There is one word that – along with the word ‘Rewards’ – I had created a particular relationship of dislike to, and that is ‘Deserve.’ As with anything that one comes to like or dislike it means that one has created a particular relationship to it, loaded with experiences, definitions and considerations that are seemingly ‘devoid of solutions’ which is also an illusion. So I considered it is time to set the record straight when it comes to this word ‘Deserve’.
It’s great to work in this process also assisting others in seeing their own minds, words and relationships created to themselves and others through them, because this word ‘Deserve’ actually emerged through a conversation with another person and so, in order to best assist and support another I realize I have to stand clear in relation to that word as well if I am to share my own example of how to walk a redefinition or re-creation of a word in a way that is supportive, and so no longer harbor a ‘dislike’ relationship to this word .
With deserve there are two ways in which I’ve identified most people use them and I can only recall using it myself in one of those ways.
The first one is in the context of personal debasement, an inferiority, an ‘unworthiness’ of sorts where we lead ourselves to say ‘I don’t deserve this/that’ when it comes to generally supportive or generally ‘good’ things in life, which is a very nice trap in our minds because, who is there to decide what we are ‘worthy of’ but ourselves? I can only assume that there can be traces of religious programming where one believes one has become a sinner with no solution at all and therefore defining oneself in the ‘lowest level of life’ from which one decides one isn’t worthy of something, as a form of punishment or also as a form of martyrdom.
This is the one I recognized I have applied before in my life, mostly in my teens where I truly considered ‘my life is not worthy at all’ so what’s the point in it? Or ‘I am not worth the food that I am eating’ or also in the context of belonging to the human race, seeing myself only as a parasite that continually feeds of everything and gives nothing back. This is a ‘common place’ I could still go into if I allow myself to flow in that pessimist tendencies I have created within me, where one only focuses on the bad, the wrong, the guilt, the shame, the remorse, the problems and sees no way out. Takes time to face all of these points but I can tell here that one is able to for the most part effectively redirect this into constructive directions.
‘I am not worthy of living’ or ‘I am not worthy of life’ is something that comes up mostly when realizing certain abusive aspect of myself towards others or life itself, as in not honoring the very breath that I am able to inhale every moment to keep myself alive. This is something that one could easily define as being ‘unsatisfied’ or ‘depressed’ or ‘demotivated’ but they are all in fact states of self-abdication where one is simply not effectively giving oneself a purpose, a direction, a reason to live for one’s own wellbeing and that of others/ the rest of life itself. When one is continually self-indulging into what may rejoice us momentarily but is truly not contributing to anything of significance to one’s own life development and that of others as well. It is in fact then when I had associated the word ‘deserve’ to being a ‘disservice to life’, not serving, not helping, not growing, not expanding, but only surviving, going by or ‘growing in greed numbers’ so to speak as in focusing on feeding our egos and that’s it.
When I first realized about this process of self-realization and observing everything around me as an extension of myself, I had an emotional breakdown that compares to the lines I wrote above of ‘I am not worthy of living’ or ‘we are all parasites, we should just not exist’ ‘we don’t deserve all of this, we don’t deserve to live.’ It is a dark place to be in for sure, but also a necessary one to at least face once in one’s life. Why? Because it had a profound effect in my life to finally ‘open eyes’ to something I had completely suppressed or ignored or turned into some emotional conditioning within me, instead of for the first time actually realizing what we have done onto this world, onto ourselves, onto other beings, our bodies throughout this entire time, it is baffling yet it is not like there’s only the abyss and that’s it. There is a way out but one has to actively conduct oneself out of it.
The second form of the use of the word ‘deserve’ has to do with more of an egotistical or as I call ‘haughty position’ within oneself where one believes that ‘one deserves the best’ or ‘one deserves the most of this/that’ or ‘I deserve life’ and things like that, which have made me cringe from time to time because to me it sounds more like a demanding statement, a positive thinking statement, one of those programmed in by repetitions of the likes of Law of Attraction and that sort of stuff that puts you in a nice trance of ‘imagining all the best and saying I deserve it to the universe’ doing nothing at all to actually create such wonderful things in one’s life. So, this is of course not the way to go either, this is just the polarity of ‘I don’t deserve this/that’ into a self-fulfilled prophecy of ‘I deserve this/that,’ both ways just don’t sound right to me.
I have walked quite a process with the word ‘reward’ as a cause and effect process so that assisted me in then seeing that I could so the same with deserve, I leave some links here for reference:
277. Finding it Hard to Accept Rewards
279. My Ambivalent Relationship with Rewards
281.The Benefits of Redefining Rewards in Equality
So I brought up this word into a group discussion where many of us could discuss these aspects of ‘deserving’ and ‘not deserving’ and how it has been lived by us and how it may still exist in us. This time upon checking the definition on a standard dictionary:
n verb do something or show qualities worthy of (a reward or punishment as appropriate).
It is definitely a conditioning word in the sense that it makes one be motivated by an external source for an outcome to ‘get something’ or ‘make oneself worthy of’ or punish oneself for doing or not doing something, when in fact this can be looked at in a much more self-responsible way where one can just acknowledge or realize there’s cause and effect in things we do or don’t do.
Therefore things won’t be a matter of ‘deserving’ anything as a thought in our minds, that is really just like wishful thinking. If one says, for example, I deserve to live a successful and healthy life, well, I’d rather not say it but live it, do what is necessary to have effective ways to accomplish what one is aiming to do or become in one’s life and also investigate which ways of eating, exercise and mental support are best to keep one in ‘good health.’ That’s a doing and there is no one else that will ‘serve us’ that on our plates but ourselves, one has to actually ‘do it.’
So here the word ‘serves’ come which is contained in ‘deserve’ wherein one can consider what would everyone in this world deserve to have as a form of support: we all know there’s the basic nourishment required, house, money, education, healthy minds, etc. So if that is what we all deserve, then why not instead of just saying ‘I deserve’ it only, rather working on co-creating such wellbeing for each other, serving oneself and others back so that we can in fact be able to give to another as one would like to receive = that is what deserve means to me in a principled manner. Nothing can really always only ‘come to me’ if I am not cooperating in the relationships that enable life, where one can ‘give back’ as well and enable the feedback process that creates life, that contributes to a better life for myself and others. Here the process of ‘deserving’ then stops being just one of asking, demanding or debasing oneself with as a statement, it is more of a doing that one decides to create and live for oneself in whichever direction or purpose that one decides to do.
In this process of self-creation in a way that is best for all, if I had to define how I can live the words ‘I deserve to live/ I deserve life,’ then I can turn these words into ‘I can serve me/my life and that of others to make it something that is genuinely better for me and others as well.’ That comes with deciding to become a better human being in all aspects of one’s life and also if one decides to dedicate one’s time and actions to assist others in any ways we can and are able to.
Some might have a relationship of dislike toward the word ‘serve’ and that is something that I could only say one can work with, because surely there is the whole conditioning around ‘serve’ when it comes to ‘masters and servants’ and that whole enslavement relationship we’ve called our ‘jobs’ and other ways to condition our livelihood with serving with something to get something in return, like money or other benefits. Yet, this is only understood as such ‘enforcement’ or obligation mode if one has really ‘bad pay’ in a job or has the worst conditions in such activity or any other injustice that is unfortunately existing in this world where most of us are currently slaves to money, even if one is in the path to eventually create solutions: there’s still billions of people under the same regime, and that will take time to sort out but the best way is to definitely realize that creating further antagonism or rebellion against the ‘oppressors’ is not going to get us anywhere better really, so if one is in this kind of experience, best to not keep feeding this kind of disempowerment on a daily basis, it will only make one sick in the long run and wont’ change a thing in reality. And this is where the statement of ‘I don’t deserve this’ can emerge as well, and this might be a tough one because surely no one really wants suffering and a hellish experience for anyone in their lives. But there is also a ‘greater picture’ that we often forget about, how it is not only ‘me’ that may go through that, but everyone else on earth, all beings – not just humans – are existent within such unjust, unfair, unequal relationships and that’s mostly because we have allowed this to exist ‘as is’ for a long time.
Therefore here we go back to the point of ‘cause and effect.’ It is not like anyone on Earth right now deserves the hideous situations that most people are going through, but unfortunately it is the result of our own abdication of self-responsibility, of allowing ourselves to be handled by a few or just be blinded by the benefits that one can personally obtain in self-interest, devoid of any reason and consideration for others/ the whole we are an equal part of. In fact, a way in which I have been able to not get so down and depressed when watching say some news or documentary that depicts really bad situations people are going through, is the realization that I am them as well, it is only my personal or ‘individualized’ experience that prevents me from experiencing what others are, and that eventually we will all have to do something about it, face ourselves in different ways so that we can altogether come to the conclusion that we must do something in our lives, in this world if we are to change the ongoing trends. That’s where instead of only thinking ‘I don’t deserve this life’ of abuse, suffering, pain in its multiple ways, we will rather stand up to say I don’t deserve this life, I don’t continue ‘disserving’ life, I rather do what I am able and capable of to change the ways in which most humanity is going to. And this truly begins with oneself, observing one’s thoughts, experiences, patterns whenever we are simply not contributing in a supportive manner to our lives or that of others, where we are too focused on our lives only that we lose the ‘greater picture’ we belong to as well. Only then does one start gearing one’s life and existence to something that is truly supportive and of service to others which at the same time, creates a rewarding process because in helping oneself or others, we uplift each other to do and become our best we can, which means that whatever we then do or create ‘out there’ will contain this self-corrected version of ourselves, we will no longer accept abuse, suffering, debasement ‘out there in the world’ if we work with these aspects first of all within ourselves, within our minds, starting with something as simple as stopping ‘hating’ one word and deciding to live it in a way that is supportive, such as this process with the word ‘deserve.’
Plus it makes the word much more ‘tangible’ as actions, doings, day to day creations instead of only airy-fairy self-righteous statements of ‘I deserve’ this or that, who the hell is there to say what ‘we deserve’ or not? There’s no one, only ourselves and saying it does or changes nothing: if one thinks that one deserves something, not just think it but do something about it.
An example ‘I deserve attention’ then equally give attention, engage with others from whom you are seeking attention or focus from, be that which you are expecting others to give to you.
Some may say ‘I deserve to be loved’ – well, nothing comes magically so how about rather redefining the word love to a practical care and consideration, an actual doing that entails doing that which is supportive for your life and that of others, to grow as individuals, to become better beings day by day, to have a regard for our own lives and bodies and so, toward the entire environment as the physical reality that is here. ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself’ well this is currently not being lived because we haven’t even learned to love ourselves practically, not a ‘feeling’ based thing but a series of doings, of actions, of supportive behaviors and decisions that one can live to become a better human being and so in realizing the benefit that brings to oneself, to do the same in whichever measure one is able to toward others.
‘I don’t deserve to live’ can then become a statement that doesn’t lead oneself into an abyss of depression, tears and sadness which I realized was mostly a comfortable spot of self-manipulation and inaction really, where one believes ‘one can’t’ because if one says ‘one can’ in fact, there’s actual work to do and that’s usually resisted in the mind. So, rather my suggestion and here if in any moment this sentence comes up within me again of ‘I don’t deserve to live’ or ‘I don’t deserve life’ then rather use it as a ‘flag point’ to look at where and how am I not living up to my potential, where am I not honoring my own life, where have I harmed or abused others in a way that I believe has no forgiveness, when in fact there is only self-forgiveness and a commitment process to change/correct myself, where am I not living in integrity, where am I becoming demotivated where I can realize I have to be the one moving and motivating myself, where have I become ‘disillusioned’ where I can remind myself that being in an ‘illusion’ is not practical and rather plan out new ways and things to direct my life and purpose to live for, where have I become too ‘angry’ at everything to say ‘they don’t deserve to live/ they don’t deserve life’ or ‘I don’t deserve life’ wherein I can remind myself I am just in a momentary emotional experience, there is no ‘deserving’ needing but only facing of consequences that one can use to grow, to learn from it, to ensure one doesn’t repeat the same fuckups again and instead learn to continue standing up, every time.
I deserve a second chance, that’s what I would mostly say, I give myself a second chance to change, to correct, to do the right thing once realized the mistake or fault. I deserve forgiveness = no one, no god, no nothing can give it to me but myself, therefore I deserve self-forgiveness, I serve/ give to myself that forgiveness to realize and recognize the problem, the fault, the misrepresentation, the dishonor, the dishonesty and so make a clear stand and commitment to change this within myself, to live that ‘second chance’ every time and not give up/ give into the ideas that ‘I am not worthy of it’ as this is only a mind trick to not continue doing the actual work, constancy and dedication that creating anything in this world entails.
Ok so, I’ve walked through the main points/ways in which I have related to the word ‘deserve’ either through personal means or through interaction with others, it is mostly about giving and receiving, co-operating, contributing, creating along with, assisting others to do the same, to learn how to become better human beings, to contribute to life in any way that is possible to us, individually first and foremost and then toward others/ the world system as a whole. If we all learn to enjoy the benefits of our shared creations and principled lives, there will be no need to ask for ‘rewards’ or say statements of ‘I deserve’ this or that, we will simply live it, be it, create it, and that’s definitely what I want to live myself and be a part of, a person that no longer measures oneself and others through fictional values of ‘worth’ but rather lives this worth through actions and one’s own quality of life to assist and enable life to exist in its best possible form. It really all begins with oneself.
Thanks for reading.
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