This Is What Happens When You Stop Believing Everything Happens For A Reason

Unsplash / Israel Sundseth
Unsplash / Israel Sundseth

I don’t know what inspired it. Maybe, it was the long term build-up of certain events. Or perhaps, it was a single event. Does it matter? I don’t know that either. I just can’t look at anything the same way anymore now that I don’t think there is a reason behind anything. That sounds heavy. Trust me, ever since I’ve stopped believing everything happens for a reason, everything has been heavy. There’s a forceful type of consciousness that hits you when you stop believing that everything happens for a reason. It could be compared to the moment you lost your innocence, in other words, the moment when you stopped floating through your naive youth and began observing, pondering, and discussing the world around you. Both moments are not documented or noted whilst they happen, rather, upon later reflection they are made apparent. Presently, the apparentness that my life is completely in my own hands and everything might not work out because there is no reason that it should is very, very heavy.

One thing I do know is how I started believing everything happens for a reason, and why I continued. M. Night Shyamalan, writer and director of the 2002 sci-fi action film hit Signs, strung together an intricate timeline of events all very dependent on their preceding events. He took “cause and effect” and made it so that there was a cause for every cause and that every effect was a concrete, almost predetermined, destiny of every cause. I distinctly remember my mom pointing out to me the controlling theme of the film that everything happens for a reason. I asked her if she thought this applied to life. She thought so. I was young and she was my mother, so I ended up thinking so too. I suppose I’m placing an indirect blame on her for the lie that I’ve led myself to believe all these years. It’s okay, she won’t mind, I blame her for most things now anyways (love you mom).

It was a beautiful idea to me, an empowering one, thinking that I was significant enough in this vast universe for some mysterious force to have things happen to me because they should, not because they just do. I felt like I was the main character of life. I felt like everything revolved around me and happened to me just to add to my own life experience. It was, so…fun…to connect the dots between certain events in my life and decide that they were meant to happen. I continued believing that everything happens for a reason because it was easy. Oh!, how it was easy. When things didn’t pan out as I had hoped, I would trust that there was a greater reason behind all of it. And in the end, I would search for that greater reason and latch onto whatever minor or major reason I could find. I couldn’t even fathom that things just happen, for whatever reason, and you just have to deal with them.

That leads me to my current life philosophy. While I try to maintain multiple to keep a fresh and open mind, this one dominates in the general aspect: There is no reason behind anything. The actions we take and how we choose to respond to our environment is what creates outcomes. But what about things out of our control? Things just happen. Why is this so hard for many of us to accept? Why do we continue to search for a deeper explanation as to why they happen? We focus on the storm when really we should be focusing on the aftermath. Because, what we control is the aftermath. We can control how we respond to things and therefore in a sense we can control our fates and the future things that happen to us. Not fully, but somewhat. Then what is the meaning of life? Answering with a question…does there need to be one? Why should there be? Humans are only important to each other. The meaning of life is whatever meaning you give it. The people who you surround yourself with, the choices you make, the paths you take, the paths you avoid, your actions, and most importantly, your responses, are all what define the meaning of life. All of these things are the reason behind everything that happens to you.

There is so much out there that remains foreign, untouched, and undiscovered by us that I think it is too egotistic of us to believe that we are important enough to be granted reasons behind things that happen. Reasons, that is, beyond a deeper cause. For example, you are holding an apple and you drop the apple which proceeds to hit the ground. The direct reason the apple hits the ground is because you dropped it and then laws of gravity took over from there. There is no deeper reason the apple hit the ground. It just did. This is a simple example of the point I am trying to make. There are reasons for things, just not reasons. I’m telling myself that adding italics makes my point crystal clear.

Sometimes I can feel myself slipping into thinking my old way again. I miss the reassurance that everything would be okay just because it was meant to all just turn out okay. But now, I realize that my life is in my own hands. Everything can be okay if I so choose it to be. I have been forced to own up to my failures, my flaws, and my poor choices. I feel nervous often and even more often question as to whether or not I am doing life right, especially when it feels like life is doing me wrong. Positive contrasts still exist. I feel more rewarded when I accomplish something and I feel that I have more control over my own life (which is a blessing as I am an avid control freak).

If there’s no reason for anything in life, then why bother continuing? I don’t mean to make the point that life is pointless. Just live it out. As far as you know, you have one ride so do try and go 0-100, but not real quick, because it’s already a very, very short ride. TC mark

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