Entitlement vs Empowerment
They Appear Very Similar But They Are Actually Very Opposite
I’ve been thinking a lot about entitlement recently. As my gratitude practice deepens, year on year, I find more and more blessings in life. Everything is a gift, every moment, every interaction, every experience. To come at life from this sacred place is wonderful, and I appreciate more than words can convey, my ability to create and sustain this exquisite vantage point.
Also, as I began over the years, to learn that I was enough, it was the starting point for reframing my understanding in how to come from a place of wholeness. Instead of acting from a place of perceived lack within myself, and seeking to fill that sense of lack with some external validation that I was trying to get from the world, I am learning to use my inner sense of abundance as a guidance system as to what I can give.
These two things together, the gratitude practice and the giving from inner abundance practice, have shifted my viewpoint wildly from the one I was brought up with. I have always been a spiritual person, seeking connection to what is beyond the physical. I have always been about love and peace, and finding ways to spread those in the world. So my intention was always there. But I can see clearly for the first time, how my sense of entitlement blocked my ability to receive my blessings.
I am currently in a relationship with a wise and wonderful man, who teaches me so much about authenticity and integrity, through example, and through calling me out when I act out of alignment with who I say I am. In the early days of this relationship, I often felt that he wasn’t treating me how I deserved to be treated. If I brought it up, he would question why I thought the problem was about what I thought I deserved. From all my self-development work, I know that people are only a mirror for our relationship with ourselves. So I saw how he was right, if I loved and valued myself fully, I wouldn’t be trying to control his behaviour in order to get the emotional validation I felt I needed. This was a huge realisation in terms of understanding one of the big issues in modern relationships. It’s entitlement! When women are focussed on what they are getting from a man, it’s not empowerment, it’s entitlement. Women often have a long, long list of what they expect to get from their men, without putting the same emphasis on what they expect to give, and then when the relationship doesn’t work, they blame the man for not living up to their expectations. An empowered woman doesn’t have any expectations! She doesn’t need any, because she is operating from her place of magic and she knows that she draws to her everything she needs. The more control you have over your inner energies, the less you need to control what’s going on outside of you.
As a white middle-class British woman, I was raised to expect a certain standard of treatment and behaviour, and if I did not get that, I felt I had a right to be outraged. The British do complaining very well, maybe better than any other nation that I have yet been to, and it comes from our overarching sense of entitlement. “This is what I deserve!” we are taught from birth. It is this sense of privilege that created the monster of slavery, amongst other things; we deserve certain circumstances, and therefore it’s someone else’s position to create those circumstances, and it’s not our business to consider how or why they might do that, we just expect that it be done. It’s this bloated sense of privilege that has put Boris Johnson as our Prime Minister, and given us all an opportunity to examine that particular demon that he is a manifestation of.
I believe that life is supposed to be a blissful, joyous experience, but that that sense of bliss is not borne out of material possessions or life circumstance, but our connection to the divine. This sense of grace and non-attachment to the material then enables us to access the freedom and expansion that we all seek. And from that place, the miracles and manifested blessings start to flow.
If I have expectations, that blocks my ability to allow. If I believe I am deserving, it blocks my ability to receive. If I think I have a right to demand something, it stops me being in a position to be able to give, which feels restricting.
Entitlement is the opposite of empowerment, although it can look like the same thing. Our current culture is so entitled and yet so disempowered. Everybody out for what they can get, and reinforcing this idea that if we share an expectation of behaviour, we can get people to behave how we want. That’s bullying, it’s controlling, it’s co-dependent, and it’s not empowering ourselves or eachother. We cannot demand change, we can only create change. If we are demanding something, we are at the same time reinforcing its lack. Only by creating from a sense of being inwardly propelled to do so, without any need for recognition or validation, do we make real change.
The answers are always within. When we know ourselves as sovereign beings, we find a deep peace and inner truth which negates the need for us to worry about anyone else’s behaviours. We are not entitled to anything. When we know everything is a gift, everything is a blessing to be grateful for, then we are empowered.
My new book, The Empowered Woman, is available here.