Everything happens for a reason. Or, so they say. And I’m not sure what I think about this. I know this is a good way to look at things. Maybe this helps us make sense of something that makes no sense at all. Rather than accept the unfortunate cadence of life, we come up with sayings that help us answer for the unanswerable. Or, perhaps, this is better than contemplating the hard facts of life.
Something bad happens or something tragic and there’s nothing else to say except this, “Everything happens for a reason.” Or, there is an adverse way of looking at this. Others have said this to me as well. Instead of saying everything happens for a reason, what if we came to the understanding that there is a reason why everything happens.
I’m sorry. I can’t see things the other way. I cannot give into the idea that there is a reason for everything. There is no reason that can make sense of the losses we see. There is no purpose in our unforeseen tragedies, such as the death of a child or wait no, the pandemic.
Everything happens for a reason, right?
No reason will ever explain or justify the life of someone that died way too tragically. Think of the parents that lost their child.
Would this be something to say to a mom or a dad that just lost their child? Would this help justify or explain the reason why there is an empty seat at the table? Would you walk up to a parent at the funeral of their child and say, everything happens for a reason?
There is a reason why everything happens. I can say that the reasons things happen are simple. Although we may not like to hear the truth, there is a reason why life happens. There is a reason why gardens grow and why the sky is blue. There is a reason why the ocean has tides. There is a reason for the winds that blow and the sun that rises. We know this.
We know there is a reason why we gain weight or lose weight. We know what happens when we drink too much or eat too much. Life does not happen without input.
Of course, nothing is ever guaranteed. Tomorrow is not a promise. All we have is now, which is all we can control because once this moment has passed, it is gone and unalterable. All we have is now, which means anything else is far beyond our control.
We can learn. We can pay attention and find a benefit from our experiences. I understand the need to find something positive. I certainly understand the need to make sense of something that makes no sense at all. And often, life makes no sense. Life is ironic.
For example, there was a letter I received from an old family friend. He was someone that my parents took a special liking to. His name was Kenny. He sent a letter to my Mother when I was in treatment. Actually, Kenny was in treatment for substance abuse as well.
Unfortunately, the needle infected Kenny and as a result, Kenny passed away from the AIDS virus. However, shortly before his death, Kenny sent a message to be forwarded over to me.
The letter read something like, “Tell Benny that I think he’s doing the right thing.” He said, “Tell him my hair is cut shorter than ever.”
Kenny said this because at the time, we both had long hair before entering treatment. Kenny signed off on his letter with, “Tell Benny it took me dying to know what it means to be alive.”
Now, some people might see this and think, “See? Everything happens for a reason.”
Or, the way I see it is everything that happened to Kenny or to me or to anybody is something that happened for a reason. We all have input. We just can’t control the outcome.
To me, saying “Everything happens for a reason,” is almost the same as when people say, “You made your bed, now lay in it.” Someone once told me their argument to this. I’m sure there are others who’ve thought this way too.
Rather than you made your bed now lay in it, shouldn’t it be, “You laid in your bed, now make it.”
We are all involved with most of our outcomes. If you study, you have a stronger chance of passing a test. If you eat well, you have a better chance of being healthy. If you exercise, you improve your chances of living (and feeling) stronger.
I am a fan of the saying, “Start by doing what’s necessary. Then do what’s possible and suddenly, you’re doing the impossible.”
I know there are lessons in life. I know there are distractions and actions, which happen and they are far beyond our control. I cannot begin to comprehend anything so infinite as the afterlife or if there is such a thing.
However, here and now is all I have.
This little moment, which in a second will be nothing but history; this is all I have. Maybe saying everything happens for a reason as opposed to saying there is a reason why everything happens is similar to the ideas about the glass being half full or half empty. Either way, there’s still water in the glass.
I know I am not the only one who has mentioned this. I know there are others that say, “Just be glad you have water in the glass at all because some people have nothing.”
Life is not equal. We are not born equal. And no, this is not about race or anything like that. I say this because regardless of my ambition, I am never going to play professional sports. I wasn’t born with those talents. I will never be on a televised talent show because although I love music, my singing voice is not one for the top charts. I have to learn to nurture what I have instead of compare myself or look for reasons to make sense of life beyond my control.
I understand the need to find accountability. I get it. I get that we want to understand why things happen. We want to find an explanation for our thoughts, feelings and our emotions. But rather than explain the unexplainable as some cosmic thing, I’d rather look at my life like this: No matter what happens, I have to get up, stand up, and show up on a daily basis. Nothing else is within my control.
Some days will be better than others but as far as I’m concerned, the best days that happen will be because of me; because after I laid in my bed, I made, and plus; the reasons for my outcomes are because I paid attention to my output. Everything else is simply beyond my control.