Before I delve deeper into this topic, I would like to clarify two things. First of all, I would like to state the reason why I used the word “sin.” It is not because I have a religious orientation or moralistic judgment regarding pride, but rather to uncover the hidden “shadow piece” of the word. 
Secondly, I would like to define what “pride” is from both sides of being a deadly sin and a virtue.
The dictionary defines pride as “a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.”

Pride as a virtue:

• A person or thing that is the object or source of a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction
• The best state or condition of something
• The consciousness of one’s dignity
• The quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance
The last definition can be a virtue or a deadly sin, depending on the context from which one comes from.
“It was Pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” – St. Augustine

Pride as a deadly sin:

From a religious interpretation, pride is an excessive belief in one’s abilities, that interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity, and this religious orientation is not the aspect I will be focusing on, although I did want to touch upon it for the reader.
The deadly sin or shadow aspect of pride manifests itself as:
• Self-importance, martyrdom, and the need to maintain the self-image and seen by others as self-sacrificial at the cost of one’s well-being.
• It takes on many forms as the need to be robust, selfless, and not acknowledging one’s own needs and self-care. 
• Our ego uses pride to manipulate us into believing that putting ourselves first, means that we are selfish.


I always think about the instructions that are given on a plane when flying regarding survival protocols.
Before any flight takes off, the flight attendant announces the following. “If there is a drop in the cabin pressure and you are traveling with small children, you should put the oxygen mask on yourself first and then the child.”
This example reiterates my point which is when one is depleted, they are of no use to others. I am not saying that there is not a time to put the needs of others first before oneself, especially in the case of an urgent matter or an emergency. Still, most situations thank God, do not fall into those categories.
This next section is for those of you who see yourself as: 
·    a giver
·    a caretaker 
·    a people pleaser 
·    or all of the above
Maybe you are not that type by nature, but find yourself feeling tired, resentful, and depleted, or you have someone close to you in your life that fits this description.

Common traps for lack of self-care:

• You always focus on everyone else’s needs and ignore your own, even your basic ones.
• You are on autopilot when it comes to saying “yes” to helping another without checking with yourself.
• The deadly sin of pride is operating behind the scene.
• You fear that your inner critic or another person will shame you.
• You fear that you will lose or damage the relationship, allegiance, or admiration of another if they are disappointed by you saying “no.”
• You unconsciously fear that if you don’t earn their devotion and loyalty, then you will not receive it in return.
Signs and signals that you need some self-care:
• You are irritable, have no patience or tolerance for being around people, even if they are your loved ones.
• You feel mental, emotionally, and even physically exhausted.
• You are automatically reactive, also known as having “a short fuse”.
• You find yourself focusing on what others are doing to you and blame them for your state of malaise (not feeling well or unsettledness) 
If you can relate to or know someone who can identify to any of these signs listed above, the chances are that attending to the area of self-care would be beneficial.

Different ways to give the gift of self-care:

There are, of course, the obvious ones like getting a massage or some spa treatment, eating healthy, and exercising. They do have many benefits as a part of your overall well-being. And yet, there are many ways that are not so obvious and can be practiced on a day to day, moment to moment basis.
First and foremost being that “old habits die-hard,” there must be a willingness to: 
• Set the deadly sin version of your pride aside, by identifying it without self-judgment.
• Be present to the fact if you don’t take care of yourself, in the long run, it is not beneficial for those you are helping (they will at some point experience your resentment).
• Realize that if self-care is not natural for you, although it is your birthright, that it will take conscious efforts on your part to keep it in existence for yourself.
• Therefore, practice makes perfect. 

Some self-care suggestions:

• Create some time for yourself every day to either meditate, take a walk-in nature, listen to music that speaks to your soul. Do something creative that you love, it could even be a work project. Decompress at the end of your day by yourself and start your mornings with some alone time.
• You may want to take a few hours or a Day of Silence without being beholden to anyone or anything. This time is for you to do whatever you wish for yourself which connects you to your bliss and peace.
• You may need to disconnect from your technology, phones, social media, email, etc. for some time every day. The “do not disturb”feature is a beautiful thing.
• Explain to the essential people in your life that this is a time for self-care, and it is not personal. It will take retraining on your part for some relationships.
For some people, these suggestions may be useful, and they will be able to implement them right away, but for most of us “old habits die hard.” 
There are usually many underlying issues and belief systems for the caretaker types. (For those of you familiar with the enneagram personality typing system I am not just speaking about the personality type 2 the caretaker) 
Therefore, a coach or therapist can be instrumental in uncovering what old patterns keep you trapped in the lack of self-care and creating new and beneficial ones.
In closing, and the last point I want to make about self-care, for now, is that self-care is not only beneficial for oneself it has a rippling effect and touches all within its parameters.
I wish you the best of health and self-care.
1 Response
  1. Sophia

    Thank you for this, Iris! It is not only very relatable, (I think i just made up a word) but it also outlines the concept and process for addressing an issue (should i choose to) in a very simple, objective and non-judgmental way.

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