, the things he said.
and i think to myself:
never again, never again.

but then you come back,
impossible to contain,
each thought of his voice
blackening my veins,
because i did not want for a body;
i lusted for a brain.

but the blood that
flows through me
holds my
shame.


LUXURIA

is the psychological force producing intense wanting or longing for an object, or circumstance fulfilling the emotion. Lust can take any form such as the lust for sexuality, love, money, or power. -Wikipedia (a great source lol)

As a human being I am prone to lusting after things I want. It’s a sin, and I know it well. No human is exempt from sin. We’re prone to going for things we (think that we) want, and this can destroy us in the process.

While I do not want to harp too long on lust, I just want to say that this poem is a representation of the sort of lust I have struggled with in the past. Typically I do not find myself drawn to a person based on physical traits; I’m after what’s going on in that mind of theirs, and then I have to remember to calm down and relax.

While I could definitely go off on a tangent about lust, I just want to leave you guys with this little snippet into my own interpretation of it. Maybe this is something a lot of you struggle with; maybe it isn’t. But I hope you guys can take something away from this poem and remember that there will be six more following this week.


DAY 1 OF SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE.

Aha! Day 1 is done. Now we have six more poems to follow, in which I will be continuing on with this segment of the Seven Deadly Sins. These next days will be filled with short blog posts like this one, and then I will eventually create a concluding blog post with my thoughts on the topic of sin and virtue. Maybe you will enjoy some of those ramblings from me.

Please remember to have a beautiful day! (It seems a little weird for me to say that after such an adult topic, but I do really want you to have a good day.)

Until tomorrow,

-K.

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