As much as I hate to admit it, I do often think the universe revolves around me, and I start to think that everything that happens to me is about me. If someone cuts me off in traffic, I take it personally. If the item I want in a particular color and size has been sold out, I wonder if there’s a specific message about what I should and shouldn’t be spending money on that I should be listening to. I don’t deny that there may be messages for me that I’m not always attuned to, but sometimes the  things that happen to me may have nothing to do with me at all.

This makes me sigh with relief and get a little indignant at the same time. The relief is that I am not necessarily the cause of all these things that happen to me, bad and good. I’m not responsible that my friends forgot that we scheduled lunch today and didn’t show up. They forgot or got busy or didn’t get it on their calendar, but it doesn’t mean they don’t want to have lunch with me or that I’ve done something to offend them. (Or at least that’s not what it meant today.) However, I want to be that important. On some level, I really do want the universe to revolve around me and everything that affects me should be meant for me. That’s where the indignation comes in. 

So sometimes I have to ask myself: “What about this is mine?” “Which parts of this am I responsible for?” and “What can I do about this?” Sometimes what I can do about it is to simply step back and recognize that I’m taking things too seriously or ask the other person if my interpretations of the situation are correct. Then I can make different decisions moving forward. And I’ll know how much of this really is about me.

It sound so simple, and this isn’t the first time I’ve learned this lesson, but it’s one I have to revisit every so often. The good news is that if everything isn’t always about me, the same is true for you. A co-worker’s rudeness may have more to do with what they are dealing with in that moment than your interaction, or the impatience of the person driving behind you may be all about how late they are for their next appointment and not because you’re a bad driver. I encourage you to step back and ask how much of this is really about you.