The World Owes You Nothing.

“It means that no one else is living for you, my child. Because no one is you. Each person is living for himself; his own happiness is all he can ever personally feel.

When you realize that no one owes you happiness or anything else, you’ll be freed from expecting what isn’t likely to be.” – Harry Browne, “A Gift for My Daughter” | December 25, 1966

Alice Walker, in the book “The Way Forward is with a Broken Heart” (2000), writes, “Healing begins where the wound is made.” This sentiment is where my conundrum lies. Because a truism that I’ve recently had to accept, is that wounds may never be tended where they began, or from the person who caused the injury. We can’t expect that. We aren’t owed that.

2Today, I came across a letter, written by Harry Browne, a former Libertarian Party presidential candidate. He published this in a newspaper column on Christmas 1966 as a gift for his 9-year old daughter. I am not going to publish the entire thing in this post (the letter, in its entirety can be found here), but I want to focus on some of the points that particularly touched my soul, and in all honesty, are an eerily relevant complement to the rant I posted yesterday.

When I hear the word entitlement, I automatically think about rich (white men — or just white, period) folks who have had privileges that have shaped their worldviews in a way that leads them to believe that things like money, jobs, comfort, security, etc., are owed to them. That said, I do not view myself as an entitled person. I do not exist in a world that has shown me that people who look and live like me are owed anything — quite the contrary.

That said, upon further reflection, I had to check myself and realize that I do hold on to a sense of entitlement — on a more spiritual or moral level. And it’s affected my life in the most disastrous way.

Browne, in his letter to his daughter writes: “No one owes me moral conduct, respect, friendship, love, courtesy, or intelligence. And once I recognized that, all my relationships became far more satisfying. I’ve focused on being with people who want to do the things I want them to do.”

Well, damn. So simple, yet so profound.

Yesterday, I was feeling some kind of way, and lamented, here, about the fact that my ex hasn’t shown me the courtesy (that I feel is owed to me) of facing me, in person — palpably facing the mess he created. In my mind, a phone apology doesn’t cut it. It’s been three years — he owes it to me to face his demons. Me.

There’s that word again — owes.

But when it all comes down to it, he doesn’t owe me a damn thing. 1Sure, we weren’t married, do not have children, or any real attachments — but, you’d think at the very least I was owed a proper ending. 5 years counts for something, right?

But, I am not entitled to anything from him — not even respect. Thinking about this really hit me hard. But woke me up.

Brown confesses, “A great burden was lifted from my shoulders the day I realized that no one owes me anything. For so long as I’d thought there were things I was entitled to, I’d been wearing myself out — physically and emotionally — trying to collect them.”

I think that many of us hold on to the notion that if we do our best, treat people kindly, give of our time and love — we are owed some basic courtesy or respect. The truth is, we aren’t owed anything. Coming to terms with this truth can be the stuff of anxiety, depression, panic and grief — all things that I have been wrestling with over the past few years.

Additionally, Browne writes, “Each person is living for himself; his own happiness is all he can ever personally feel“. That said, what would give me the idea that someone has a responsibility to exit his comfort zone to enter into a situation that will have no immediate benefit for him? Would it be the courteous thing to do? I think so. Is it the right thing to do? It depends on who you ask.

But, is it necessary for him? No. Because he owes me nothing.

Here’s the kicker, though — Browne cautions, “But once you realize that people don’t have to be good to you, and may not be good to you, you’ll learn to avoid those who would harm you. For you don’t owe them anything either.

This is hard. Self-care is important — necessary in fact. Coming to the realization that maintaining expectations of and relationships with folks who really don’t have your primary interest in mind can, in fact, be harming you (mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually), means a choice has to be made.

Either make peace with it, or move around. You’ve got to tend your wounds yourself. Because the fact remains: no one owes you anything.

And if the latter is what is decided, you owe no explanation.

REWIND: Karma’s Revenge, Part II.

This was written several months ago, but never shared publicly. There’s a lesson here, folks. The Universe works things out in its own time, but rarely do we ever get to witness justice served. The Gods and Ancestors were looking down on me, in this instance, and granted me a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Remember my ex-friend — the one who got knocked up by my ex-FWB? Well, look at the text I got today:

____ Your revenge was delivered. You were absolutely right about him. The true hurt will forever sit in my baby’s heart. I’m truly sorry and I miss you!

Girl, bye. Too little, too late. That said, it is lovely to be able to experience karma biting one’s wrong-doer in the butt. I think we all, at one point in time, have had revenge fantasies that help us cope with tough times and betrayal; but, it’s rare to be handed that justice on silver platter. Satisfaction beyond belief.

So, in her text, she divulged that the ex-FWB “cheated on her” (the whole idea of her conceptualizing what they had as a relationship is laughable – read: delusional) and has another baby on the way (theirs is only 9-months old). Oh, and that she threw him out and is no longer “with him” (how you can be “with” a man who doesn’t even claim your child is puzzling to me — oh yeah, she confessed that, too).

I asked her if she really believed that she could have something serious with him, knowing what a low-down jerk he is. She, without hesitation, replied “yes” (while repeatedly apologizing for ruining our friendship).

Here’s the thing. I can go from zero to one-hundred in a heartbeat (meaning, I will unleash wrath like you’ve never seen without hesitation), but I am actually quite the forgiving person (I am able to maintain a semblance of a friendship with my ex — the ultimate betrayer, so that should say something); however, I have no room in my heart for a friend who would sacrifice a real friendship for, let’s be honest, some dick.

This woman was one of the few people who knew what I had just dealt with in my last rela423b15534f16ece6ac9609b2a0269fcdtionship. She witnessed my breakdown. She knew my heart was raw. She knew that trust was important. Yet, she chose to lie and pursue, quite frankly, something that I would’ve been okay with if she would have kept it real with me. FWB and I were not in a relationship, and if you recall in an earlier post, intentions and honesty mean everything to me. So, if she was that hard up for sex, and she would’ve been up front, I would have been completely ambivalent about it.

But don’t get it twisted; I would have given her the low-key side eye in perpetuity, and I would’ve kept him at a distance (because sloppy seconds really aren’t my thing). But, she would’ve kept our friendship in tact.

So, I didn’t accept her apology. I don’t forgive her. But, I wish her well.

You reap what you sow.

James Baldwin once wrote, “My memory stammers, but my soul is a witness” — forgiving and forgetting is irrelevant; my soul was assaulted. For what it’s worth.

 

REWIND: All That Glitters.

This post was written back in May of 2015, but never shared publicly. This was the culmination of a bunch of bullshit, but not the end of the Universe’s way of sorting things out. It’s a continuation of A Weak Apology (previously published).

As I suspected (never underestimate the power of an INFJ’s intuition), my ex-friend is, indeed, pregnant by my ex-FWB.

Let me digress for a moment, and ask you to reflect on the significance of an INFJ’s intuition:

“They rely on their advanced intuition to scan through loads of l-18981sensory information and grasp patterns and connections that give them clues about what may happen in the future. They are much better at determining future outcomes than many other types, but it isn’t because of any magical ability, it’s simply the way the INFJs mind is programmed. This is where we get into really understanding INFJ Introverted Intuition.”

In any case. The fact that he still tried to deny (yes, the jerk still tries to contact me) it until I came across the the baby shower pictures on Facebook is amusing. If you care to know the specifics of this sordid drama, read my first couple of posts.

In any case, all these months later, my pride still fuels my anger about her betrayal.

As an anonymous congratulations, I sent my dear friend a glitter bomb. I would’ve loved to be a fly on the wall when she opened it. It gives me great pleasure to imagine the sunlight illuminating random pieces of glitter in the carpet, etc., at random times — as a gentle reminder of her low down, dirty, foul ways.

FAST FORWARD: In hindsight, it amuses me to realize that karma was a far bigger bitch than I was, or could ever be. Folks: never underestimate the power of karma, and the universe’s master plan.