There’s an old saying that when it rains, a certain type of person will believe it’s because the sky is intentionally trying to get them wet and ruin their day. They do not consider that it is also raining on everyone else around them, and the insects and animals and all of nature.

The world exists for them, and when things aren’t going their way, it exists to spite them.

This is technically called ascribing intent, and it’s not only one of the telltale signs of low self-awareness, it’s also a mindset that will do very little but hold you back.

Sometimes, a person isn’t ready to commit because they aren’t in that place in their life yet. Sometimes, a person doesn’t show up for you not because they don’t care but because they themselves are in so much pain being around anyone else is nearly unbearable. Sometimes, less-than-ideal situations arise and it is not because the world is specifically trying to target, punish, or hurt you.

Almost nobody is thinking about you the way they are thinking about themselves. When they say hurtful things, they aren’t usually trying to cause you pain, they are just trying to release some of their own. When they judge, it isn’t because they don’t really approve, but because they are spewing out the same narratives that are accepted by the people that they need to be accepted by as well. When they doubt you, it isn’t because you aren’t capable, it’s because they weren’t capable of what they wanted to do.

There are so many people with limiting and painfully small views. There are so many people who lack empathy and understanding, so many people who will make no effort to see you for who you really are, and instead just project the image that makes them most comfortable.

It’s not fair, but it’s not just happening to you.

In fact, it’s really got almost nothing to do with you.

In the same way that we see the world only as deeply, clearly and truthfully as we are willing to see ourselves, other people tend to project their own pain on whatever is around them, too.

When you take it personally, you actually start to adopt their mindset. You start to assume that their thoughts and words exists independent of any purpose but to hurt you and hold you back. That’s not what’s happening at all.

This year, learn to stop taking everything so personally. Learn that everyone exists within their own understanding of the world, and what doesn’t fit neatly within that image must be judged or condemned. Learn that sometimes you meet people on your path who aren’t ready to walk with you, and it isn’t because you’re not worthy of walking with, but because they need to go in another direction. Learn that the world does not exist for you. It owes you nothing, but at the same time, it’s not out to get you, either.

The world is a neutral entity.

That is not to say that you don’t matter, or that nobody cares. It is only to say that your life is what you make it, and if you want to really let go of what’s hurting you, choose to make it less about you.

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