How the Universe Went From Feeling Like a Frenemy to a Best Friend
A fundamental step to getting in touch with your spirituality is learning the habits and flow of the universe. The expansive possibilities of this force can be a little daunting at first. This intimidation led to a love-hate relationship between me and the universe.
But recently things have started to look up; I made more of an effort to understand myself and the universe, the true connection that existed between us. And like any friend, the universe has earned a few entries in my journal over the years. If you’ll just give me a moment to flip through these pages, I think I can give you some insight on how to build a healthier relationship with the universe. Ah, here we are…
Putting on the act
“I’m honestly so tired. Trying to keep a positive attitude all the time is a little exhausting. I feel like I’m performing for someone who isn’t even there.” — March 29, 2017
A classic piece of advice from any source of spiritual guidance (or in my case, a number of spiritual blogs and social media posts) is to put out good energy so that you can receive it tenfold. This seems simple and reasonable, something you could easily implement into your daily life to begin your spiritual development.
But we know it’s impossible to keep a smile on your face all the time. It’s hard to turn every upsetting thing into a moment of gratitude. Even when you so badly want to be this kind of person right away, it feels like a failure when you aren’t.
I know very few people who smile in the face of failure. When I couldn’t succeed at becoming the ideal spiritually sound, enlightened young woman, I felt like I blew my chance. And if I failed, that meant I wouldn’t be rewarded for the few times I could muster up a positive thought.
Believe me, I understand. When you so desperately want the condition of your life to change, it gets stressful putting on this little show for the universe. It felt like I was constantly on stage with a thousand pairs of eyes on me at all times. To make things worse I would often forget my lines, go off-script, give up completely and run off stage. This wasn’t how the story was supposed to go, right?
Resenting the universe
“Things were so much easier before I learned about the Law of Attraction — especially when I applied it to finding love. I was getting angry at myself for wanting it so bad, angry at the universe and God for not delivering my wish immediately.” — June 25, 2017
This entry came at a point of clarity when I realized that I didn’t want a romantic partner as much as I thought I did. At 19 years-old, being in a relationship was my main priority. But this frustration applied to more than just my yearning for love. I tried to manifest new college friends, higher self-esteem, a more outgoing personality. But communication with the universe, I learned, wasn’t quite like wishing upon a magic star.
I grew mentally and emotionally exhausted. Spirituality wasn’t healing any of that, it was adding to my stress. I was angry at myself for wanting to change so bad and for “doing it wrong” — manifestation.
The formula seemed so clear to me: Put out negative energy, get negative energy back. Put out loving energy, get love back. But no matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t getting my desired results fast enough. That was perhaps my biggest mistake.
This frustration is understandable, especially after you’ve read the process out on paper. But nothing that involves the universe is black and white. I didn’t understand that the workings of the universe do not operate on our time. If I could tell my past self one thing it would be this:
You can’t resent someone for not being what you want them to be. The same goes for the universe. It’s inner workings are something beyond our comprehension and measurements, and we have to accept that. No matter what, the universe will show you how things are meant to flow whether you like it or not. It’s best not to fight it.
However, being the stubborn, impatient girl I was, I wouldn’t have taken this piece of advice without a fight. So, the universe and I continued to butt heads.
A unique kind of fear
“It just feels like if I say or think anything bad, the universe will immediately curse me for not staying all happy-happy sunshine 24/7. That’s not what it should be. But it still freaks me out.” — August 5, 2018
The following year was extremely hard for me mentally, and I fell away from my spiritual pursuits for a while. I wasn’t on the right path in my school life and the stress of that bled into my spiritual journey. I felt like I was crawling to the throne of an unsympathetic king every time I spoke to the universe, begging it not to strike me down.
I thought that if I can’t even manage to feel positive about everyday occurrences then I might as well put away the “childish things” like manifestation rituals and positive affirmations.
For a long time I bottled up my emotions and tried to push them down even further to hide from the universe. After all, I couldn’t afford to get more negative energy thrown at me when I was already feeling down.
Well, that’s not right. The connection between you and the universe should be one of trust and unconditional love. You can’t hide yourself away when you’re at your lowest. The fear has to be addressed head-on for any true spiritual growth to happen. Facing the shadows, seeing it all for what it really is, is what spiritual work entails.
I don’t care what the basic formula says, we are allowed to have bad periods in our lives, we are allowed to feel helpless. That doesn’t make you worthy of punishment, that makes you a human being who is mustering up the strength to carry on. I think, more than any positive affirmation, that this is the true testament to our spiritual fortitude.
We shouldn’t fear an omniscient power. Instead, we should try our best to place our faith in the universe as we take our time and move through the cycles of our lives. Let’s not beat ourselves up for simply doing the best we can.
Rekindling the friendship
“No, I don’t feel like I have control over my life but I don’t feel anxious about that. I have to surrender to the flow. It’s only a matter of time until something happens for me.” — July 6, 2020
We’ve come a long way, the universe and I. Through practices of my own like tarot reading and studying my personal astrology, I’ve grown closer to the universe in a new way (and perhaps a global pandemic forcing us all to stay inside with more time for introspection also played a part). I’ve also grown closer to myself…and that’s the thing:
The universe is me. It’s you, and all of us, because we aren’t really separate at all. Everything in nature, including us, flows just like the universe does. We’re all connected here on Earth and in places that we can’t see. Surrendering to the universe is surrendering to ourselves.
Surrendering to ourselves. What does that mean? It’s following you heart. Listening to your intuition, honoring your passions and values. Meeting others with love and acceptance so that you can see pieces of the universe in their eyes. When you are on the right path spiritually, you won’t feel any resistance. You will flow and good things will flow to you.
When you put less energy into forcing yourself through blockages and more energy into trusting yourself wholeheartedly, you will find that the universe actually wants to help you.
We often are the ones in our own way, whatever the case may be. Once we stop trying to force things to move a certain way — our way — the universe can easily step in and show up for you in the form of signs, synchronicities, and new opportunities. The universe has your back, but you have to have your back, too.
Like any relationship, the one between you and the universe won’t always be easy. And it’s not going to look the same as anyone else’s. Trust in yourself, honor your heart, and the universe will come through for you in ways you couldn’t have imagined. And remember, on those days that you’re feeling low, know that the universe won’t judge you. You will be comforted, handed a box of tissues, and given the space to pick yourself back up again. And maybe a pep talk if you’re lucky.