The popular saying “Everything happens for a reason” is often said by people struggling through hard times. “Everything happens for a reason” is like a hippie-dippy version of “God has a plan for you” except without the mention of the scary bearded guy in the sky. Regardless of what God or gods you believe in, however, both sayings do not make sense and can’t be proven.
To begin with, there is no real evidence that God exists, and we have no way of knowing what She wants to happen other than the fact that it happened. Did 9/11 happen for a reason? Did the violent rape of a 9-yearold girl happen according to God’s plan? If anything, believing that “everything happens for a reason” will just make you angry for thinking that pain was your destiny.
Our lives are filled with inherent shifting energy that, if we allow it to move us, will cause each of us to awaken to our full potential. Your experiences shape you and define you as a person. There are moments in our lives where we will be provided with profound insight and the need to make a decision.
Instead of running from changes, we must embrace them with the knowledge that nothing in life is stagnant. Perhaps that horrible break-up allowed you to focus more on your career and meet your wife. Or maybe that relationship brought you joy and introduced you to your passion or helped you find your religion. Loss may be incredibly painful, but it provides us with gratitude for the moment.
The morning I got out of the hospital for heart problems, I wrote my first sex column. That column opened doors for me as a writer and got people talking about sex, but also, it gave me something I desperately needed at the time: hope. Since then, my life has been filled with even more changes and decisions.
But the funny thing about those changes is that they all added up to me becoming a fuller, healthier person. When we are ready to lose our control to the dance of life, the universe will align itself with you to create changes. The key is you have to want it bad enough.
While I may believe in universal energy, I also believe that sometimes the universe flings crap at us like monkeys at the zoo. While I may be a Wiccan, I don’t believe saying “everything happens for a reason” and sprinkling odor neutralizer on dog crap will magically clean your floor and stop the smell. We don’t manifest changes in our lives by sitting around with our friends talking about our bad jobs and our horrible partners. We change by filling out job applications and toasting champagne to being single. Singing “Kumbaya” is optional, but it is a great song about faith.
In the end, faith is why we believe everything happens. In our roller-coaster rides of lives, everyone needs faith to make sense of it all and provide some sense of clarity. Human beings always feel the need to analyze and label things as good or bad, when in reality, there is duality in everything. Things don’t have to be tangible all the time. Sometimes the best things in life are gray.
Instead of “everything happens for a reason,” try “embrace the moment.” We have to go through the darkest hour to see sunrise. In times of struggle, it’s easy to get wrapped up in our heads and not see the bigger picture. Sometimes I think about my life, and it’s a miracle I’m even alive. But the funny thing about life is that it goes on.