Deserving and Earning

On a recent LSBC call, a woman realized she hadn’t bought clothes for her new job because she felt she hadn’t earned them. 

She hadn’t lost weight, so she didn’t deserve the new clothes. 

The realization hit her first, then spread throughout the 40 or so women on the call. It was met with a flurry of ‘wow, yes, me too’ proclamations, many vigorous nods, and some tears.

Another woman shared that she didn’t do “extra” things for herself because she rarely met her mind’s conditions for “extra”.

Somewhere along the line we were fed the creative (i.

e., untrue) thought that doing things for the joy of them was “extra”, and “extra” must be earned. 

(You know, the same way we teach our children to earn their dessert by eating all their broccoli first. Be curious about what’s really being taught when we do this.) 

Despite how near-universal this I-must-earn-it feeling seems to be, how could anything truly need to be earned?

It’s just a thought. It can only be an if-this-then-that rule, created by a mind, that would say so.

To a mind, everything is conditional. Do this, get that. And particularly for most women I know, unless you do a whole lot for a whole lot of other people, you haven’t earned anything. 

To enjoy things you haven’t earned is selfish, and selfish is just about the worst thing a woman can be. 

Or so “they” say and again, be curious about who “they” are and why “their” opinions are running our lives. A hand-me-down belief… which is a lie, no less…has us living in guilt, deprivation, and exhaustion. 

No matter which lens you look through–culturally, psychologically, or spiritually–deserving and earning are made-up concepts full of made-up conditions. 

You are already everything. You don’t need to earn what you already are. 

(I love this picture of me and my daughter out on a sushi date, experiencing some joy we didn’t earn, but definitely deserved.)

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