Everything doesn’t happen for a reason.

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Stop saying that everything happens for a reason.

So many people said that to me after my dad died. It chilled me to the bone. I know that people just wanted to make me feel better… to bring some sort of hope to a hopeless situation… but here’s what it sounded like to me:

Your dad died so that you could learn a lesson. Now go live the best life possible so that he didn’t die in vain.

I’ll admit that I’ve used this phrase before. However, I came to realize that it does more harm than good. Everything does not happen for a reason. Sometimes life sucks and shits all over you and you just have to deal with it. Trying to make sense of a senseless situation doesn’t do anyone any good. It just made me jealous, bitter and depressed.

I love to think that I see the world through Pink’s lyrics, “I’ve felt that fire and I’ve been burned, but I wouldn’t trade the pain for what I’ve learned” but that’s just not true. If someone with mysterious powers came up to me and told me that I could go back in time and stop my dad’s accident from happening in exchange for anything good that happened as a result of the accident, I wouldn’t think twice. I would trade everything I have to get him back.

But obviously that can’t happen. There’s no use in wishing that it could.

So, instead of thinking that everything happens for a reason, I like to make the best of what’s handed to me. I recognize that past events shaped the person I am today. I learned that I can choose how to grow from an experience. When you realize that you can’t change your past, you’re able to move on and let it influence your future.

I think that’s what most people mean when they say that everything happens for a reason.

Through being depressed, I learned how wonderful happiness is. Through losing a parent unexpectedly, I learned to appreciate and cherish the one that I have left. Through losing a friend, I learned of my own mortality.

Through my hardship, I changed into a completely different person. Dare I say a better version of myself? I’m kinder, a little more compassionate and I’ve learned to cherish every minute I have. I learned to let others know how much they helped or inspired me. I never stay mad at anyone for too long because I know that anger is a worthless emotion. I go after what I really want in this world because I don’t want to live without regret.

Yes, I changed. But I would trade it all in a heartbeat.

We can grow, adapt and become better people through our hardship. But there is no reason behind tragedy.  

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