Pride is the only one of the seven deadly sins that has a virtuous side. It can convey both lightness and darkness. When used in a positive way, it can express self-esteem, honor, self-respect, belief in your abilities, your identity, your self-worth and faith in yourself.
But the sinful side of pride can create arrogance, conceit, self-glorification, narcissism, vanity, conceit and the inability to admit you made a mistake. That you took the wrong path, that you hurt someone to protect your own pride. Pride is a very sharp double-edged sword that should be wielded carefully. It can kill you.
It killed my husband. My ex-husband, who I still think of as MY husband. A piece of paper that was issued by the courts does not take away 34 years of a relationship filled with love, pain, happiness and grief. He was my husband and I am his widow. I have dated several men in the past few months, hoping to heal that hole in my heart, and one by one, they make the pain even worse.
No more. I am done. I am going to focus on making myself healthy and happy and forget about worthless relationships with men who have long forgotten about how to love and be kind to women, like my Will was. He was not perfect, but neither am I. I miss him more than ever, and have been staying busy to keep myself from going dark…going down the rabbit hole. I was there back in January…February…March…April. The next time I may not survive it myself and I cannot do that to my grandkids. I need to take them fishing and camping and kayaking. The three of us need to learn new things and experience life without their Paw Paw around every day, but still in our hearts forever.
Pride kept Will from admitting he was wrong about leaving me. The notes he left behind for the detectives to read, indicate that he still loved me, that he never stopped, that I was the glue that kept his life together, healthy and happy. We shared so many good things, including owning Playful Pooch Dog Daycare for seven years. We were the best partners ever and we each said we could not have done it without the other. We constantly built each other up with praise for our respective hard work. But, when we sold it, his purpose in life was gone and he slowly started dying until he ended his life on September 25, just 6 weeks ago. Was not wanting to admit that he had made a mistake, enough to make him end his life? At what cost does pride change our lives?
I am proud in both the virtuous and sinful way. I have always been proud of my intellect and desire to learn new things. For wanting to help people in need when I see a solution that might help them. But the sinful side kicks in when I think they actually do want my help, that they can’t live without my ideas and input, when in reality they do not want any part of my offer of goodwill. That one always hurts. Pride has a way of biting you in the ass.
Pride is causing me to take some really big chances right now. Learning to become an investment advisor, taking classes, getting licensed, going to seminars designed for people that are far more educated and sophisticated in this new world that I am venturing into. I am buying a second house, close to the new office which is so very far from where I live now. I am comfortable with this, I know how the tax law works on owning a primary residence for two years, and then taking the gain tax free. The only way to make free income and for those of you that have never done it before, what a shame. You should try it. Free non-taxable income. What a concept.
A house is just a house until you make it your home. Buy smart in the right neighborhood at the right price, hold it for two years and then sell it for an easy gain. The reason I could retire early was that I used real estate gains to build my retirement nest egg and then it has been compounding for thirty years. That is why I will be a great financial advisor. I have lived it and know the power of compounding.
But what if I am wrong about all of this? What if I don’t have what it takes to be a whiz bang executive? What if I can’t compete with these wolves of Wall Street? Then I will swallow my pride and hold my head up high, looking to slay the next battle nearby. Will was afraid of not having enough money to live out his life. I know that I can always find a job that I am really good at. Life is what you make of it. Don’t let that sinful Pride consume you.
That is it in a nutshell. You can be afraid of life, of the circumstances surrounding it, of your pride and the inability to admit you need help. Or you can just hold on tight, watch for the opportunities and be willing to make changes, learn new things and admit you are wrong at times.
Pride is a good and evil thing. Use it wisely.