By Gregg Sanderson
The Seven Deadly Virtues are actions that are, in themselves, considered positive. But they ignore personal responsibility, and the goal of Unconditional Love.
Because of the Bummer BS, (Belief Systems) the Seven Deadly Virtues aren’t always virtuous. They can be deadly to your relationships, self-esteem, and happiness.
Last month, we talked about the misunderstood aspects of Communication, Commitment, Trust, Consideration, and Assertiveness. If you missed them, run (do not walk) to last month’s issue of Transformation Coaching to catch up. While you’re there, you might as well subscribe. It’s free, and you’ll love it.
This month, we start with…
Some people tell us that sacrifice is the secret to happiness. Don’t believe it! Those who extol the virtues of sacrifice generally want to be on the receiving end.
Sacrifice is when you give up something you value for something you value less. For example, if I give up broccoli for a hot fudge sundae, it is not a sacrifice. If you give up a new car to send your kid to college, it’s only a sacrifice if you’d rather have a new car than educated progeny.
When you go to school, you trade your time and money for knowledge. That gives you more to trade when you seek employment. Then you trade your time and skills for money, which you trade for the goodies that sustain and enhance life. There’s no sacrifice.
What it boils down to is this: Everything we do in life is a trade. You give up something you value for something you value more. Trade is the moral opposite of sacrifice and trade works.
Often people will talk about the importance of sacrifice in relationships. I’d like to suggest that the path to happiness in relationships is non-sacrifice.
Suppose you give up something you want to be, do, or have to protect my feelings. You sow the seeds of resentment in yourself and in me. You will resent me for all you give up, and I’ll resent you for not giving enough.
Many tell you how important it is to forgive if you want to be happy. That’s so, but beware the subtle trap of judgment. You done me wrong, and I forgive you. How noble of me, but you’re still wrong.
Let’s pretend for a moment that somebody betrays your trust and doesn’t communicate. Maybe they’re inconsiderate, unassertive, and refuse to make the proper sacrifices to you.
Suppose, instead of “forgive” we use the word “accept.” Remember, love is the emotional acceptance of “what is.” That takes the judgment out of it, and with better BS you feel OK no matter what the situation.
You don’t have to like the person or action. You don’t have to approve of it or want more. It only means you don’t get upset.
If it happens again it still won’t bother you, although you may be closer to a choice not to hang out together. Then again, you might figure that’s the way it is and leave it at that.
I have a friend who is a feather in the wind. There have been occasions where he’d call to say he’d be right over, then not show up for two or three days.
A stickler for promptness, I had to make some changes in my BS to accept his behavior. I could have terminated the friendship. I chose instead to appreciate the way he was since he is such a joy to be with.
Understand that your forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person. No matter what your feelings in any situation, it’s your own BS that causes them. Once you realize you can change your BS, life gets better and better.
If you still blame or judge, you haven’t forgiven. It’s a subtle trap, but an important one. Think “accept.” It’s easier.
None of the Seven Deadly Virtues are “bad.” All are desirable. They don’t work for your happiness if you think you can use them to get someone else to change. Here is a brief guide to the caveats.
Communication — Communicate. Don’t manipulate.
Commitment — Give it when you want. Demand it never.
Trust — Trust everybody to be himself/herself.
Consideration — Handle your own BS. Say it with love.
Assertiveness — Ask for what you want. Create no rebels.
Sacrifice — A trade is not a sacrifice. Give value, get value.
Forgiveness — Acceptance. Beware judgment or righteousness.
When in doubt, ask yourself, “What would Love do?”
Gregg Sanderson is author of Spirit With A Smile, The World According To BOB. He is a licensed practitioner in the Centers for Spiritual Living, and a Certified Trainer for Infinite Possibilities. His earlier books were, What Ever Happened To Happily Ever Aft er? and Split Happens—Easing The Pain Of Divorce. His latest project is the New Thought Global Network, where subscribers can enjoy the best in New Thought presentations from anywhere at any ti me. You can see it at http://www.newthoughtglobal.org.