Sunday, July 18, 2010

But, I deserve it!

This thinking gets me in trouble, on so many fronts. And yet, it's not wholly false.

This thought has been rattling around in my head for a while. Where is the balance between a healthy sense of entitlement and narcissism? Of course, when you ask a practitioner that question (as I must, when questions bounce around in my own head, right?), then the immediate answer is that no one knows. And beware of practitioners who claim to know the line between sane and crazy, healthy and unhealthy, but that's another story.

Moreover, today is roughly the 3-year-anniversary of arriving home from a trip and discovering that my "partner" had taken all the family money and hidden it, so that I could not have access. I was "unentitled" in an instant. Even my own paychecks had been re-routed to this mystery new account. His clearly distorted sense of entitlement.... my distorted willingness to give up all sense of entitlement... it's all enough to give a person pause.

Now, though, I have the pedestrian delight of being in charge of my own finances. Both of them ;) There is a strange (really, I think it's strange) sense of awe and power when I get to choose a new dress or a new piece of furniture or which brand of milk I want. But one must quickly find a sense of balance here. Equating self- worth with purchasing power isn't a safe or wildly ethical path to enlightenment.

This struggle with entitlement shows up in other places as well. "I'll just have one bite of ice cream; I've worked hard today." Uh huh.... when was the last time you ate one bite of ice cream -or anything, for that matter? The consequence of that thinking has been 40 pounds. Or, I'll try to squeeze too many activities into a single bit of time, because I want to do them all. And therefore, the universe should allow that by expanding time, just for me? What am I saying here?

I am starting to define the way Dave treated me as domestic abuse. I don't want to slip back into a "woe is me" rant, though. Many, MANY people on this planet experience much worse, every single day, with no hope of the luxury of choosing their own milk or having a bite of ice cream -or freeing themselves from abusive men. That acknowledged, however, surely I'm entitled to something.

So I need to locate the healthy expression of the sentiment "I am here. I am powerful. I deserve to be seen for who I am." I suppose defining the question is a good start. The corollary of this question is "Do I dare speak my dreams out loud?" Stay tuned.