‘Everything happens for a reason’ is a bullshit phrase that enrages me each time I see it on a Pinterest board or hear it being spoken.
Everything happens because people make it happen. People hurt other people. People who have hurt other people are the reason for that hurt. There’s no other reason.
I know that pain and suffering can lead to stronger character in people, but I’m sure that unfortunately, the pain and suffering can also cause more pain and suffering.
Do I believe in fate? Do I believe that the universe holds a power over us? I’m not sure. I do believe in how random decisions can lead to great things – meeting new people for example. I almost didn’t meet my now SO because I had had a bad day at work and wasn’t much in the mood to go on a Tinder date – but thankfully I went and my life changed for the better.
But that first date only happened because two people decided to put themselves on Tinder around the same time and happened to live fairly close to each other. They both decided to meet up and that’s that. There was nothing else pulling us together or telling us that we must meet. We did it on our own accord through decisions that we made.
‘Everything happens for a reason’ never used to piss me off until the revenge porn thing happened to me last year. That was not the intentions of the universe or a higher power to either a) test my strength as a person or b) punish me. It was the decision of a horrible person to betray my trust for several years behind my back. That’s it.
It also pisses me off now more than ever because of how many people I have met online in the last year that have had horrible things happen to them too. The one good thing that can come out of pain and suffering is meeting inspirational people that help you get through it, and the empathy and understanding that you can share with them. Nothing else (do correct me if I am wrong).
I certainly would not look back and say “Gee I sure am glad that that RP thing happened to me, or I wouldn’t be the person I am today.” I might have been a better version of myself by now if that hadn’t happened to me. I might have progressed in my career more. I wouldn’t have had to go through 14 months of anxiety and depression. I often wish it had never happened.
Not to say that I do not value my new found empathy and understanding with those that have been hurt or those that have suffered from mental illness, because I certainly do and I’m glad that I have met such wonderful people.
But again, I met these wonderful people because we happened to connect over blogging or Twitter. There was no greater power pulling the strings, making bad things happen to people just so that they could later meet. It’s all just decisions made by each individual. Sometimes those decisions can lead to something magical, and sometimes they can lead to something horrible.
As I have said before, there are two ways to go about things: either by a) getting through it/solving the problem or by b) letting whatever happened to you take control of you. With that in mind however, I also believe that you should give yourself time to heal. That’s a very important thing that I think is greatly overlooked. People seem to think that after a little bit of time you should start to pick yourself up and get back into the swing of things just as before – but often that is not how life plays out. Each person’s recovery is different and how it affects them is different.
You can still have your recovery time (however long that may be) and pick yourself up again. You can still want to help yourself after a long time of barely making it through the each day. Getting better shouldn’t be rushed. Putting the pieces back together takes a lot of time.
So when I read ‘everything happens for a reason’ I get annoyed. That phrase is over-used and obsolete. In a culture of ‘making things happen’, we should acknowledge that we can all make good things and bad things happen; that our decisions have consequences.
If we go out seeking to make the world a better place, then we will probably achieve it, however small. If we go out looking to hurt somebody, then unfortunately that can happen too.
Life throws a lot of stuff at us that isn’t within our control – I know that as much as the next person. We can’t control the decisions of other people, though sometimes we can influence them. Let’s just hope that by deciding to do something good, we can influence others to do the same.