I’ve tried to convince myself time and time again that everything happens for a reason. That every event in life is part of my fate, or puts in place a little piece of my destiny. I’ve tried to believe that every happening, no matter how slight, is brought to life by a spark in the atmosphere, and thus has direct intention and conviction.
I’ve tried to convince myself of this many times. But as my life has played out, I’ve reached the conclusion that this simply isn’t true – this isn’t how life works. Sometimes things just happen that are beyond our control. Sometimes these are unprecedented miracles, and other times these are heavy burdens, glaring us in the eyes. Whether they are good or bad, they may have no logical explanation. They may be built on the sheer unknown, rather than on hard facts. And although it’s comforting to believe in the meaning behind all things, I now firmly believe that not everything happens for a reason.
Awful things happen in this world – tragic, heartbreaking events every day. I don’t feel “comfortable” finding solace in these tragedies by persuading myself that these things are all backed by reason. I don’t think that every event in this world, has a rhyme or reason. I don’t think that when we go through hard times we automatically come out stronger, brighter, or happier. If this were the case, wouldn’t we be more welcoming of hardships? More open to heartbreak?
It’s soothing to claim this,
It’s comforting to tell ourselves that when we go through hard times, we will meet the end of the dark tunnel with the best days of our lives.
That every dark cloud has a silver lining. I can’t lie and tell you that these claims are true. I can’t live under this shelter of innocence for the rest of my life. But what I can tell you is that when things happen, you can choose to give them reason for happening, you can choose to let them impact you in ways that change you for the better. You can create a new reality in which these happenings have meaning; in which they change your viewpoint of the world.
You see, it’s up to you to decide how to react to things that happen. It’s up to you to turn external forces into internal actions. Ultimately, it’s up to you to deem things as positive or negative, good or bad. And the majority of the time, it’s not black and white. Most of our lives take place in the grey. But this grayness empowers you to paint the world with your own brush.
To allot meaning and wisdom to the hard times.
As human beings, we are not completely protected from experiencing pain.
We are not some unusual powerful beings that only experience the good. But we are incredibly resilient. We are powerful beyond measure.
We are easily jarred, but not easily broken.
Because of this, we have the ability to continue to thrive even after we endure great suffering. We have the right to rise up, over and over again. We have the power to give our experiences meaning, in such a way that they better us, or they strengthen us. When we grow and move forward, we often possess a new sense of humility, a new sense of understanding and compassion, as long as we look for it.
So while this world cannot shield you from heartbreak, and while the moon and stars cannot protect you from tragedy, the world has given you the quiet inner strength to continually grow. To grow even braver and stronger than you ever expected. To grow to new levels of grace and humility. But remember: this growth must be conscientiously chosen. You must actively pursue this growth.
Although bad things may happen with no rhyme or reason, you are blessed by the universe with the ability to create reason. You are able to change these scars into empathy and value. Use your sadness to develop a kinder heart. Use your pain to gently shake the world and to help support others in their times of pain. So although you cannot run from hardships, and although you cannot avoid your heart being broken,
You can choose to assign meaning to this heartbreak.
You can choose to be changed for the better by these pivotal life events. You can choose to stand up stronger than you were when you entered the fight.
So I stand by my assertion that things do not happen for a reason. But if you face life with bravery, if you choose rising up rather than giving in, you can give meaning to heartbreak, and value to sadness. You can decide, with conviction, to allow events to change you for the better.