“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” Marilyn Monroe.
Do I believe everything happens for a reason?
Well, Hannah Montana and CheNelle made money with that phrase, so it MUST be true.
What’s really happening here is that we like to reason out everything that happens, ascribe some deep and profound meaning to events we can’t explain.
Is there some master plan, conspiracy, destiny, fate over which we have no control? I don’t think so. Each of us is born with infinitesimal potential destinies. We make choices, change directions, interact with the people we encounter and deal with all the things in our lives that happen by chance.
If your cat gets hit by a car, someone will say it’s oh so sad but it must have happened for a reason. Then there’s a litter of kittens that a friend is trying to give away, and that same person says, see? One of those kittens will take the other one’s place in your life! It must be fate! And when they’re all given away to other people and there’s none left for you, they’ll explain that away too by telling you it was just not meant to be. At this point it is entirely forgivable to tell them to shut up, your cat is dead and their platitudes are annoying the hell out of you.
Believing things happen for some pre-ordained reason can make us feel a little more calm about the chaos all around us. It makes the inexplicable easier to accept. But it certainly doesn’t mean that we have no power at all over what happens next.