We often talk about trust in the universe, but trust is a two-way street. The universe needs to trust in us too.

Are you listening when the universe tries to guide you? Are you implementing the lessons it teaches you, or are you avoiding them out of guilt and shame? It’s humbling to be shown your mistakes, but it’s better to have them gently pointed out to you by a caring friend so you can quietly address them with self-compassion than it is to ignore them only to have them blow up in your face later because you didn’t listen the first time.

If you’re constantly in resistance, of course your lessons will be hard. Have you ever tried to get through to someone who wasn’t listening? Maybe the first few times you tried to bring it up nicely, but when that didn’t work, you had to be more and more assertive until eventually things escalated into a full-blown conflict. But if you felt heard by that person on the first try, you likely appreciated them even more for taking your concerns seriously, and you probably felt even closer to them afterwards.

Well, that’s you and the universe. If you cooperate with it, it will want to keep helping you. If you show up to work with a smile on your face, act with kindness toward your coworkers, and turn in all your reports on time, you’ll be likely to get considered for a promotion when the time comes. But if you keep procrastinating or living in denial, you’ll end up creating disaster.

Spending the entire road trip saying “are we there yet” is only going to annoy the driver. Instead try saying “what can I do to help us get there faster?” And maybe chip in some gas money or at least bring some snacks.

If you want your journey to be fun and harmonious, you need to hold up your end of the bargain. When the universe can trust you to do that, it will start treating you with a lot more respect.