Something I’ve really needed to integrate, is that while I may classify myself as a Type A, somewhat controlling type, I am not, in fact, the boss of the universe.

It means sometimes, I’m going to put my heart and soul into something, and it won’t work out.

This could be because the timing was wrong, the project wasn’t in alignment, the message wasn’t clear, or I was delivering it to the wrong audience.

I’ve shared on my personal Facebook wall about the 4 weeks of insomnia I experienced, and what it took to bring it to life. Despite my best efforts with promoting Summer of Soul, I wasn’t hitting my minimum numbers, and it was literally keeping me up at night. It wasn’t until I changed the retreat to be more intimate, and sadly had to cut a lot of my speaker line up that I was able to experience a relief in my anxiety and get some rest. It wasn’t that I wasn’t working hard… it’s that the retreat as it was, wasn’t in alignment.

I wrote about this a bit in my post, Failing Gracefully, which talked about a retreat I had to cancel. In it, I referred to an interview with Liz Gilbert which was so unbelievably refreshing because she called bullshit on the lie that we’re told as kids that if we “just try hard enough” that we can do anything.

But that’s not true.

I don’t mean to be a bummer, but it’s reality. You can throw enough man power or enough money at a situation, and it may still not have the desired outcome.

Because, like me, you are not the boss of the universe.

It means sometimes, I’m going to say or do things with one specific intention, and it will be received in the exact opposite way.

Even if I speak from the heart. Even if I do my best to be clear.

Because when we’re sharing ourselves in any fashion, we are only in control of us. We can choose the right words, we can use the right tone, but the person on the other end is receiving it through their filter. And those words, and that tone, plus any interpretations or assumptions they’ve made are going to influence how they receive that message. And there’s nothing I can do to change that.

Sure, in ideal circumstances, you talk things through, you clarify when you feel triggered, and you work it out. But how many flame wars have you seen in the comments section online? People get triggered and lash out… because hurt people, hurt people.The thing is, when we’re IN IT (it being “the shits” as I like to lovingly call it), it’s so hard to see the possibility of something else. It’s very hard to even entertain the idea that maybe something wasn’t personal. Because it hurts. And it’s hard to see through the pain.

At the end of the day, we’re only responsible for us. For what we say and what we do. We can’t be held accountable for the actions of others. Nor can we hold them responsible for the things we choose to do. It’s all about personal responsibility. And while we’re not the boss of the universe, we’re also not the boss of the people around us.

Sometimes, things fall apart.

Even when we do our very best.

And we need to find a way to reconcile that within ourselves. To surrender ultimate control to something bigger. Which doesn’t mean we stop trying… it just means we know that it may not work out according to plan, and that’s okay.

Even if it doesn’t feel okay at the time.