It’s easy to feel alone when you’re going through a tough time. But you are not alone. Every single person, in some variance, has experienced or will experience the same universal truths as you. Find solace in this companionship, no matter how singular your problems feel. Without knowing it, many of us are leading parallel lives. The more people I meet, the more I realize how many fears, experiences and emotions I share with them. I hope this list of universal truths will help you realize that you are never alone, even when it feels as if you are.
1. Your parents and upbringing define you
From the moment we’re born, the way our parents treat us and treat themselves affects us for the rest of our lives. A parent’s influence is vital in the upbringing of a stable, grounded child. My parents were full of love and adoration for my siblings and me. We were constantly pushed to work hard, have strong faith in God’s plan, love one another selflessly, and enjoy life despite the inevitable struggles. My parents never had a shortage of love to offer and now I don’t either.
But that doesn’t mean everything was perfect. As immigrants, they had to assimilate to a westernized culture, they had to deal with financial pressures, they had to leave their own families before they were ready to, and they had to learn how to be parents through it all. Life was not and still is not easy on them, and now, I see my parents in my siblings and myself. We have a different set of situations as it’s a different time now, but we handle life similarly.
2. Stress is an inevitable part of life
Stress manifests itself in different things for different people, but no one can escape it. Careers, traffic jams, taxes, breakups, bereavement, divorce, and rejection are just a few of the catalysts for stress. Even though no one is immune to it, there are thankfully ways to alleviate and deal with stress. How you handle stress, however, tells a lot about you and your character.
3. We are all born and one day we will have to leave
One of the fundamental universal truths that we all have to go through is coming into this world and one day leaving it. We’ll never know when we’ll lose our lives or lose a loved one. And perhaps life works this way to teach us all to make the most of each day, be less fearful, be less greedy, and be more kind. If our actions will bring us unhappiness or bring someone else unhappiness, why partake? The end result for all of us is the same so why not live the fullest life? Why not say what we mean and let others know how we feel? We come into this world alone and that’s how we’ll leave it. But let’s make amazing memories while we’re here.
4. Everyone needs love and acceptance
No matter who you are, you need love and acceptance. We all do. Feeling loved validates us. Love gives us meaning and importance. Whenever you don’t understand someone or feel detached, remind yourself that they too, like you, just want to be accepted. It could make a world of a difference, and even save a life, if you spread love and acceptance for greater humankind.
5. You are the sole owner and creator of your happiness
Happiness is a fleeting emotion, it appears and disappears in a blink of an eye, but it’s always within reach. No one and nothing can fully give you happiness or take it away from you. Not money, not your relationships, not your job. It’s important that we acknowledge the moments we are happy so we know how to recreate it.
6. Our experiences condition us
Take pride in your experiences and learn from them. Share your story, bare your pains, and be vulnerable. Your experiences are a beautiful part of you.
7. Complainers are projecting their own misery
Judgmental, mean people who criticize and spread negative energy do this from the overflow of negativity they have within them. You don’t often see a happy, content person spewing sarcasm and hate. It’s the unhappy people in the world who project more unhappiness. Aim for a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Always say what you want to say, but do so without being negative.
8. Someone close to you will let you down
Disappointment is a part of life. We start out in life with great hopes, desires, and aspirations. As we get older, we learn a few hard life lessons, fall a lot, and never really recover from some bruises. The hardest of all disappointments is when you are let down by someone you trust. Sometimes it’s a heart-wrenching disappointment and other times it was completely unintentional. Regardless, try not to take it personally, but rather as a rite of passage into emotional maturity. Take the lessons you learned, adjust your priorities if need be, and move forward.
9. Everyone is allowed to have their own perspective
Two people can experience the exact same negative event, yet one person will somehow manage to get through it without falling apart. What is it exactly that allows one person to be stronger? I think it comes down to perspective. Everyone is definitely allowed to have their own perspective on a situation, but just have solace in the fact that there are indeed different perspectives. Look for solutions and don’t wallow in the negative outcomes.
10. Your soulmate isn’t necessarily the one you think
Many of us have an ideal image of the type of partner we want to attract. I, myself, have always wanted someone who was tall, handsome, Pakistani, of the same faith, into Bollywood, family-oriented, funny, successful, interested in the same TV shows as me, smarter than me, and my list goes on. But if I only limited myself to these traits and nurtured this imaginary person who lives in my mind, I would have ended up rejecting one of the best people I’ve ever met in my life (Hi, Shah Shah) who has taught me a lot about myself. Be open-minded about what makes a person ideal because the ideal person who would make you happy and love you unconditionally might just be right under your nose and you were too blind to see it.
11. The only thing certain about life is uncertainty
It’s impossible to control your life 100% of the time. Things come up and life throws curveballs at you. But that’s a good thing. Life is meant to be this exciting adventure that’s teaching us so much more than we can ever realize or understand. It is up to us to embrace our circumstances with a positive attitude and hang on tight for the ride of life. It is the wise person who finds ways to manage uncertainty rather than resisting it.
And the last universal truth, my dear, is you are not alone.