Do You Feel Shortchanged in Life?

Joyce Shafer

Joyce L. Shafer

Do you ever feel shortchanged in life? It’s an understandable feeling to have, especially in a world that pushes a more-is-mandatory mindset. But, is that mindset helping or holding you back?

“I’ve spent too long thinking about what was taken and not what was given.”

That is a line of dialogue spoken by Prince Caspian in the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. When I heard it, it gave me pause. How often we follow the train of thought about what we feel was taken from us, including what we feel was taken from us ahead of time. This may include thoughts like:

  • I should have been born wealthy.
  • I should have been born into a different family.
  • I should have been born in a different geographical location.
  • I should have been born beautiful/handsome.
  • I should have been born with better hair.
  • I should have been given a better education.

I should have been . . . You get the picture, and probably have your own list of “should-have-beens” you could add here.

Notice that nothing is listed above that states “I never should have”. Never-should-have statements are more often than not about choices we made, or didn’t make. But look at something specific about the ahead-of-time statements: I’m not saying you couldn’t add to that list in a way that contradicts what I’m about to say, but the kinds of things listed Can All Be Changed, can’t they, especially in this day and age. Changes might take effort, time, and or money, but they can be accomplished or obtained.

Sometimes we’re given something and then it seems taken from us through some form of ending. Such times are ones when we might feel and focus on the “taken” aspect first and foremost. This is understandable, and natural, for us. But, we may get stuck here and focus more on what we once had, or never had, or haven’t received as yet, than on what we had been given, and on what we’ve been given that we still have.

Loss is the very thing Prince Caspian is referring to in the movie dialogue line. (Movie Spoiler Alert coming next.) Caspian’s focus is on finding his “lost” father, and he is given the opportunity to reunite with his father who had died and gone to live in Aslan’s land of eternal life. But to do this would mean he’d have to abandon the life and potential opportunities he’d been given, ones he’d not fully appreciated as yet, because for so long he instead sought to recover what he’d lost.

We were given life and the opportunity to experience it, to mold it and us in ways that feel and are appropriate for us. We were given family and or friends who become our family. We were given more resources than we’ve used or likely ever will.

We were given innate gifts and the opportunity to nurture and use them; though, we sometimes don’t develop our gifts, because we’re trying to impose other people’s gifts on us, whether others impose this on us or we impose it on ourselves because we don’t see the value of our own gifts. When we ignore our gifts or attempt to live as though we have someone else’s gifts, we frustrate ourselves. We make life harder for us than it needs to be. This can also cause us to believe something was taken from us, rather than see what we were given. And, we deny the ability of others to benefit from our gifts when we don’t use and share them, which impedes fulfillment for us.

One of the greatest things we’ve been given, in my opinion, is knowledge of and the opportunity to have a relationship with Source. There have certainly been times in history when this wasn’t the way it is today. Granted, there are still those who wish to or do limit and control this for others, but fortunately that isn’t prevalent. Most of us can find the knowledge we need about Source and choose to nurture that connection.

We literally waste our time, lives, and energy when we focus or dwell on what we feel has been taken from us, or should have been given to us, rather than on what we’ve been given, can create, and what we receive as we move through life. I leave it to you to contemplate how this fits with Law of Attraction; but take time to think of all you have and have been given, even if you’ve yet put it into best use. It’s a good practice; one you’ll appreciate.

Practice makes progress.

© Joyce Shafer

You are welcome to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog/website as long as you use my complete bio with it.

Joyce Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, But I Have Something to Say” and other books/ebooks, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles and free downloads. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at


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