I was recently having a conversation with my friend about relationships and the quest for love. She had just broken up with her ex and was dealing with the very appropriate post-break-up “where did I go wrong?” analysis that is becoming of any person looking for love. At one point, amidst our barrage of intense psychoanalytic text messaging, she said to me the following:
What struck me about this interchange was not her “maybe we need to taste the sour to appreciate the sweet” notion, but rather her assumption that it is the universe in its entirety (from Big Bang to present) who is not only responsible, but “horrible” for doing such a thing.
I had to give my friend credit for representing the thought process of so many out there, my self included. I too have struggled many times with this “How dare the universe be so mean to me!?” question in my life, most recently after ending a string of serial relationships with multiple members of the United Nations of Douchebaggery.
Human beings are not strangers to processing thoughts like this especially when things go sour in life. Whether it is in a religious context “Why is God punishing me?” to a more atheistic “Why is the universe doing this to me?”, it is natural for the human mind to attribute blame to an entire system/world/universe/ existence to account for our individualized pain.
But...is there a better way to handle at our pain?
This is where I believe our understanding of modern science can show us another way to direct our thoughts. Because if we are going to personify and then blame the universe for putting us through our pain, we should probably first pause and take a hard look at the FACTS of developing universe before we call it as an asshole. Perhaps with a better understanding of science, we are offered an alternative way of coping with pain when our hearts break.
I'll explain this in Part 2 of How Getting to Know the Cosmos Can Help You Cope with Heartache (HGTKTCCHYCWH)