You’ve heard it, I’ve heard it – we’ve all heard it before.
But what does it really mean to us when we say that ‘Everything happens for a reason?’ Why do we say it to each other, or to ourselves?
I’ll admit, I’m guilty of using this phrase multiple times in my life, and if I stop to think about the times I’ve said it, more often than not, it has been instances where something bad has happened. Broken friendships, bad breakups, sad farewells, rejections; as much as we would all like to lead fairytale lives that are always picture-perfect, the harsh reality is that all these negative experiences are part of life, just like positive moments are. Life is a matter of a balance.
So when we tell each other, or ourselves, that ‘Everything happens for a reason,’ it’s as though we are offering a comforting thought to help us get through a difficult time, by justifying that whatever happened was meant to happen. We convince ourselves that ‘it was going to happen sooner or later,’ or ‘it had to happen for bigger and better things to come along.’ Just like anything else in life, many will disagree. They’ll question why something good has to end; they’ll argue that they don’t need bigger and better things, and that they were happy with their lives just as they were. They didn’t want to go through an emotionally distressing event.
Here’s what I have to say: They may not have wanted to go through it, but maybe they needed to. I don’t want to seem like a horrible person by suggesting that people absolutely have to endure painful experiences, but I will say this – a person whose life doesn’t ever change isn’t really living their life to their fullest potential. Change can be good or bad, but one thing it always does is make you grow. And while you may not want to see your best friend move to another country, or your colleague be promoted instead of you, the inner changes that you experience will make you a stronger person, competent at playing the cards you are dealt in life.
So even though some people reject the idea that ‘Everything happens for a reason,’ I am a firm believer. I also believe that the only thing that helps us to truly understand the power of this phrase is time. I may not have understood why something happened to me right after it happened, but looking back on it now, every event, every emotion, every tear spent has been an integral piece in the bigger picture. And while I may not know what life has in store for me, I know that as long as I keep working towards my goals and having a positive midset, it will all be worth it in the end.
Please don’t let anything make you question your self-worth or your abilities. If you fall down, the journey back up makes you stronger, and you can reach places much higher than you were before. If something doesn’t go your way, it wasn’t meant for you. Your time will come. Everything happens for a reason.