We’ve been having a heat wave where I live, so I’ve been spending a lot of time lying in bed, watching inane things on Netflix. And after awhile, all the story lines started to run together in my head, probably because they melted in the heat. Or my brains did.
It goes kind of like this: character has a decent, but unsatisfying life, character sees a person, house, something that they are convinced will make their life better, character messes up life going after said thing, hilarity/drama/tragedy ensues, character has regrets but likely hasn’t learned a thing from their mistakes, especially if it’s a TV series instead of a movie.
This pattern is based on something I have come to call Entitlement Angst. It happens when we fall for the belief that something better than what we have is out there and we deserve to have it, no matter what the consequences to ourselves or others. So we mess up a perfectly good relationship with someone nice for the temporary illusion of perfection with someone else. Until they stop being perfect and we decide to move on.
Or instead of decluttering our kitchen and giving it a fresh coat of paint, we go for the total gut and reno with all new appliances and whatever the surfaces du jour happen to be and then wonder, loudly, why we can’t afford a nice vacation this year???
Or we fall for the hype that starting a family means that we need to move to the biggest house we can manage the payments on. And we need to fill it with furniture. And then we wonder why we have to work all the time and why we’re so tired….
I think we fall into these traps not because these are things we genuinely want or because we truly believe we deserve them, but because secretly, we don’t believe we’re deserving and so we try to prove our worth through the acquisition of a new partner/car/house even though it makes us and everyone around us miserable.
And it’s not even that we necessarily want these things for ourselves, but we feel that we should want them because all our friends seem to want them and we don’t want to look stupid by being satisfied with what we have because we’re all supposed to want more and strive for better all the time aren’t we and maybe there’s something wrong with me if I don’t? And if you don’t believe that this pressure is there, just see what happens when you’re talking to someone about life and plans of any form and you admit that you’re pretty happy with the way things are. In my experience, it’s a total conversation ender.
Wouldn’t it be better to acknowledge our feelings of unworthiness and work on those while maintaining the stability and long-term happiness of our lives? Sometimes the solution to our house woes is a bit of meditation and a good long walk. Maybe we can find the partner of our dreams by taking the partner that we have to couples therapy. Sometimes what we really need is a good long nap.
I’m not saying that everybody has to stay exactly where they are in life. Some relationships really are toxic and need to end. Some kitchens need replacing.
But maybe take a step back and analyze. Is the need for change real, or is it Entitlement Angst that’s got you feeling restless?
And you know, I love to hear from you. Please leave a comment and let me know what you’re thinking about these days.