From Caroline’s 2012 Salon – Part 3 of 4
I could write a book on this one topic alone. I’ve met more people drowning in their misery because of feelings of entitlement than I can count. Entitlements include: inheritance, apologies, real estate, promotions, raises, bonuses, special seating arrangements, invitations to events, the list goes on and on. And then there is the belief that you are entitled to: respect, privilege, attention, the position of first in line, the best seat in the house or the front row, special attention because you were a Wounded Child or have some other suffering history.
Divine entitlements include: The belief that bad things won’t happen to you because you are a good person; You don’t get sick, other’s do; Your child is special, therefore, ordinary events such as accidents and illnesses will never happen to your child; You are entitled to special protection from your God because, well, because you were born for something special – you just know it.
Sound familiar? Not only do these entitlements have a formidable influence upon a person’s life; they have the power to exert complete control over an individual’s life. Entitlements are not just destructive; they are made-up. They are extensions of our ego that we indulge in to create a landscape of power and protection around ourselves, maintaining the illusion that we are anything but ordinary. After all, ordinary people are not entitled to anything. One has to be extraordinary to be entitled, right?
A guaranteed recipe for unhappiness: A long list of entitlements.
Having an aggressive attitude about aging
If that’s you, knock it off. Seriously? Either you love being alive – which includes the natural process of aging – or you don’t. You decide.
Being a Taker
You will fit one of the two following sentences:
The Taker: What I want out of life is…
Takers do exactly that – they Take. They unconsciously view life as something to get something from. Often motivated by greed, Takers find it difficult to embrace the view that life is an integrated ecosystem and that Earth is a living creature. Takers walk into a relationship and situation with this mindset, “What’s in this for me?” Takers are easily disappointed in life and in relationships. Often they expect “life” to produce something for them, effortlessly.
The Giver: What I would like to contribute to life is…
Givers strive to make a difference in the lives of others. Meaning and purpose are gravity centers for them. They look for possibilities and strive to make things happen. Givers tend to be optimistic about life and they instinctively know how to rise from the ashes. Givers stand a much greater chance at creating a happy life.
You decide which one you are.
Needing someone to make you happy
I’ve heard many people say, “I need someone to make me happy,” or “He doesn’t make me happy.” No one can make anyone happy any more than you can make someone fall in love with you, or make someone forgive you. Waiting for another person to make your life perfect is the kiss of death. Let’s say you find someone and you think, “Finally, I found someone who was born specifically to make me and only me happy, hmmm, I wonder if he/she knows that? Do I tell him?” And so the story goes. If this isn’t a recipe for raging insecurity, I don’t know what is. But it surely isn’t the secret to a long and happy life.
All Talk and No Action
You cannot talk your way into becoming a happy individual. Happiness is hard work. Becoming anything worthwhile takes effort. Couch sitters are likely to stay exactly that – people who “sit” their life away. Depression comes upon them naturally, not because of chemicals in their body but because of dwelling on themselves and their problems over and over again and doing nothing about them. Problems inherently seek solutions. Nouns seek verbs. Same thing. Talking eventually requires decisive action. Think, talk, act. The absence of action in your life will always lead to depression and unhappiness. It cannot be otherwise.
Next week – Happiness According to the Chakras