Q: Entitlement: Good or Bad?
We all know gratitude leads to happiness. Big Duh! Focusing on blessings is the best way to enjoy them. Focusing on imagined entitlements is the best way to become blind to wonders in front of us.
When I first made this spinning 'Decision Coin' with 'Gratitude' on one side and 'Entitlement' on the other, my impression was that entitlement is the opposite of gratitude; that a sense of entitlement would make us unhappy.
The first woman who bought this coin necklace had been kicked out of her house by her husband. Relax- it was her birthday. He had booked her a spa day, then sent her out shopping for herself. That's how we met at one of my ‘Saks Fifth Ave’ jewelry trunk shows.
Her husband felt that she spent too much time taking care of him and their child, and not enough time taking care of herself.
She needed more sense of entitlement.
In an emergency, airlines admonish us to put on our own oxygen mask before helping others. We will be a useless burden if we are unconscious.
“Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting.”
(William Shakespeare, Henry V)
Likewise in life, we must care for and replenish ourselves. If all of our energy is flowing out of our own broken parts, then we don’t have the needed overflow to care for and replenish others.
In an ironic twist of logic, being of service to others will be the best gift we can give ourselves. We care for ourselves - to care for others - to care for ourselves - - and so on.
What we do for others we do for ourselves- because we are one.
"If I am only for myself, what am I? But if I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if not now, when?" Rabbi Hillel (about 500 BC)
Not exactly on point, but relevant, I share this poem written many years ago when I was first learning to heal myself.
“BROKEN” by Jane A Gordon
My cup can't over run
if all runs out of broken parts.
And I can't fill up with the love
you pour into my broken heart.
Love talk, big man,
look inside this woman.
A little girl is crying in despair.
She wants to know,
can she stay there
or must she go?
She can't know what to do,
she needs love too.
Baby talk, big man
now I think I understand.
You have a little boy inside you too.
Is he trying to demonstrate
to the little girl,
that she can stay?
My cup can fill and over run,
the child's tears were broken parts.
And I can fill up with your love
as I learn to mend my damaged heart.
Baby talk, big man,
pouring love I never had into me,
trying to create
a new me,
but love which I could
never give myself
is love I can't receive
from someone else.
Someone has to love the little girl.
But now its clear to see,
just as you cherish your little boy inside,
the place my little girl must fill her needs
is the woman she's become
she just needs me.
My cup is overflowing
As I learn to love my broken parts.
Now I can give and I can trust your love
and we can love each others tattered hearts.