WTF Universe?

The truth is, it is hard and scary to dive deep into your self, into your soul.  We are complex individuals, with emotions and energy and all that goes with our embodiment of this life. 

I remember when I first saw Anais Nin’s quote:  “I must be a mermaid.  I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”  I embraced it as my mantra.  My north star.  My guiding light in diving into my stuff – past and present so that I could experience transformation in my next steps, my future. 

Intentions are almost always good and inspire positive movement, but I found it difficult to maintain that frame of mind, those guideposts of reference where I not only dove into my heart and soul and exposed the intricate webbing and cracks of my experiences and being, but then served it up in the shape of social media posts and blog entries for others on a similar journey to gasp, “A Ha!,” and know they were not a lonely traveler but had company in their heartbreaks, trials, and tribulations.

Six and some odd years later, I find myself frozen – not able to dive at all, whether shallow or deep.  The fear, sometimes paralyzing, impairs my brain from computing what the pieces of the puzzle are, stops my heart from wanting to live another day in this confusion and frustration of what my life has turned out to be.  It is a mortal battle for my soul.  The waves of life that I so often write about are crashing around me, the tides and currents pushing and pulling.

I can’t see the light sometimes.  I know it’s there…..

I know that my feelings of sadness and depression, that the ‘I don’t want to,’ ‘can’t do this anymore,’ are but a wave that will refresh itself as it kisses the shore and then retreats to be part of the big picture once again. 

Do you ever throw your hands up to the sky and ask, “WTF Universe?”

I use to say in my most intense moments of ‘I’ve had it,’ “I hate my fucking life.”  My therapist was not happy that I said that, and she was quick to point out that it was my fucking life at the moment, and that it will change, that I had the ability to change it, for change is inevitable.  The other day I was watching Grace and Frankie – Season 4, and (spoiler alert!) Grace in a moment of utter frustration with a situation says, and I quote, “I hate my fucking life!”  I actually texted that to my therapist as if to say, see?, I am not the only one that feels that sense of despair. 

So really, “WTF Universe?”  I am in continual motion to examine the questions of why am I here, why are we all here, what am I suppose to be doing with this f’n life, and what can I do to make it better.  And that’s where we get back to the Anais Nin quote and the no fear of depths.  We don’t really want to live in the shallows, the superficial, the inauthentic.  We want to live deeply, love fully, experience our life in all its throws and storms and loveliness too.  I look at everyone around me and see that none of us are here gliding effortlessly through this life journey.  Everyone has some burden, some upsetting circumstance, some difficult challenge. Some have unimaginable obstacles to manage.  The point is, we all have our things to face and deal with. And it is in those moments of facing our stressful situations that we must realize and accept the uncomfortable circumstances, for that is where the light is, the growth, the progress.

And that’s why we are here – today, now, as human beings, on this earth, at this time.  We are in one big soul growth experience – sometimes it feels like one big shit storm, or a wave crashing so hard that it takes all the life and breath out of anything in its wake. 

But we rise up – a popular phrase these days… We rise up to meet our challenges.  We find the way to our heart and soul and to live the best way we can, guide our children, love our family, listen to our friends and support them as they speak about their journeys, be grateful for what we have, and most importantly, love ourselves.  It is up to us to pierce the shallows of our heart and soul and dive deeply into that which may challenge or scare us.  Because it is in those depths that we truly find ourselves, and realize that this life, no matter what the universe throws to us, is ours – to live, to enjoy, to own. 


  1. Eileen Phillips on February 18, 2019 at 2:28 AM

    WTF Universe . . . Boy have I been there! Too many times to count. And yet, I somehow find the strength and courage to rise up and keep paddling to what ever life seems to enjoy throwing itself on to my path. So fellow mermaid, together we can keep on keeping on. Stumble and get up again. After all, we are the most beautiful creatures in the sea of life.

  2. Sionainn on February 18, 2019 at 8:34 AM

    Just what I needed to hear this morning.

  3. Robin Rosov on February 18, 2019 at 5:11 PM

    Jill, This post is fabulous! You are so talented at expressing exactly what I feel too! You help so many people by using your talent, especially me! Love you girlfriend xoxo

  4. Kathryn on March 21, 2019 at 8:14 PM

    You’re not alone, Jill. We’re walking beside you. I lost the love of my life to cancer in July 2017. When I would tell him that my universe was collapsing into itself, he would tell me to stand tall and observe its beauty. So I’ve been doing a lot of that. Observing. Listening. Standing motionless in the beauty of the moment. It’s all I can really control.

    • Jill Alman-Bernstein on March 26, 2019 at 12:25 PM

      Kathryn, I love that you are “observing. listening. standing motionless in the beauty of the moment.” A good thing for all of us to do. Thank you!

  5. Emily on October 23, 2019 at 10:54 AM

    Beautiful and that also GRABBED my attention as well as Marianne Williamson (…our greatest fear…).

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