The phrase, ‘everything happens for a reason’ can either imply a generous amount of faith or support the bluntly logical view that every event has both a cause and effect. Regardless of which side of the fence you find yourself on, this old adage could use some elaboration.
Just by observing the world, logic tells me how vast and complex it is. Although I feel at the centre of it all, that is only my perception — and also my limitation.
I’ll never see everything that is transpiring. So for anything I do observe, I’m most likely viewing it in isolation, missing its cause and its following effects — thus making any judgements I place, incomplete.
Just take one single event that happened to you and imagine it starting off like a simple mathematical equation. From there the amount of variables that can come into consideration is well beyond our comprehension. Every solution also has the potential to be another equation, so the process may be much longer than we realise.
Yes, its true. Just like in a numerical sense, things may turn out negative or positive. But this is where faith comes in.
It’s not faith that old mate in the sky has a giant calculator making sure everything turns out positive. I see faith as a decision to believe that, regardless of the immediate observable odds, things still have the potential to turn out for the better.
We’ve all encountered ‘blessings in disguises’ before. A painful breakup which allowed you to meet your current sweetheart. An unfair job loss which opened you up to the great opportunity you have now. These examples are specific solutions that, in our moments of grief combined with our limited knowledge of everything that was going to transpire, we couldn’t predict or estimate.
So that’s faith covered. However, I do want to go back to the topic of logic.
Through the same observation of the world, logic also tells me that unfortunately things just happen, because they do.
As painful as it is, misfortune and the fragile nature of life, are truths we all have to accept. When we do, we can find support through others who feel the same. Once we’ve moved through the expected emotions of grief, anger, regret, a new door may start to open. This is an opportunity. I’ve seen some beautiful things sprout from the most broken of places.
The internet is full of stories… Using a illness to increase your appreciation of life. A loss bringing a family closer together. Opening a foundation in someone’s name. Taking measures so the same thing doesn’t happen to others.
Compared to the positive events, it’s much harder to say these difficult experiences happened for a reason… But we can definitely make them more meaningful.