If you read the title of this blog post and said, “You’re lying. The universe is most definitely out to get me,” then keep reading. I’m writing this specifically for you.
I’m a big believer that the universe sends people messages and signs; sometimes they affirm everything we’ve been looking for, and sometimes it seems like they send road blockers to stunt our progress and growth. Well, today, I’m focusing on the latter, and of course, I have a story to share about it.
Recently, I saw a post on Instagram that was very triggering to my mental health. I won’t get into the specifics about what I saw, but it was related to something that I blogged about a while ago when I shared my experience of losing all of my friends in my freshman year of college. Anyway, when I saw it on social media, I was confused because I didn’t know why it was showing on my timeline. At a time when I was already going through a lot, this was the last thing I needed to see… but for some reason, I saw it.
It was difficult trying to keep myself from reverting to that depressed state that had taken over me when the situation first happened in 2013, and I tried my hardest to push through and focus on something else. Thankfully, I was okay about an hour after I saw the post on Instagram, but I was still so confused as to why the universe was attacking me, and it was on my mind the entire day.
Of course, I brought the situation to therapy, and I explained everything that happened. I mentioned that it felt like the universe was out to punish me for something, but I had no idea what I did wrong. I told her that it felt like all of the hard work that we’d done in therapy to move past this situation and find the positives in what happened was for nothing because I’d seen this post for one second, and it felt like I was in 2013 all over again.
My therapist responded with this: “No, don’t say that. The work we do in here is meaningful and is not for nothing. Sometimes, you think the universe is punishing you, but the universe is actually testing you. Think about everything that you’ve learned in therapy and how far you’ve come because of the work that we’re doing here. The universe is testing you to make sure that you are remembering to use the skills and techniques that you’ve worked so hard on. You can’t build up these skills and expect not to use them, so the universe will periodically test you to make sure you still got it.”
Y’all, I was SHOOK. My entire perspective changed after she said that because it made sense! I wasn’t being attacked or punished for anything, but rather I was being reminded of how far I’ve come since 2013. I was being tested to make sure that I could pull through. While it was difficult and painful to walk down that road again, I did pull through. I didn’t let what I saw on Instagram destroy me, and for that, I believe I passed the universe’s test.
It may be difficult, and it certainly will not happen overnight, but I challenge you to change your outlook on your situation next time something bad or inconvenient happens to you. Don’t ask yourself, “Why me?” or, “What did I do to deserve this?” Instead, try to find the silver lining within it all. Ask yourself, “What is the universe trying to teach me?” or, if you’re religious, “What kind of test is God putting in front of me right now?” Ask yourself, “How can I pass this test?”
When you reframe your thinking, you take power and control over the situation. You demonstrate your strength and resiliency to yourself and the world when you change your outlook on negative circumstances — and it feels soooooo good, too. So, I’ll leave you with this: you have more control over negative situations than you realize. It may seem out of your control, and sometimes it is, but one thing you can always control is you and your thoughts.
“The universe will test you by constantly reminding you where you’ve been, and how far you’ve come mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.” – RRR