Is the Universe testing You too?
Do you know that feeling when the whole world seems against you?
You feel that every single thing you try to do just seems so hard!
You feel like the Universe is trying to put you down.
I felt a bit like that in the last week. I was actively trying to change some things in my life, and getting better at saying ‘no’ to things and, I kid you not, all of sudden I had 2-3 requests per day where I got the chance to ‘practice’ saying no! It was so hard! And I definitely felt myself sliding towards “Why is this happening to me?” and “This is so unfair!!” and then it hit me; the Universe wasn’t trying to break me, it was simply testing me to help me grow.
See, I never believe that the ‘Universe’ is out to get you. Why would it be? The Universe wants us all to thrive and succeed and be happy. So, when I boldly declared that I would now be better at saying ‘no’, the Universe thought “Great - let’s give her some opportunities to practice in!” Very kind of the Universe indeed! Haha!
Believe me, it didn’t feel kind at first but, when I realised that it was simply a test, a challenge, it actually became easier to say ‘no’. Before that, I was taking every single request and situation personal. I was getting angry about being in those situations all the time. I was feeling overwhelmed and tired because my boundaries were constantly being pushed, from all angles! Then I realised that it was simply a test for me to show that this was really something I wanted to change and to show me that yes, I can do it. You see, I also strongly believe that the Universe would never give me a challenge that it doesn’t think I can handle. With all that in mind, I started changing my perspective about saying ‘no’.
I reminded myself that it is totally ok to say ‘no’. I often give some context to my ‘no’, but we don’t really need to do that all the time. It is actually totally ok to say ‘no’ just because that is how you feel about that situation. It is nothing personal.
What made some of my situations hard was that it was sometimes people that I knew or wanted to get to know that pushed my boundaries, and it felt really personal and confrontational. But it actually wasn’t meant like that at all. Me saying ‘no’ to that specific request wasn’t me saying ‘no’ to them in any way. It was about me setting clear boundaries that were supportive for me, but which will also help our relationship because it can then be built on honesty and openness. I know it can be hard saying ‘no’ because we often worry about what the other person will think about us. Will they get angry? Will they hate us? Will they be upset? Well, the truth is that yes, they might be upset, they might hate us and they might get angry. However, we cannot control any of that, we cannot control the other person’s feelings or reactions. The only thing we can control in this situation is how we communicate and behave. And by communicating openly and honestly, I believe, that we create the best opportunities for deep, healthy and beautiful relationships. Ones that are healthy for all involved. Would you not rather have that type of relationships than ones where you constantly fear the other person’s reaction? I know I do.
This isn’t just about communicating honestly and openly, it also requires that you first and foremost know what you feel and want. How can you communicate honestly and openly if you don’t know how you feel and what you want? You can’t!
How do we know how we feel and what we want? We take time to check in with ourselves and to get to know ourselves and our bodies. If we are not used to checking in and noticing what happens in our body, then this can feel very uncomfortable or odd. However, with practice, we can get to understand the language of our body and know, that it very often holds the clue to what we are feeling and what we want.
For instance, as mentioned, I experience a lot of anger during the week towards certain people who were requesting things from me. When I realised that this was simply a test from the Universe to help me practice saying ‘no’, I started doing that. I said ‘no’. I didn’t yell it at them, I said it in a kind way and on most occasions, I gave some context to help them digest my response. Most people were totally fine with this and thanked me for taking the time to reply. Simple and straightforward. However, there were people that didn’t seem to understand or hear my ‘no’. They rephrased and asked again. And I got very angry. No, I still didn’t yell at anyone and I didn’t say anything rude to anyone but, I felt very strongly that I felt very angry about a seemingly small situation.
So I took some time to check in and get a clearer sense of what was going on. I listened to my body and the very tight knot in my tummy that told me I was angry, and upset too. I realised that I felt that these people weren’t respecting my boundaries. Part of me thought ‘How could they do this to me??’ and ‘They should know that this is upsetting!!’ but, how can they know if I don’t tell them? A word of caution here; you don’t have to be completely open and upfront with absolutely everybody that you meet. If it is just a fleeting connection then you might not need to tell them everything about what’s going on but, if it’s people you are in close relationships to, then it’s probably a good idea to tell them why you are angry and upset or whatever it is you are feeling.
Back to my week, I decided that I didn’t need to explain myself fully in these situations, so I simply rephrased my sentence and said ‘no’ again. And yeah, they may have been upset by that but it made me feel so much better because I knew that I had stood my ground and stayed true to my own feelings and values.
So, keep in mind that the Universe does test you!
And, keep in mind that you already have all the tools you need to pass the test!