The other day I had a good insight on something I have been contemplating for a pretty long time and that is the connection between blame and entitlement. The key I found turned out to be a third point which determined a full circle: responsibility. It looks like this:
If as children our needs are not properly met, that tends to fixate the attention outside of ourselves for getting those needs met later in life. If it felt like our needs didn’t matter then, later when we are in times of distress we will look outside of ourselves for comfort or help. That means that we unconsciously grow with the belief and the expectation that it’s the duty of others to meet our needs, that we are owed something that we didn’t get. That is the source of entitlement.
These expectations can look legitimate and they sound like: they should listen, they should care, they should respect me, they should be nice to me, they should respect my boundaries, they should see I am busy, etc.
This entitlement really hides behind it the blame of not having had our needs met properly in childhood, now projected onto those we expect fulfillment from. Take away the thing one feels entitled to and you’ll get anger, blame and resentment or at the other pole, powerlessness and self-pity.
One word that is the basis of entitlement is “should”. Whenever one thinks that someone should provide something for them that they don’t give or do freely, that is a sign of an old unmet need. That often leads to conflicts where one person tries through various means to get their needs met through the other person while the other person feels unfree to give on their own terms and resists.
Entitlement also manifests as trying to control the external because where you perceive responsibility lies is also where you believe power resides. Which ties into other things, but for now we will look into how to remedy this misperception.
The remedy is in the understanding that nobody owes you anything and any kindness you receive is a blessing. The solution lies in finding out what you expect from others, give it up, feel the feelings that come up in relation to that like maybe grief for ancient unmet needs, anger for mistreatment or fear of what it means to stand alone and then claim that responsibility for yourself. Taking that responsibility upon yourself instead of waiting on others to fulfill it.
That also means finding your center, finding your inner strength and also getting in touch with your willpower, your active principle in the world. It means taking back control and coming out of the feeling of powerlessness.
The moment you accomplish that you won’t need to blame others because you are looking to yourself for getting your needs met, you are becoming your own parent. And shoulds begin to fall away as they become replaced by is or isn’t. Is there love here? I’ll stay. Is there kindness? This is my place.
The letting go of shoulds shifts your attention to navigating into that part of reality where what you are seeking for is freely given and into giving to yourself that which before you waited on the external to provide for you, whether that’s another person, a miracle opportunity or God.
Perhaps that’s what they mean by letting go.