Deserve is such a dangerous word. If you can convince yourself that you deserve one thing, then you can convince yourself you deserve another. If I can tell myself I deserve to be happy, my mind can come up with a thousand ways to show me why I don’t. Or at least MY mind will. I don’t use the word deserve. It’s just too risky.
Eckhart Tolle says in Stillness Speaks:
The words are no more than signposts. That to which they point is not to be found within the realm of thought, but within a dimension within yourself that is deeper and infinitely vaster than thought.
Which means, the words we use can never really tell you what a thing is or what it means. They can only point you in the direction of it or it’s meaning. The thing it is pointing to can never be understood with words because to KNOW anything is to have experiential knowledge of it.
He also says in A New Earth:
Words reduce reality to something the human mind can grasp, which isn’t very much…
Do you believe some combination of such basic sounds could ever explain who you are, or the ultimate purpose of the universe, or even what a tree or stone is in it’s depth?
The answer to that is no.
Deserve means “to be worthy of”. The word deserve implies that you must determine if you are worthy of a thing FIRST, THEN you will deserve it. But who determines our worthiness? You? Me? God? What if you don’t believe in a God? You see? The word deserve is just too tricky. It points me in a direction that I don’t want to & neither should I go.
One of the definitions of the word right is “being in accordance with what is just, good, or proper”. Determining what is right only requires that you consult your conscience. Asking myself if I have a right to be happy is so much easier than asking myself if I deserve to be happy because I am asking myself only if it is just, good, or proper for one to be happy. Yes. It is. I do not have to take into account how much work I have or have not done to earn happiness. I do not have to determine what the qualities of a person of worthiness might be beforehand. I simply have to ask myself if it is just, good, or proper. I will always get yes. The word “right” gently directs me to a peaceful place of self-love.
If words are signposts, make sure the ones you use point you in the right direction.