Everything is composed of atoms. Every single thing you see around you is composed of trillions of beyond microscopic particles. Its a little unnerving and also sort of liberating to know how much is happening we all are unaware of. These atoms bond together to form molecules. In every cubic centimetre of sea air there is roughly 45 billion billion molecules, and since each molecule consists of two or more atoms that means there are quite a few atoms out there. One cubic centimetre is roughly the size of a sugar cube. Now imagine how many sugar cubes it would take to compose something on the scale of your body. In short, you are made up of a lot of atoms.
We are each very atomically numerous. After we die our atoms eventually disperse out into the universe. However most of them will end up staying on planet Earth and will be recycled into new organisms and matter. Its thought that every single person alive today will have up to a billion atoms (remembering how small a proportion that really is compared to how many we have) of any historical figure you care to mention, Shakespeare, Buddha, Jesus. All these people have died and had their atoms dispersed back into the world to further form more matter and life.
If you trace our lineage back far enough its supposed that we all came from a small population of a few thousand homo sapiens who repopulated our species after some sort of climate change or extinction event caused us to reach the brink of survival. Before that even, there was a very first organism and because that organism discovered how to or sort of just accidentally propagated we all now exist. We all have at some point one common ancestor. In terms of homo sapiens, theres been so much interbreeding that its almost a guarantee that you are related in some way to everyone around you, every single person.
So lets combine this together and discover something beautiful. Your ancestors or essentially everyone have all passed away to form you, literally. The atoms that composed your ancestors, their literal physical makeup, is what is now you. You are your ancestors in the most literal sense of the phrase. When your ancestors died they didn’t ascend up to some misplaced “Heaven” to spend eternity beaming down at you as you live your life. They died, decayed and were then amalgamated along with particles from exploded stars, falling rocks, other celestial bodies and trees and animals to form YOU. And in the same way after you pass on you to will be dispersed back into the universe to further form new life and to contribute to the future members of your family. You won’t recognize it as such for you’ll have lost the capacity to recognize anything, but in the same way your ancestors are you, you will be your descendants. You are the universe, and the universe is you. We’re all connected like a wave crashing to shore because of the current of the whole ocean and its only through some twist of fate that you happen to be sentient and thus able to recognize it.
So the next time you feel doubt about your place in the world, think about that and smile. Because you are everything, and everything is you.