This is going to start off a lot like many of my entries have…lying in bed last night, watching an episode of one of my favorite shows (“Sex and the City”; for those who watch it was the episode where Berger breaks up with Carrie on a Post It), I had an epiphany.
We’ve all heard the saying: “everything happens for a reason.” It’s a saying I’ve generally believed in for most of my life. I think it is worth noting though that I think it’s arrogant and a little more than insensitive to say that everything happens for a reason for children who are dying of AIDS or losing their parents to civil war and genocide across the globe. But in my own personal experience, in my small existence in the global picture, I’ve carried this belief.
But I realized something further about that belief last night, I don’t believe everything happens for a reason in that total fate kind of way; that the universe already has this predestined plan for me that I have absolutely no control over and every event that happens in my life is somehow leading up to that. Instead, what I mean when I say everything happens for a reason is that I choose to learn something from everything that happens to me in my life: good or bad. My “everything happens for a reason” isn’t a spell by the Mistress Fate, it’s my own personal choice.
I think I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think there was at least a little bit of fate mixed in there because I’ve witnessed certain things in my life where something bad that has happened has led me to something really good. Take my disability for instance. I don’t want to make it sound like my disability is some awful sentence I’ve been forced to suffer because it’s not, but I also can’t say it’s an ideal situation. But without it, I wouldn’t be blogging and meeting all of these amazing people from across the world with MD also.
At the same time though, a lot of “everything happens for a reason” is very much tied in with perception (and again, choice). I choose to perceive things a certain way in my life, whether it be good or bad. I choose to not let a bad event or situation get me down (most times) and instead, to look at it as a learning experience that I will take forward with me in life. I think we all have that choice in life to take what’s happened to us and either learn from it and move forward or think about it for years and years and constantly carry around a gigantic chip on our shoulder.
Some people have argued that this idea that “everything happens for a reason” is just a crutch people use to make the bad things not seem so bad or to ease the pain from something and maybe that’s true. But as I see it, why wouldn’t you want to take something “bad” or something painful and turn it around into something good, even if it is believing in an intangible idea that every event in our lives serves some sort of purpose?
I know without a doubt, there’s nothing that’s happened in my 20+ years on this Earth that I haven’t learned from. There’s nothing I haven’t grown from. I’ve made the choice to believe that whatever happens in my life, whoever comes in or out of my life, whatever circumstances come my way, will not be a waste and won’t have happened in vain because I know without a doubt there is always something to be learned. Life: the eternal classroom for us all 🙂