Everything Happens for a Reason

Someone I know well makes spectacularly bad decisions on a regular basis. Sometimes, she even repeats mistakes.

Recently, she made another. Well, a few.

On her Facebook page, as a means of self-consolation, she posted a picture of a sunset overwritten with the words “everything happens for a reason.”

Sure it does.

Very little occurs in a vacuum—and when it does, a reason probably led to that, too.

Many times, we can’t fully know or understand the reason something happened. The universe holds mysteries we cannot grasp. In my post about how little we can know other people, I pointed out that misunderstandings cause many of life’s tragedies.

Yet, many times, we caused something negative to happen.

We screwed up.

Shrugging off negative events with pat consolatory phrases like “everything happens for a reason” means you will never do the hard work of self-examination—work necessary to understand an event’s cause that could prevent it from happening again. You inhibit your ability to grow.

You’ll keep making the same mistakes. Just like my acquaintance does.

Ask yourself: What can I learn from the negative in my life?

This question doesn’t feel good. But the answer has value.