Is the universe picking on you?
Is it finding ways to trip you up, make you feel inadequate and take all of your hard work and torch it? Tangle up and misinterpret all the kind gestures you've ever done and leave it like a cat's hairball in the middle of the night on your way to the bathroom with barefeet?
The universe can feel like a bully sometimes. You feel like you've been culled from the herd for weakness, branding or slaughtering. You survive, but to me, it's like I'm no longer in my early 40's, I'm suddenly in middle school with every awkward feeling surging through my hormonal life. And the Universe is a bully waiting for me to show flaws for easier exploitation.
Facing the day with my nose barely over my books clutched to my chest. My eyes move side to side dreading the moment I see my bully. I know he'll be leaned against the lockers with a smug look of malice. He spots me and his eyes narrow and his grin twists sideways. At the same moment my intestines knot and I know I'm in for long day of dodge the bully. I walk down the hall and my stomach flips after I smell the sickening odor of floor cleaning solution and his oppressive deodorant.
Universe Bully, "UB" warms up my rough morning with a bad grade on a test and the teacher telling me she's disappointed. (I let someone down.) UB sneers at me. I swear he does. My mid-morning wobbles clumsy like a one-wheeled carry-on because my best friend disagrees with the right way to handle a group project. We fight. (Confrontation is uncomfortable.) UB is lurking around the corner enjoying our discord as if it were classical music. His index fingers sway like a conductor's baton. He is mocking me and my best friend's hurt. Insecurity rushes in and my UB finds someone to shove me in the back and I tumble down the stairwell. (Pain that few understand) UB is cackling so loud but I'm the only tortured one who can hear him as I collect my spilled books and head to the next dreaded class. I give my presentation and the classroom snickers are like a cacophony of crickets and I'm fairly certain I will pee before I finish speaking. My embarrassment is gut-wrenching and consuming my concentration. (Humiliation.) Next, I dodge down the hall looking over my shoulder to avoid his torment. If I can get to lunch maybe I can have a break. Find peace and security in the presence of my friends. I make it to the cafeteria, safely through the lunch line but I am tripped on my way to the only friendly table there is. My brief refuge for the day has become a circus and the UB is the ringmaster. "Step right up and see the middle school's fool" while the entire group of lunchroom diners gawks at me, mouths agape at my upside down tray on the floor and the remnants of food dripping off my shirt. (Shame.) UB can't seem to catch his breath. He's smacking the table, pinching the bridge of his nose to stop the laughing tears all the while whooping simultaneously.
But we're adults now...and instead of lockers and cafeterias we get
the email with news that punches you in the gut
the teenager who argues
the friend who didn't help when they said they would
the coworker who blames everyone including you
the husband who refuses to help around the house
the political unrest of the entire world
the senseless shootings
the addicts giving birth to more addicts
the end of your limit has been reached
you have the parent who forgets things
you have the child who needs a different way to learn
you are sandwiched between two generations
you have bills you can't pay
you have to buy medicine your family needs
you have what feels like your toddler serving in the military
you have a car which needs repair but
you have to work
you have to be a caregiver
you have to sleep but you never rest
you have lost joy
It's hard to defy the Universe Bully when you're lower than the soles of his shoes. Do you confront the UB? Do you dig around your wheelhouse and find a scrap of courage and the last few threads of strength and say ENOUGH? Do you eyeball UB and then start swinging like Ralphie from "A Christmas Story?" Do you throw some low ball punches and hits to make up for every bit of hurt that the Universe drug up on your front porch and left strewn around your yard like three day old garbage? Smacking at the air while screaming a string full of obscenities and say that he can't and won't push you around anymore? It would feel good for a minute, but you haven't fixed the pain, or the frustration, or the problems you face every day.
So you breathe.
And quiet your mind.
And still your soul.
And ask for help from the Universe Peacemaker.
Seeds to Share:
Romans 8:31 - What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Psalm 18:3 - I called on the LORD, who is worth of praise and He saved me from my enemies.