The universe doesn’t owe me a thing (and that’s okay)

You don't owe me

Entitlement. “The belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.” It’s a popular word at the moment. Usually used with reference to young people expecting their dreams to materialise by way of glittery unicorn, rather than hard work. Or as a warning to indulgent parents. Don’t give your children so much else they expect life to be as generous.

But my experience is that a sense of entitlement is not the sole terrain of a much-maligned generation. People of all ages expect the universe will deliver them a happy ending. Particularly when they feel the universe has already been unkind.

There are souls that believe in abundance, positivity and the power of wishful thinking. The people who believe it will all be okay in the end. I really like those kinds of people. They radiate positivity. Funnily enough, life often smiles on those belonging to this school. And when it doesn’t, they shrug their shoulders and move on.

I’ll take wide-eyed optimism over bitter cynicism any day.

The people that have been hard done-by. Those that believe they have suffered enough and it’s time for the universe to show them some love. The kind that adopt “What about me?” as their anthem. Who demand more from the people around them than is entirely fair and feel justified in doing so. Because the universe owes them something.

The universe doesn’t work that way.

I’ve known tragedy. And through that tragedy, I have learnt of other tragedies. Terrible things heaped upon singular families with no respite. Tragedy is not life insurance against further tragedy occurring. We are not all allocated an even amount of pain, joy and success to spread out over our lives.

And tragedy, success and deservedness are not necessarily interconnected.

Some people get lucky. Some people don’t. Some people always manage to see the positive. Some people don’t. Some people have nothing and are happy. Some people have everything and will never be happy. And most of us sit somewhere in between.

But as much as the universe owes us nothing, I don’t think it hates any particular one of us either. I think the starry skies are fairly ambivalent. Life rolls on.

Terrible, random things occur that I have no control over. But, on balance, there are more things I do have control over.

A teacher of mine used to say “If it is to be, it’s up to me.” Funnily enough the school motto was, “nothing without hard work.”

I think it’s up to each of us to make things happen in our lives. To materialise our dreams. By way of hard work, rather than wishing upon unicorns. I really want to write a book. But all the wanting in the world, won’t make it appear. The only thing that will do that is sitting down each day and putting in the work. The universe won’t deliver me a book. But it might offer some inspiration if I’m open to it.

I have a friends that have published books. Isn’t that amazing? I feel lucky to have such creative people in my life. And it gives me hope, that I could do similar. But if I chose a different path, I could spend my energy on envy and resentment. That definitely will not result in a book.

If I write the book, no-one owes me publication. Or readers. Or wonderful reviews. And that, I suppose holds me back. Because I know I am not entitled to any of that. That’s where the fear creeps in.

Because it’s not fate that holds us back from our dreams. From our happy endings. It’s fear. And wide-eyed optimism will beat fear over bitter cynicism any day.

So I won’t expect any happy endings from the universe. I won’t pretend it’s my due. But I’ll be very grateful if they come my way.

Arrow 2

How do you feel about the universe, abundance and entitlement?


Linking up with Essentially Jess and IBOT

40 thoughts on “The universe doesn’t owe me a thing (and that’s okay)

  1. Michelle says:

    You know why you want to write that book, and what it will be about, and I strongly suspect there are many people out there who would very much benefit from it too. Don’t be scared it won’t work and give up on it, but don’t give yourself too hard a time either; you have your own business, a family to take care of, two blogs, a dog and you ARE also allowed to have a life you know! 🙂
    And hey if you ever need another set of eyes to read through it – I’m available.

  2. Ingrid @ Fabulous and Fun Life says:

    I believe we all create our own luck!

    I’ve had a couple of friends who have had a very strong sense of entitlement and then when the universe hasn’t delivered they have felt extremely hard done by whereas if they just went out and created what they thought they were entitled to they’d have had their ‘wish’ fulfilled.
    Ingrid @ Fabulous and Fun Life recently posted…Recent EmptiesMy Profile

    • Robyna says:

      I find that bitter attitude so much harder to swallow then the people that blithely expect goodness. When people are like that, they demand so much of those around them and it just leads to further disappointment.

  3. deb dane says:

    Love this post!! I agree completely and you nailed me in your ending. Fear is the number one thing holding me back along with my own arms holding tight! Constantly working through it to chase my own dreams. I am also building up the courage to go after/work on a book proposal … Wishing you all the luck you can create ? xx
    deb dane recently posted…Just show upMy Profile

  4. Sandra Kelly says:

    ” Tragedy is not life insurance against further tragedy occurring. We are not all allocated an even amount of pain, joy and success to spread out over our lives”.

    “And wide-eyed optimism will beat fear over bitter cynicism any day.”

    These lines spoke to me so much Robyna! Throw that fear in your backpack and take it along for the ride – just don’t feed it though – don’t need that sucker getting any heavier!

    Love, love, love this post. Xx
    Sandra Kelly recently posted…Sorry Folks and Some Home Lovin PornMy Profile

    • Robyna says:

      Thanks beautiful – it’s hard to accept that life doesn’t run by a set of fair rules, but once we do, it’s a lot easier to accept rather than fight.

  5. Vanessa says:

    I bounce between all of those mentalities. This week I’ve very much had a desire for something more or different, and yet I’m stuck in a crappy funk. So while I wish I could just be teleported out of it, I know that time will fix it and it’s just some lingering stuff.
    Vanessa recently posted…The Importance Of Academic ElectivesMy Profile

  6. Deborah says:

    Oh, what a great post. I’m a terrible cynic or pessimist or whatever. Sometimes it’s a reflex mechanism and I’m just trying to avoid getting my hopes up… but I could very much relate to that concept of entitlement. I’m not like that in the real sense of the world – don’t see myself as better than others.

    But sometimes I’m a little ‘woe is me’ about never having been in love, or having kids or family and I need to be reminded that those things aren’t ‘due’ to us.
    Deborah recently posted…Lost for wordsMy Profile

    • Robyna says:

      It’s a hard one isn’t it? We are all fed a particularly fairy tale as kids (a very vanilla version really) and when our lives don’t quite turn out that way, it can be very difficult.

  7. Renee Wilson says:

    Yes, I can very much relate to this. Fear definitely holds me back from what I want to achieve. It can be all consuming at times. I hope you can realise your dreams soon 🙂

  8. JF Gibson says:

    Yep. Agree 100%. The universe doesn’t owe me anything. If I want something I have to go out there and work hard for it, just like everyone else. Sure, some people get lucky, are born lucky or whatever, but for the most part you just have to get down and dirty. For me that means, bum in seat and writing. Good luck with yours.
    JF Gibson recently posted…Ups and downsMy Profile

  9. Maxabella says:

    Loved this whole post to bits, Robyna. We definitely live in an Age of Entitlement and it urks me no end. I think it’s a very misguided (and ultimately unfulfilling for many) way to live. x

  10. Helen K says:

    I agree – and I love the comment you made to Maxabella above, because I do think entitlement robs a lot from gratitude. We’re often so focused on the next thing we think we are owed (or that could be taken from us) that we fail to notice what we have (or, in fact, what others might have less of – and how we could be more generous rather than fearful of the loss of what we think we deserve).

    • Robyna says:

      I think the lack of gratitude is what separates the people that just keep hoping and trying and the people who are bitter and demanding.

  11. Tegan says:

    I joke about the universe hating me (like when it rains the one time I forget my umbrella) but in reality I don’t think there’s this scoring system that decides who gets lumped with what. I think overall, life is what we make it. People prove everyday that tragedy doesn’t always have to equal the end.
    Tegan recently posted…Conversations with a 7 year oldMy Profile

    • Robyna says:

      Yes – and I have found that the people that have survived truly terrible things tend to be quite circumspect and grateful for what they do have.

  12. Kit says:

    What a great post Robyna!

    I agree I don’t think the universe owes me or anyone anything. And sometimes it is abundantly clear that the people who “deserve” something (and let’s face it typically it is someone who has done something terrible we as a society feel they deserve something awful) don’t get what is coming and those who least deserve pain and suffering seem to get it in spades. But as you say life isn’t like that.

    I think I am pretty glad that it isn’t because while I know I have made a big mistake that I have made restitutions for there are a whole load of tiny stuff ups in my life like the way I speak to some people, or my thoughts, or how I parent, my actions on the road you name it there are a tonne of things that in isolation aren’t so bad but if I got what I deserved I am pretty sure that when you add up all the little things I already have far more than I deserve.

    That said, if you work hard and do what you love, with the right connections and a little bit of luck sometimes you get so much more. Talent and success don’t just happen, they come for most people through hard work and dedication.

    I truly applaud my mates that do well, sure I am human too and I would be lying if I said that I was never jealous. There are moments when I look at others and think I wish … but that is fleeting and for the most part I just applaud them. My time will come or maybe it won’t and that is ok too. Maybe there is a different path for me.

    I am really trying very hard to be happy with the here and now and not look too far forward. xoxo

    • Robyna says:

      Jealousy is part of what it is be human. I think it’s what we choose to do with that feeling that makes the difference. It can make us bitter or we can just let it go, like you do. Being happy in the moment is a huge thing. And sometimes success and happiness don’t go hand in hand.

  13. Natalie says:

    Sometimes what holds us back is that we cannot imagine how we will reach that huge dream or goal. It seems impossible! But the important thing is to start the journey, and not worry about how we will achieve what we want to achieve, but have faith that we will get there in the end (with a stack of positivity and a bit of help from the universe!) ?

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