Deserving vs Entitlement

Recently, and in less than 12 hours, I was involved in 3 separate conversations about the difference between deserving and entitlement.

In one conversation a parent was feeling pressed by her son, who was in his late 20’s, for money, a car, and other items.  In another conversation a teacher was commenting on a younger colleague, 30+ or so, who believed the government ought to be subsidizing her so she could purchase a home.  This younger teacher also felt she wasn’t being paid enough and ought to be on the same scale as the teacher 25+ years older.  And in the third conversation I was reflecting on my own perceptions of this.

Years ago, I was at an event with a spiritual teacher who told the participants that we can never be more deserving than we already are because we are everything (my paraphrase).  Now at the time he might as well have been speaking a foreign language.  I didn’t understand what he meant.

Since then I’ve opened to greater understanding of what it means to be “deserving” and what entitlement entails.

While many people conflate deserving with entitlement, from where I stand, it comes down to this:  Deserving is of Love.  Entitlement arises from Fear.


Deserving is who we are by definition and nature.  We don’t say a flower is undeserving – it is deserving by its very existence.  And we are too.  Its who we are.  If you tune in, the word has an expansive feeling to it – its generous in feeling tone and fulfilling.

In the uni-verse, no creation is of greater deserving than another. 

So, if we are deserving by the very nature of our being, why is it that we don’t feel it?

I wonder if the lack of deserving actual dates to what religions reference as the “Fall” (the story of Adam and Eve or each culture’s creation story), when our Spirit first entered into this, call it, “experiment” in which we believe and see ourselves as separate from each other and all life.  Because as soon as we feel separate and unconnected, there is competition for resources.

The principles (physics) of this physical environment generate separation and entropy.  We operate through 5 senses, which cause us to see ourselves and believe we separate from each other, our environment and even the Spirit that breathes us.  How on earth can one feel deserving, fulfilled, and a one-ness while in an experience of separation!  

Add to that the fact we are programmed or conditioned from childhood to function in this physical environment, and be good workers.  Its all most people know.


So then, what is entitlement? 

In my view, entitlement is a mental construct to fill the void that separation produces.

On earth (or at least the western democratic countries), entitlement to something comes by law, contract (earning the right), inheritance (through a Will or bequest), sometimes in equity (a legal system of fairness and justness), or through a court order or other judicial proceeding or settlement.  Based on this, people are entitled to certain benefits and things, based on a number of factors and laws.  When we are entitled to something, we have either earned or been granted the right based in the above.  If we say we are entitled, and have not earned or been granted the right, we are operating from a need.

The sense of “entitlement” that arises from need is an energy that depletes or lowers the energy of everyone around – even the one feeling entitled.  It’s like a multi- headed monster which grows another head even when fed!  Its “get” energy rather than “give” energy.  It takes energy rather than contributes to the world around it.

I read a story once that when it’s time for eaglets (baby eagle birds) to leave the nest and if they aren’t doing so, the mother eagle will take out all of the soft stuff from the nest so the environment is no longer comfortable.  The eaglets are deserving, and when they are babies they are entitled to be fed and nurtured.  Consider if the baby birds felt themselves entitled to be fed by the mother long after the “babies” had grown into adult birds.  Can you imagine?  That would deplete the mother bird should she permit it.

Now I have no idea whether birds or other creatures have an “entitlement” issue.  I suspect not – that might be peculiar to humanity.

Years ago, I often watched the Dr. Phil show while working out.  One of the phrases he used that I love is: “We teach people how to treat us”.

In our hearts we know we are deserving of a beautiful life.  Yet the physical world in which we find ourselves we have to earn the right through our thoughts, actions, words and deeds.

The more we get into an entitled state, the lower the frequency until we are only broadcasting on CNN (constantly negative news – or, for some, a “me, me me” frequency of lack and limitation). 

From my own experience we can choose the channel or frequency we are on and change it at any point.  With support, we can move from CNN to the discovery channel, and open to life more fully from there.  In knowing ourselves as deserving, the concept of entitlement is irrelevant.

Is Life calling you to awaken to the greater life, peace, abundance and awareness available and seeking to express as and through you? If so, click here to contact me.

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