I don’t know how it happens, but we tend to take on everyone’s problems and make them our own. Not on purpose. But it happens.

I get close to people and I take an interest in them, and then at some point I find that my life has come to mirror theirs. The universe seems to rearrange itself that way. Having empathy can feel like a curse, but it’s not. By going through what others are going through and surviving it, we can show them that they can survive it too.

It’s important to share in each other’s successes and failures. Our ups and their downs. To go with each other on the ride. When we share an experience, it becomes part of our own story. That’s how we grow closer. That’s how we unite. That’s how we evolve.

When you’re in someone’s life for an extended period of time and you witness them go through shit and then turn around and kick that shit’s butt, it’s an amazing feeling. They feel proud for achieving their goal, and you feel proud because you know that you played a role in allowing that to happen.

My success is your success. Your happiness is my happiness. That love belongs to everyone. That love is what will propel you into the next chapter of your life.

I’ve learned that people treat me the way I treat them. It’s not a direct literal translation. If I give someone an ice cream cone, it doesn’t mean they’ll give me one in return. But they might give me a smile or a thank you or try to return the thought in some way. Because we’re not really exchanging ice cream cones. We’re exchanging sentiments.

Everyone has a purpose. They carry this key with them, this piece of knowledge or insight that they may not even realize they have. It just comes out whenever they are speaking from the heart and they couldn’t stop it even if they tried. And when they share these keys with you, the code of life becomes understandable. You learn things. Important things. Things the universe has been smacking you in the face with but that you haven’t woken up to yet.

Ask yourself, “What is the universe trying to tell me?”