When things are bad in your life, it’s easy to think ‘why me?’. Why do I have a rubbish job? Why is my relationship not working? Why did I lose my phone? Why is my family so difficult? Why am I sick? Why do people treat me poorly? Why did my car break down? Why didn’t I get that job? Why do I have financial worries? Why is MY life so difficult?
‘Why me?’ is usually accompanied by feelings of being unlucky, unworthy and alone. There’s often blame attached to ‘why me?’, whether that’s blame you place on yourself, other people, the wider world or some invisible force.
‘Why me?’ paints you as a victim, a lonely victim who’s been singled out for various forms of misery and strife, whether they be passing or long term, trivial or significant.
Some of my recent ‘why me?’ experiences include getting parking and speeding tickets, having professional challenges and some really bad online shopping experiences! These are largely trivial, thankfully, but I really felt the ‘why me?’ mindset; I was angry, I felt like there was a dark cloud over MY head. Why ME?
Why NOT you?
This might feel like a big leap, so let’s walk the bridge from ‘why me?’ to ‘why NOT me?’ together, with some examples:
Those speeding and parking tickets I mentioned? I read that the government makes millions of pounds from these things so, clearly thousands, if not millions of us have had them. It’s not just me.
Those professional challenges I was experiencing? I spoke recently to someone who had similar problems. It’s not just me.
And, the bad online shopping experiences – someone I know just went through something even worse! It’s not just me.
There are many more significant and painful experiences in my life for which I also realised – it’s not just me.
It’s not just me. It’s not just you. It’s just life.
“Your problem is that you think you shouldn’t have problems” Tony Robbins
It’s not personal
Of the 7 billion people on Earth, I think it’s pretty likely that other people are also experiencing grief, sadness and financial worries at the exact same second as you. I’m certain that millions are in bad relationships and experiencing sickness right now. How many cars do you see broken down on the side of the road on any given day? How many friends have divorced? Or lost their jobs?
I’m not saying that experiencing these things is not difficult, I’m not belittling your problems or trivialising the very painful experiences that life brings us, that life brings you. What I’m saying, is that they also bring them to me, and to the next person and the next and the next and the next.
For me, this brings comfort – and I hope it does for you too. I’ve still got a way to go with deeply embodying this lesson, but it helps me realise that I’m not alone, I’m not being singled out, I’m not unlucky and I’m not to blame. I’m just experiencing life. This keeps me balanced, humble and calmer in the face of challenge. It enables me to progress in a more empowered, responsive way, rather than in a disempowered victim state.
Life is non-discriminatory
By ‘life’ I mean nature, I mean existence. Is it discriminatory to the zebra that gets caught by the lion? Is it discriminatory to the fish that got caught in the net? Is it discriminatory to the tree that got bought down by the wind? No. In nature, nothing is ‘personal’.
As you too, are nature, it would make sense that you too are governed by the same impersonal natural laws. Existence is not human centric. It’s just that you have a mind that is capable of deciding that something is human centric, something is personal, something is discriminatory and then questioning, ‘why me?’. But, if existence is non-discriminatory, then why NOT you? No one of us is more special than the other. Bad things can and do happen to all of us, the chance of it is there for us all. So, why not you, sometimes?
Here’s something else to think about: if life doesn’t discriminate with the ‘bad’ stuff, then it wouldn’t discriminate for the good stuff either. So, why NOT you, for that stuff too? Bask in the possibility of that.
“Why me?”. Well, why NOT you?
About the author: Pinky Jangra