Have you struggled to truly live with a grateful heart? Do you desire to have a heart that looks out into the world as half full rather than half empty? Have you ever wondered at what point this view of seeing your life as half empty will transition to knowing that your life is as full as you allow it to be?
I believe this switch happens when we no longer allow ourselves to think and believe that the world owes us something. As Mark Twain put it: “Don’t go around saying that the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing; it was here first.”
I know from personal experience that I easily and quickly assume that I’m entitled to many things: a good life, to be treated well, for things to happen easily, to someday find the ‘perfect’ job, and to be able to do what I want when I want to. I’m not saying that desiring is the same thing as feeling entitled. Entitlement convinces us to believe that we deserve this or that. At the core of us all, we know what is right and wrong, and just versus unjust. It’s healthy to desire to have a good life, to be treated well, and to have human dignity, etc. Those should be a given, but unfortunately the reality is we live in a broken world.
The problem that arises every time we feel entitled is that any sense of gratitude is instantly squeezed out of us and all we can see is tunnel vision of what we deserve and our vision of seeing the good is blocked out. As Steven Furtick states: “Gratitude begins where my sense of entitlement ends.”
In order to grow and to allow the good in ourselves and in our lives to flourish, we must clear out the suffocating weeds of entitlement. We must frequently check our motives and intentions and expose any sense of deserved privilege, uprooting this poisonous weed in order to allow the life-giving flowers of gratitude to bloom.
Stephanie Zeller is the Community Director for The Authenticity Project, you can contact Steph at TheAuthenticityProject@gmail.com.