Virtues are the antidote for Passions. If passions are us at our worst, Virtues are us at our best.
But I want to caution those of you who read with an eye out for ‘how-to’s’. Passions and virtues do not imply how to do anything. There aren’t any downloadable instructions at the end of this post.
I swear I’m not holding anything back when I write about them without telling you how to do more of one and less of the other.
They are simply layers of the map and maps are not how-to’s but guides and cheat sheets.
Our Virtues and Passions are more like states of mind than things to do or not do.
As a Seven, I can be stuck in my gluttonous (passion) state of mind where I fear I won’t get enough or I’ll miss the best thing. Or I can be in my sobriety (virtue) state of mind where I am present to what’s going on without a need to alter it in any way.
Passions and Virtues are just more things to observe, because from that place of observation, we gain the power of choice to do things differently.
The more aware I am of my state of mind, the more I choose to relax the habit and question what’s really going on. This brings whatever’s going on beneath the surface to the surface, which affords me the power to choose how I will respond to situations.
The result of all that, for me, is that I spend more time reaping the riches of any given moment and less time grasping for bigger, better, more.
So without further delay, allow me to introduce to you these fabulous Virtues of ours:
One: Serenity—Rather than railing against things, you experience a calm acceptance and peace.
Two: Humility—You are aware of your capabilities and your limitations, what you have to give and what you need from others without pride or shame.
Three: Authenticity—You express yourself truthfully, letting the world and yourself see who you really are.
Four: Equanimity—You realize that we are all whole beings, yourself very much included. You are not lacking or missing anything.
Five: Non-attachment—You release holding on to what you believe are limited resources and instead, only take what’s needed and let the rest go. This applies to knowledge, emotional energy and social interactions.
Six: Courage—You face your fears and move forward with faith or trust in your own internal resources.
Seven: Sobriety—You are present to things as they are, not needing to seek more than or avoid what is right in front of you.
Eight: Mercy or Innocence—You respond from your heart without the need to prove yourself or control others or the situation.
Nine: Engagement—You awaken to yourself and act from that aliveness.