Update: This post was initially created on the 28th of September, but failed to publish due to site issues.
To be really honest, I don’t feel like writing anything today but I’m still going to try.
Last night, I saw a post by Joyce Meyer and it said, “Working out have great benefits but it’s still hard… What hard thing are you doing?”
In this millennial, it’s obvious how emotions are overrated. We tend to live our lives according to our feelings. We do things just because we feel like it. We have evolved into a generation that live to merely satisfy feelings. If something feels hard, we avoid it and move on to what feels better.
This has turned out to be a major contribution to the growing feeling of entitlement. We now feel like we have the qualification and right to anything good we desire (according to how we feel about it).
Somehow, this has seriously doubled the rate of depression. Because of the inundation of extraordinary stories and motivation, everyone now feels entitled to significance. When this attention and societal worth is not forth coming, we tend to feel denied of what we claim to have deserved. We get filled with so much sadness, anger and bitterness towards living. Some might keep trying so hard, some might give up and fall back to continuous movie nights, late night alcohol and more junk food.
This same attitude of entitlement has destroyed the true value of life itself. We set out on missions aimed at getting back everything the world owes us. We do things just to prove our worth to the world. This can get motivational and inspire success but this can also get really bad; because entitlement leaves us unsatisfied and obsessively desperate.
We forget that we came into this world with nothing and will definitely leave with nothing. We even grow in this attitude and feel entitled to life. We wake up in the morning and feel no air of gratitude for a new day. Why? Because we feel we qualify to still be alive. We feel we are not done getting back what life took from us, so we just can’t die or loose an arm or a kidney. The list goes on and on and yes I am also guilty of this attitude (That’s why I say ‘we’).
In some way or the other we all are…
If you’re not feeling entitled to life, you’ll be feeling entitled to love and attention. If not that, you might feel entitled to beauty or wealth or fame or skills or health.
Here is a personal experience:
I always believed we had to do something special so we can prove we are smart and great enough. It was a message preached everywhere. No doubts, I grew up living up to that message and searching for more of that toxic message. Everyone had something they were great at; that one thing that’ll make them stand out. You see, I’ll later grow up searching for this gifts or talent I possessed. I will search and search and nothing will seem enough for me because I possessed no exceptional skill. I will go on to be really depressed about my life and form a habit of crying to myself, drowning in self- pity and self-hate.
It’s only now that I’ve grown to realise that kind of attitude and quest itself was a form of entitlement and playing victim. It’s really hard to admit it, but maybe all I was looking for was attention ( I swear I’m cringing now, don’t mock me… I never expected this post to go this way).
We grow up feeling entitled to an extraordinary ability. We skip the knowledge that we have no idea who we really are, and that only time and experience can lead us into learning who we truly are.
I knew I could always learn a skill since I had non. But no, “entitlement”— I didn’t feel like learning. I felt that learning a skill will only make it annoying and because I felt so, I let my head and emotions grow larger with entitlement. I kept on forcing answers out of myself (even when they weren’t just there—yet).
Imagine the amount of self torture. This might sound crazy and ordinary to you, but this made me cry night and day—the realisation (lie) that I wasn’t just good enough…
We don’t have any supposed qualification and right to good, great things. This bitter truth is what will save most of us; I mean, I learnt it the hard way.
Just because something feels good and great doesn’t mean you must have it. Just because you desire it doesn’t mean it’ll be yours. And look, not having things your way doesn’t have to mean you’re miserable. Because you don’t have it doesn’t mean you’re doomed. You don’t always have to play victim of lost rights.
We have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. I really do feel like a hypocrite now because I am also dealing with this… But I’m happy I’ve grown to understand where the problem started. I am happy I am free from pressuring myself.
“Too much pleasure is pain…”
Free yourself… Release all those great expectations. Get uncomfortable. If you desperately feel like chasing these entitled wants… You’ll have to get ready to work for them. If you decide to suffer for them, then you must have paid a reasonable price for this need. That’s the birth of possibility.
Instead of drowning in self agony and entitlement to self aggrandizing expectations, start looking for what you’re ready to suffer for. And while you’re suffering, know that you’ll die leaving this earth with nothing. Don’t let society choose your suffering for you, because society won’t be there to carry the cross for you.
A good medicine to letting go of an entitled attitude is simply gratitude. I am not saying that’s the only solution, I am only saying what has worked for me. There are more solutions: hard work, patience, humility e.t.c.
“If you have to say good bye (to the standards), know you’ll be fine after saying goodbye. You won’t be perfect but you’ll be fine” – Morgan Harper Nichols.
Keeping a gratitude journal helped me recognize the trend of entitlement in my life. How? I noticed that the answer I had to why I felt desperate for most things was simply because it will make me feel good and better about myself. That means, I felt entitled to feeling good. How wrong can this get?
Practicing gratitude has helped me realise that we don’t actually have the right to blessings… It’s either a divine gift or you worked for it in some way. We can’t escape hard work and we cannot live our lives always feeling good.
In the moments when what we desire doesn’t come our way, we can be more present and get grateful for all the things we already have or once had. Things like: water, sunshine, health, our ability to live, the way the night and day are being controlled, sight, safety…
Above all, you still have the so precious life running in your graceful body that holds you in hope.
A conscious cure to stress, fear and worry.
Gratitude, knowing that what’s present is what’s present.
In Dr. Norman Pearle’s book (How to be your best) chapter four explains how Bill Stidger fought depression with gratitude, and how that bold step of his was able to give an old grandma something to appreciate about the past fifty years of her life… The chain didn’t end there, more persons smiled from one man’s act of gratitude.
Live grateful today… Create value and acknowledgement for the life you now have.
Living courageous is the ability to live even in the midst of fear and insecurities…
It’s finding your own shades of colour.
P. S I am so proud of this photo. And that’s my stuffed octopus, Ashley .
From The Purple Journal
With love, light, grace…