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You’re Not the Center of the Universe

The next time you're fretting about something, realize that you're not the center of the universe... and that's a good thing.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

You’re not the center of the universe.

I know that may sound harsh, but it’s a powerful insight once you accept it.

That email you’re not getting a reply to? It’s not necessarily about what you wrote, but what the recipient is going through.

That business you’re not getting? It’s not necessarily about whether or not you’ve got the chops, but instead about what’s going on for everybody else.

That harsh word that just cut you to your core? It’s not necessarily about your relationship or interaction with the other person, but instead about some hard battle they’re fighting elsewhere.

The kind word that goes unnoticed? It’s not about them being ungrateful, but about what else is going on in the world. (Check your heart if you expect a return from a gift.)

Your good energy that goes out in the world? Well, it doesn’t always come back in the way you think it will or should. But maybe it reached someone who needed it more?

From one perspective, it seems like we cause a reaction. From another, it looks like we’re the agent being acted upon. It’s maddening that both are true, but not being the center of the universe means that we’re a part of a vast network of interactions, causes, and effects, most of which we can’t account for and a small few of which we can actually understand.

The next time you’re fretting about something or too focused on what you’re up to, take a second to reflect on the fact that you’re not the center of the universe. You might find that you don’t need any other explanation — and that a lot of emotional weight is lifted from your shoulders.

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