I remember when I first thought of this acronym. It was about a year ago when I was encountering a lot of anger and resentments from family members about past issues. I could never remember the 7 deadly sins and this acronym helps me to remember them: "PLAUGES" = Pride, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Greed, Envy, and Sloth. I had to fudge on the U, substituting gluttony instead!
When I think of those words though, there's 2 more that I think should be included as "deadly sins", fears and resentments. When you look at your own life, ask yourself these questions. When is it when you feel like you're losing control over your life? What do you FEEL when you don't have control? And what is it do you think you really have any control over? Is it other people? Other situations beyond your own? Obviously, if you're honest with yourself, you really have very little control over anything, other than what you put into your mouth, the clothes you wear, what time you go to bed, what time you get up, etc. Those kinds of things. But, when it comes to the moment you leave your home in the morning, get in your vehicle, and drive off to wherever it is you're going; work, school, whatever, you have none. Zip, zero, nada. None. And when it comes to other people, do you have any? Including your children, spouse, boss, or co-worker?
So, getting back to the acronym and the words I'd like to discuss; Pride, Anger, Fears, and Resentments. These four words, or feelings, are in my opinion, mankind's biggest enemies. Every time I think of when I feel the loss of control, pride kicks in. Instincts say I can do this! I can control that other person or situation. Of course, that usually doesn't work. Next thing I know, I'm angry. Angry at the other person or situation and, in turn, angry with myself for allowing my pride and ego to take over. Once I get beyond the anger, fear comes next. Afraid of what might happen if events occur that I don't want. Situations with my family or my career. And when I realize that my pride has gotten in the way, along with anger and fear, I become resentful towards others. The whole thing is a vicious cycle and can carry you to what I call a "black hole." A black hole full of negative feelings, a sense of hopelessness, frustration, despair, and an utter loss of control.
Having painted such a bleak picture, what now? What's the solution? Acceptance. From page 417, from the book meant for 12 steppers but what I like to call a book that is really about LIFE: "And acceptance is the answer to ALL my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake. Until I can accept, and unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in this world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes." Remember this though, acceptance may be the answer, but accepting someone, something or some situation doesn't mean you have to like it. It just is.
Pride, anger, fear, and resentment. Deadly words to us as human beings. Deadly emotions. God did not intend for us to live in this manner. A humble, loving, positive, and forgiving person is what He wants us to be. We do this then we crawl out of that black hole. Back out of a world of frustration, despair, and hopelessness into one of promise, love, and faith.
In summary, it's the Prayer of St. Francis:
Lord, make me a channel of thy peace,
that where there is hatred, I may bring love;
that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness;
that where there is discord, I may bring harmony;
that where there is error, I may bring truth;
that where there is doubt, I may bring faith;
that where there is despair, I may bring hope;
that where there are shadows, I may bring light;
that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted;
to understand, than to be understood;
to love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.