I had been living life thinking that I am grateful person. I mean I say “thank you” often… I let people know that I appreciate them by expressing my gratitude by buying them gifts/coffee. That sounds like someone who is grateful, don’t you think?
Only if I was being honest with myself. Yes, I am grateful to those who are nice to me and when life is going in a way that’s pleasing to me. One would think I am very grateful person. But then, if you ask my family, maybe not so grateful. Mother’s Day always gets me thinking and feeling… all these posts on Facebook about how amazing mothers are… blah blah blah. And what do I feel? Sadness. Which I guess is natural as my mother died when I was only 5. After the sadness passes, I feel angry. Why? because she left me to deal with all the shit that’s gone on in my life. She should have been there for me. Obviously now I am feeling entitled. And of course, my father should have done a better job and taken responsibility for me. Still very entitled.
Lets take a step back and see things from a new perspective then, shall we? Mother dearest had cancer, she was paralysed and couldn’t move. The woman was suffering. Do I still blame her for moving on? No. I wanted her suffering to end and dying was the way out for her. Am I sad? Yes. Entitled? No. I don’t know much about her, no one really told me much about her and I don’t remember much. From what I have heard, she was a very a resourceful and creative woman and achieved a lot in her short life. And she had high hopes for me. She wanted me to go and study overseas (everyone had laughed at her for that dream). Well, I live overseas (and studied of course) now, so suck it assholes! I am free and for as long as I can remember, I wanted to be free. I truly do live life on my terms. And, just like my mother, I am very resourceful, creative and pretty (probably not as much as her, but I get my good looks from her). Still entitled? Far from it. Grateful? Yes.
Lets face the daddy issues now while I am still in this state of grace. The man had lost his wife and his son in a space of few months. He was a mess. He had quit his job to look after my mother. He was probably exhausted. He was a good husband and showed true devotion to his wife at a time when anyone would have walked away. He really did love her. And then there was also the loss of his baby boy. A family of four had become a family of two. And the best he could do for me at that time was to let me stay with his sister while he attempted to pick up the pieces of whatever was left of his life. Am I still angry at him? No. Given the circumstances, he was doing the best he could. Do I feel sad that I lost my connection with my father. Yes, deeply and I am also grateful for what he did for my mother, what a wonderful role model he was for me. He is still one of most generous men I know. And he did love me and treasured me in those early years I got to spend with him. Can I still afford to be entitled? No. Only love and gratitude abounds.
Of course a lot of shit happened after that… and don’t feel the need to talk it about it all now. Except that I can feel gratitude for it all. It made me who I am today and I am pretty happy with who I have become and becoming. Grateful? Yes!
A few notes on entitlement vs gratitude:
Entitlements says, “I should be there by now, I should just have this” while Gratitude says, “Thank you, for what I have. I am blessed”
Entitlement is living a very reactive life and playing the blame game while gratitude is active and you take full responsibility for your life and that’s where you find your power.
Entitlement keeps you stuck while gratitude helps you move through some of the shittiest times in life.
In the end, you get to choose your attitude and how you want to feel.
So how do you want to feel? entitled or grateful?
Choose gratitude if you can, it will change your life. I promise.