Everything happens for a reason.
Many people believe this. They trust that everything has a purpose, or for the more religious, God has a plan.
Sometimes that belief is questioned when the unthinkable happens.
I do believe everything happens for a reason, but I see things more in the way of the butterfly effect than direct cause and effect. I also recognize that while the universe is specially designed, free-will and choice play a significant role in what actually happens.
Everything happens for a reason, but just because it happened to you does not mean it’s happening for you. We are all connected, and that thin thread that teethers humanity together ripples when something happens to one of us.
Dr. King’s life sparked the minds and hearts of millions, but his assassination propelled the movement to a new level. Assassination is horrendous, but I wonder what America would be like had he lived? How long would it have taken to abolish Jim Crow?
Everything happens for a reason. Don’t believe me? Think about something that happened to you. Now think about all the things that followed.
When I was in high school, there was a boy I really wanted to date. He was the friend of a friend and our connection was instant. There were years of near misses, almosts, and disappointments. Every single time we saw each other the timing was off.
This lasted until my freshman year of college. I was determined. I was over the missed opportunities. I wanted him. So, I made it happen, and I was elated. We were officially dating. It didn’t last long. One day he called while I was out with friends. I couldn’t hear what he was saying and asked him to repeat himself a few times. He went off. He said after all this time of us trying to be together, we finally make it happen, and I don’t prioritize him. We hung up, and that was it; the end of our relationship. I vacillated between heartache and rage. No, I never called back.
After that, I did what college students do. Study, date, party. Two key things happened later that year. He went to jail after he retaliated against someone he had beef with. I met my husband.
I learned two lessons that year that have been more influential in my life than anything that has ever happened to me.
First, it reinforced my belief that life does not happen at random. Things happen for a reason.
Second, it taught me to stop trying to force things into being. What will be will be. What is for me will find me.
He was never for me. We were never meant to be. And had I had less pride at age 18, I would have abandoned my friends, called him back, apologized, and set off a chain of events that would have ruined me.
That year I wrote myself a reminder in my journal. “Everything is meant to be. Few things are meant to last.”
Things are meant to happen. And frankly, similar things will continue to happen to you until your lesson is learned. Do not take it personally. Do not harden your heart against the world or believe it is after you. Find the lesson. Find the nugget of truth and power in that event and carry it with you.
Just because everything happens for a reason does not mean you are a slave to your circumstances. It’s probably more like the Matrix. You can take the red or blue pill, each has its own set of events, outcomes, and lessons. This means you are still the driver. You get to choose how you live your life.
Even with my honesty policy, I have hesitated to publish this blog given the horrific events of the last few weeks. For the first time, I was afraid of flack. I don’t want to be seen as callous or careless. Yet, my belief holds true.
Everything happens for a reason. Wars will be fought. Nature will sometimes rage. And hearts will be broken. That is life. The choice is what happens next. During tragedy, humanity pulls together. For a brief moment, we drop our labels and band together. Then change happens. Sometimes slowly, sometimes lightning fast. Either way, things always work out, and no matter what, life goes on.
Do not be discouraged. Be inspired. Hold on, have faith, and stay safe.