The Universe Is Not Out To Get You

This morning, as I was making my breakfast, while drafting this blog post in my head, something happened.

You see, I buy almond milk in a tetra pack with a flip top lid. And I opened today’s pack yesterday, so it’s pretty full. As I was shaking it, I lost my grip, and immediately grabbed it fully with both hands, squeezing it a bit too hard, resulting in almond milk everywhere. Down my shirt,  all over the cabinet fronts, and no small amount on the floor. I am now lightly scented like vanilla and almonds.  My floor is a bit sticky.  And here I am, sitting down to write a post about the universe, and the little things we sometimes assert are the ‘proof’ that some higher power is just simply out to get us. Or that there are signs that point to how our day will shape up.

Guess what?

The universe (or if you prefer some other spiritual deity, insert here) is not out to get you.  There are no signs that things are going to go downhill. YOU completely control how you view the things that happen to you, or around you. And because most of us naturally seek patterns, explanations, or reasons, sometimes we assemble the things we find into a very negative package.

When you are looking for confirmation that things aren’t going your way, you’ll find them. I used to rely very heavily on this idea that the universe was somehow stacking the odds against me. It was a comfortable excuse to use, for why I didn’t do something, didn’t succeed, didn’t get ahead. For allowing myself to sink into the negativity of a bad day and just wallow in it (which sometimes feels really good, and so doing it once in awhile – as long as you don’t let it become a habit, is okay!) But I promise you that these little ‘signs’ are only signs because you’re seeing them that way. The universe (or whatever spiritual deity you believe in) is actually sort of in your corner.

It’s just spilled milk.

Or a backwards shirt.

Or a lunch box forgotten on the counter.

Or a knife that slips while you’re cutting an avocado and requires an urgent care trip, four stitches and a tetanus shot.

In our house, we call it a bad five minutes. And you’d be amazed what you can cram into five minutes (or how long that five minutes can get). At the end of the five minutes, it’s over. And you can keep moving forward.

If you sit back and look at the past month, you can probably tally up no small number of ‘bad’ things that happened to you. They likely run the gamut from the trivial to the considerable. If you make that list, and only that list? You’re pretty damn sure that life is not working out for you.

So make another list. Tally up the good things. The teeny tiny things, like when someone smiled at you on your way into a store, and the big things, like how you woke up every day healthy, happy, and with a roof over your head. And look at how life IS working out for you. Make a habit of finding the ways the universe is working for you, embracing you, loving you. And throw that other list away.

Stephanie Ostermann

I’m the sort of girl who you meet for coffee and end up pouring your entire heart out to. The friend you come to when you need someone to call it straight. No bullshit. No extras. Just truth.

I’m a communicator. That’s a PC way of saying I like to talk, but I also spend a lot of my time listening, and over the years, I’ve developed a sense for subtext – how one or two words can change your entire message, what people are really trying to say and how to weave the varied layers of your story into one cohesive brand message that your clients fall in love with.

When I'm not acting as editor in chief for Vivid & Brave, you can find me geeking out over words here.

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