Do You Think You Deserve To Have It Better Than You Do?
About 6 years ago a psychologist said to me that I may have an entitlement schema. I didn’t know what she was talking about because I had had a hard life, and I couldn’t see where I was thinking I was entitled.
A few months ago I was reading a book by Caroline Myss and she wrote something that resonated with the core of me. She wrote “ Believing you deserve something means that you think you are entitled. I am entitled to heal; I am entitled to guidance; I am entitled to an easy life. Entitlement is a self-inflicted form of suffering…………..never approach God with an expectation, either. You do not deserve to be healed because you prayed, you do not deserve to have your prayers answered because you are a good person. To believe in entitlement and divine obligation is to ask for self-inflicted suffering.”
That really rattled me. Why else was I praying or believing that I could heal. That I deserved to heal. That God was a loving God?
Wasn’t it natural that we pray for what we want?
I did want an easy life. Who doesn’t?
I’ve been through a lot. I’d had enough and I just wanted a bit of peace, was that too much to ask?
Then after my friend died I felt really sorry for myself. Yet another blow.
I don’t believe that I have to be a good person in order to have good things happen to me, like a martyr. I don’t approach healing or the Divine like a child having eaten all my vegetables and can I now have a treat. If I just be good enough or suffer enough.
But I have wanted an easy life.
I also really did start to see how this sense of entitlement was causing me to think like a victim. I hadn’t seen myself as a victim, because I had spent my life doing things to overcome the things that I’ve been through in my life. But, I was full of self-pity. Not grief. But pity as a dampener of my spirit.
What Fitness Is Teaching Me
My goal at the moment is to get fit. I want to lower my blood pressure and come off meds. I’ve done a lot of healing on this issue and still low blood pressure eludes me.
And then I got it.
I got how feeling I wanted to have an easy life, was the issue. How I felt like I should have had it different than it was, was keeping me stuck. That my friend shouldn’t have died, that I should have had more love as a child, or kinder supportive husbands.
Im not entitled to jack shit. I don’t mean that in a low self esteem way. But who says I shouldn’t be busting my arse getting fit. Who says I shouldn’t be taking blood pressure medication. And that I deserve to heal.
Its part of western society thinking too, if we move up the ranks from working class to royalty we get it easier. If we make it in Hollywood and have more money we’ve made it. We have more entitlement and therefore more freedom.
That’s the illusion.
I’m not entitled to happiness. Handed to me on a silver platter. I have to make my happiness. I have to walk those miles to get fit. I have to love myself now. Maybe I was never meant to have the love I wanted as a child, for whatever Divine reason.
Maybe the injustice I’ve felt, and wanting it to be different, is what’s created more of the same. I never liked comparing myself to others and being grateful for what I had, because others had it worse. It felt shaming to me.
But, I am starting to feel the power now that I had thought I would feel if I had been given what I wanted to be given to start with.
Maybe its making lemons into lemonade, but its not whinging that I didn’t get lemonade to begin with.
I have more of a sense of determination now than I did before. I have wanted to find positive motivation instead of being motivated by fear.
I’ve set myself a goal to walk a certain track on the hillside here in Christchurch, I decided if it takes me a year to do it, then so be it. That I will do what it takes to accomplish my goal, and not give up because it should be easier than it is. Or that I should have less fear and ideally be off medication.
Before Enlightenment Chop Wood, After Enlightenment Chop Wood
I think praying to God and asking for what we want, or expecting any kind of healing, is still an OK expectation, but doing so without the sense of entitlement has more of an approach of sincerity and purity about it. It also means you’re not asking passively and powerlessly, but more actively and gratefully.
My prayer would now sound something like “Please help me to put one foot in front of the other.” Whatever the conditions. As opposed to wanting better shoes, or it to be warmer or easier.
Do you give up putting in the effort because you think it’s easier for others, or it should be easier for you?