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Anytime I see an entitled behavior in front of me, it absolutely makes my blood boil.
I think, how can someone be so greedy, so ungrateful, so self-absorbed? How rude! (Said in my best Stephanie Tanner impression.)
When I see someone who lets other people buy him or her expensive things, I always say to myself, “I would never be that kind of person. I was raised to be self-sufficient, dammit.”
Because I have been practicing looking at how other people are showing me parts of self, I didn’t understand how something like that could be a part of me, and quite frankly, I’ve resisted looking at that part of myself for some time. I mean, for god’s sake, I write in a gratitude journal every night, people. I’m practically a saint here. Why is this irritating me so much? Argh.
So I tried to stay open to what this was trying to teach me for a few days, and all of a sudden, it hit me: I am horrible at receiving. And to see someone receive with no question of their worthiness, well, that just pissed me off. How could someone just receive so easily? Weren’t we all raised with the proper amount of shame and guilt? I don’t get it; that’s not right, or fair.
Why Can’t I Just Say Thank You and Move On?
I struggle so much with receiving. If someone does something nice for me, I immediately think of what I should do for them. I rarely accept help from people, especially letting people be there for me emotionally, and I would never ask anyone for money (only my parents because I am already comfortable and familiar with the guilt that would entail).
If someone makes me dinner, I always offer to do the dishes. If I ask the IT person at work to help fix something for me (which is literally their job), you better bet there are thank yous and an overabundance of smiley face emojis to show my appreciation. If we split a bill, I will not only Venmo you back immediately, I will also show you my math calculations in an excel spreadsheet.
There is always that little voice inside of my head saying, “Don’t let yourself just enjoy that—you are a lazy, ungrateful brat. Now you owe that person so that it’s even. You never want to owe someone!” Like who is this Disney villain in my head saying all these insane things? Agatha, the Evil Emotional Accountant? “You’re in the red again, Ms. Gregory!”
So yeah, maybe I am jealous of those who can receive easily. Gasp. Not that I need to go to the extreme of being unthoughtful, mindless, or taking advantage of others, but there is definitely something for me to learn here.
Giving? Hooray! I’ve Got Issues There Too!
And guess what? I also struggle with over-giving, especially in romantic relationships. In fact, my therapist pointed out to me that I give so much and get so carried away with my giving that I don’t even pay attention to if the other person is giving or not because I’m giving for the both of us. I only realize later that it’s not even, and I act surprised, enraged, and disappointed when I was the one creating the situation.
So, What’s up With That, Lorena?
Where did I learn that in order for me to receive, I had to basically grovel like Wayne and Garth in front of Alice Cooper (“we’re not worthy!”) to show how humble and grateful I was? Where did I learn to overcompensate my own worthiness by over-giving? Do I really think that desperately giving all of myself would make someone want to stay? (Hello, Stacey, from “Wayne’s World“…also, why all the 90s references today?)
Honestly, I have no freaking clue where or how those thoughts got into my head, but I do know that they are there, they are definitely not true, and their time in my head is up. Thank you, you’ve done enough here, guys; it’s time to move out.
“Please Tell Me I’m Good Enough!”
So am I good enough just because I am? Or do I have to do a horse and pony show to say, “Look at me! I am good enough! Someone please notice me! I’ll even do jazz hands!” I mean, even asking myself that is silly, but I still catch myself falling into those patterns…especially in relationships.
Is anyone else like that? Like, where you feel your life is together in your personal life and at work, but man, you get all f*cked up and weird in relationships and can’t see clearly? Okay, maybe that’s just me.
But the answer to that question is an overwhelming, “Yes, I am, you are, we are most definitely good enough just because we exist.” We don’t have to do anything, say anything, or be anything we are not—because being you is exactly the piece of the puzzle the world needs.
Oddly enough, I have been finding that the more I focus on knowing myself, taking care of myself, loving myself, and gosh darnit, liking myself, the closer I get toward believing this and living this truth. So obviously, it’s all still a work in progress, but the important part is that I am aware of it, and I am taking steps to heal that “worthiness” wound.
Dare We Do an Entitlement Experiment?
And, where do we even start with the entitlement stuff? Maybe I’ll do an experiment, maybe I’ll try on this “entitled” hat for a bit, not with people per se, but maybe I’ll try being entitled with the universe. Is it possible that the universe and all the forces around me want to give me all the things I desire, but I am getting in the way, over and over again? Where I am saying, “Oh no, I couldn’t possibly, that would be too much,” when really, I should be saying, “Hell yeah, I want that!”
Maybe the universe has just been waiting for me to say, “Bring me that book deal, garson! And that coffee date with Brené Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert. Bring me that amazing lover who wants to read me Pablo Neruda, feed me dark chocolate, and walk my dogs! Yes, I will go on a date with Paul Rudd and Jim Carrey at the same time. Bring me those opportunities to travel the world and cuddle baby sloths.” I suppose there is no harm in living in “as if” for a bit and seeing what happens, right?
Live As If and Say Yes!
If you lived “as if” you were entitled and worthy, what would you let yourself have? Who would you let yourself be, or be with?
What is your relationship with giving and receiving? It’s all worth taking a look at because like me, you may be blocking yourself from the good that is all around you, literally just waiting for you to say “yes!”