Having It “All Together” Made Me Feel Like I was Falling Apart

Photo of Dr. Danielle Dowling drinking coffee


For decades I have felt the overwhelming pressure to “have it all together” in life.

I thought I was being a good, hard working, responsible girl.
I was doing what I was supposed to do.

I’ve been carrying a 550 lb boulder of “hurry up and get there” on my shoulders.

You see, my father passed away when I was 23 years old and I thought:
“My father is no longer here. I better start taking care of myself. There is no one who is going to be there for me, and I better get my own shit together.”

And ever since then, despite being surrounded by people who love me, I’ve felt alone in my laborious quest to “have it all together” and “keep it together.” Never truly feeling like I can relax and trust The Universe and other people (which is also The Universe) to help take care of me.

And so I have worked hard, achieved, showed up, and pushed on.

I never really understood how it was I could achieve and receive things I wanted without working hard, without making them happen. The world teaches this principal… “See, you worked hard! You now deserve to receive what you want!” This is literally what we say to one another… to our friends, partners, and children.

Yet, is that really what we mean to communicate?
You can only enjoy and achieve if you work hard?

I’m now seeing that when I’ve worked hard and relied solely on my will to make things happen, life seems like a fight.  In all of my “doing” I am fixated on making my solution WORK.  And in turn I experience life as a struggle to prove that I deserve to receive what I want. When we are only focused on our mind identified strategy for success and happiness (like when we stuff our calendars full with tasks), we unconsciously interrupt the flow of support, kindness, and inspiration from The Universe.

There’s an easier way.

We can grow into the understanding that we are one with The Universe, therefore anything that we desire can and will be taken care of by The Universe.  

“Oh, if I just trust in the Universe things would appear!”

I am not suggesting NO “to do” list or that we become collective couch potatoes.
We’re here to express ourselves, to create and to yes, do what we would call “work.”

3 Ways To Grow Your Trust in The Universe

1. Create OPENINGS in your physical schedule & emotional energy grid for truth & inspiration to swoop in.  

We believe what we are taught to believe.
Most people spend their lives working hard to achieve things the world has taught them they should want, but in actuality do not want.  We do not have this self awareness because we rarely, if ever, take time to unplug from the matrix.

Allowing for 3-5 tasks on your to-do list instead of 17 will provide the space needed to become clear on what it is the real you truly desires. From this space of honesty The Universe can more easily fulfill your wishes.

So look for where you can eliminate tasks and practice relaxing!

2. But you’re thinking “How do I chill out?”  

The awakened thought is: “Yes, I can come to the understanding that everything is and will be provided for by The Universe and I don’t need to worry or do as much as I previously thought.”

But then the mind says: “I don’t know how to DO that!”

Isn’t it ironic?
Because the suggestion is that you don’t HAVE TO DO anything!

So the language itself is contradictory to your soul’s original intention, which is to learn how to relax and trust in The Universe to provide.
But you’re thinking “How do I chill out?”  

So when you don’t know how to relax this is my suggestion: just take one deep breath.
And then if you’re still frantic take another breath.  And then one more.

As you give yourself oxygen you are pumping your brain with energy from The Universe which allows the brain to physically relax.

Breathe and simply say:
“Thank you for the air, and thank you for the oxygen that is given to me for FREE!”  

See, this is not something you need to work hard to get! It’s a gift from the Universe. But sometimes people don’t recognize that it is a gift from The Universe. And maybe if you can start to appreciate the smaller things in your life, the smaller gifts will help you begin to understand how to receive truth and not unconsciously block the divine inspiration and support that is already yours and available now.

3. Begin each day with this invocation:

“Dear Universe, thank you for aligning me easily and comfortably with my truest self.”

Not your ego.
Not what the world has taught you that you should achieve.
(How happy has that made you, anyway? You got that thing and now what?)
But what the real and honest you desires.
You won’t be able to see and hear that vision clearly if your physical calendar and emotional space is stuffed full.

I have been practicing with not over-stuffing my day with endless ego-centered to-do lists I think I “have to do or I won’t be successful.”

:: I am consciously creating more physical openings.
:: I am allowing myself to take a nap when I want a nap.
:: I walk when it feels good to walk.
:: I don’t run every errand.
:: I am resisting the urge to have 6-7 meetings a day so I feel busy & therefore productive.

As I free up 5 minutes here… 20 minutes there…
I feel unburdened.

And when I notice I am afraid, doubtful, and feel like I should be doing more—
I take a deep breath, receive, and recognize…

Yes, The Universe is right here.



  1. I just found this post and it means so much to me right now. I’m crying just knowing I’m not alone. My dad died too, when I was six, and even as I kid I think I pushed to prove to the universe that I was good, and that if I was good enough the universe would see that it made a mistake taking him away and it would give me some sort of peace and security in return. I’m 37 and that has yet to happen. I’m struggling in my love life and I know it stems from that memory and this programming of always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m working on counterbalancing that deep anxiety that good things will be taken from me, and just knowing that there’s ONE person out there who gets it means so much.

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