Are we entitled to be, do and have all we want?
Feeling entitled is an attitude — a learned response. It is cultivated through cultural conditioning; acquired behaviours, beliefs, and prejudices about how life should be.
As a newborn infant, our physical survival is dependent on caregivers providing essential needs — air, water, food, shelter, sleep, and safety.
But, are we also entitled to experience; long-lasting close relationships with family and friends, financial success, and optimum health? Or, is this a perception of reality we have been influenced to believe?
‘Ask and it shall be given to you’ ‘Expect to win’ ‘Unleash the power within’ ‘You manifest what you vibrate’ I‘ve been a recipient of these assurances from a church pulpit, a motivational seminar, a spiritually enlightening book. I hold no bias — all have contributed to my personal and spiritual growth. And yet, with becoming curious about how my mind and emotions function I realised I had also adopted an ‘entitled’ attitude. Ouch! That wasn’t what I expected to discover.
Acknowledging the unconscious belief, of feeling entitled to have the things I wanted, allowed my perception of truth to be revealed…
I had expected close relationships to be long-lasting – that was the narrative of the story I had been told.
I had expected to have a successful career – training and commitment will guarantee that.
I had expected continual good health — I eat my 5+ A DAY and maintain fitness goals.
I had expected my prayers to be answered — wasn’t this what having faith in God meant?
When these things weren’t being manifested in my life, my equilibrium was thrown off balance.
I have also been on the receiving end of entitlement; racism, sexism, ageism, idealism, narcissism, hedonism, fundamentalism — you will have your own ‘ism’ to add when someone felt entitled to treat you a certain way. Awareness is always the first key to recognise and address unwarranted prejudices and discrimination towards us, or us towards others. What is learned can also be unlearned — this is a reality of growth and maturity.
My curiosity about life, relationships, and growth continues to lead me down some interesting rabbit holes. These are some insights I have gleaned;
Life holds all things possible — nothing is guaranteed.
Life isn’t fair — it never will be
Life is a journey — it’s not a destination
Life requires interactions with others — only some will be wonderful
Life isn’t all about you, — life is about all that breathes
Life goes on — you choose whether you go with it
Life can be gratifying — the more grateful you are the more gratifying life can be
My perspective of truth has shifted…
I can invest wholeheartedly in significant relationships, knowing I desire close connections … and also knowing I am not ‘entitled’ to secure them how I may want.
I continue to invest time and energy into my career, knowing financial security is obtainable … but is not inevitable.
I invest in my health, knowing my human body responds well to self-care … but is designed to age.
Prayer and spirituality continue to be foundational to my well-being and vibrational energy. I know I am deserving of wellness, wonder, and wholeness in all aspects of my life. I welcome positive opportunities that are available to me … but I no longer feel entitled to have them.
I now look through a binocular lens that has been adjusted to focus on actual reality and not my perception of reality.
How we view entitlement will impact our relationships with others; family, romantic partner, friends, work environment, community.
Through what binocular lens are you viewing your life?