When you desire something that you cannot obtain through your own actions, what do you do? Do you ask a higher power — a controller of all things we can’t control?
I did not have a religious upbringing. I was not really taught to believe in a higher power, in fact, I wasn’t really taught to believe anything. Religion, to me, is celebrating holidays. As a kid, I remember reading “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” by Judy Blume and fully relating to the story. Margaret was just like me in the way she attempted to make sense of the unknown in her own little way.
In the past, like many other agnostic individuals, I’ve referred to the unknown as “the universe.”
As an adolescent, whenever I wanted something, I would seek help through the act of making requests to the universe. I would ask the universe to help me pass a test when I was too lazy to prepare for it myself. Or I would ask the universe to make my parents get me a dog. Sh*t like that.
As I got a little older, maybe around age 20, I grew up a bit and asked the universe for things that I could not control myself. So perhaps I would take the reigns and actually study for my exams, but I would ask the universe to help me in other areas of my life, like relationships.
Once I graduated from college and entered the real world, I used to wake up, asking the universe to help me have a great day. I requested that the universe let me go about my daily routine without forgetting anything, or making any mistakes. I hoped that everyone would be kind, and my day would be full of positivity. In essence, I would ask the universe, “please don’t mess anything up today.”
Nowadays, I don’t ask the universe for anything.
First, I think of the second law of thermodynamics — the entropy of the universe always maximizes. The universe isn’t going to just clean itself up and make life more comfortable because I ask it to do so. In fact, as I get older, I find that new disorderly challenges arise quite regularly. As soon as I overcome an obstacle, I better believe there will be another one coming my way. Life is a scenic route — there are plenty of mountains to climb on your journey. The higher the mountains, the more stamina you build on the way to the top. When people say things like, “it will get easier,” I think what they truly mean is “you will get stronger.”
Next, I think of people who are starving or dealing with any major trauma. Is the universe answering their wishes? If the universe isn’t listening to them, then it definitely shouldn’t be listening to me and my petty requests such as “please ensure public transportation runs smoothly today.”
Instead of asking the universe to give me what I want and to not destroy everything in my path, I find that I either do what I can to control the situation or I surrender to the disorder. When resigning from control, I ask myself to cope if things don’t turn out in my favor. This involves coming up with a plan B or simply remembering how I’ve fought through previous battles. I remind myself of my strength. And that, my friends, sums up adulthood.
So, do I trust that a higher power can make things easier for me on an individual level? Sure, believe it or not, I do. However, it’s not the shared universe.
Maybe the “universe” I’ve been referring to my entire life is not the one we typically envision with all of the galaxies and dark matter. Instead, it’s the universe inside me, that pushes me forward along my scenic route.