Recently I saw a drawing hanging up on a door, and above the drawing was the saying “All things personal are also universal.” This statement has stuck with me since I saw it.
Often, when things don’t go right in our lives, we get stuck in a mindset of “why is this happening to me?” We wonder what we could have done differently, we wonder why it feels like everything is falling apart around us. And if we start to think this way, all we can see are the other things that aren’t going right in our lives.
However, it’s also important to remember that no matter what it is that we are experiencing – we are not alone. No matter how hard it is to remember when you’re in the middle of a situation, it is still important to know that you’re not alone. Someone somewhere has been through what you have. They have been through the same highs and the same lows. They might look different from your experiences, but they feel the same. The joy, the sadness, the pit of anxiety, the glow of friendship, the comfort of a hug – all of these are universal even though they are personal in the moment we feel them.
With the realization that others have a story we can also relate to comes the realization that there is some light to be found in the darkness that can surround us – just like the lights dancing on a tree. And it seems like everyone is feeling at least a little bit of this darkness right now – COVID, politics, social change, holiday blues…everything. What we can’t forget though is that these things are meant to create conversation, create solutions, instead of letting ourselves get torn apart by them.
Moving forward, use the experiences of others to create dialogue – I try to. Moving forward, allow the tools created by social media to allow us to engage in meaningful conversation instead of tearing one another apart. Moving forward, let’s remember that everything we are experiencing personally is also being experienced universally.
Most importantly – moving forward, try to create small moments of joy in your life when you are surrounded by that darkness. Small things like making ornaments with friends or sharing a warm drink. And if you feel that you cannot, then reach out to someone who will listen or who can help. There are so many wonderful people in your life, even if you can’t always see them, and they will want to support you however they can. Because everything you are feeling, someone else has felt that way too.
You are not alone.