Everything happens for a reason.
That phrase gets tossed around a lot. A tree falls on your house. “Everything happens for a reason.” You don’t get the job you want. “Everything happens for a reason.” Your favorite flavor of ice cream isn’t in today. “Everything happens for a reason.” A guy you really cared about no longer cares about you. “Everything happens for a reason.”
I used to believe that most things happened for a reason, but sometime between last year and this year I stopped believing. Or rather I, sort of, stopped believing. I didn’t have an epiphany. There wasn’t even an insightful moment. Someone said to me, after something in my life didn’t go the way I hoped it would, “everything happens for a reason” and I thought, Nah.
A lot of us hold onto ‘everything happens for a reason’. It’s what gets us through. What if some things just happen? No deeper meaning. No silver lining. No real answers. This is life. We pick up the pieces. We make our choices. We work it out.
Is that depressing or liberating?
I’m not clouded with cynicism here. Truly. It’s that grand sweeping statements with the word everything in them don’t really work for me. I have compromised and I am a ‘sometimes things happen for a reason’ person.
Sometimes a tree falls on your house and it is simply a pain in the ass. Sometimes you don’t get a job and that’s that. Sometimes you go after a job you think will be perfect that does more than pay the bills and it’s given to someone who is slightly more qualified than you. You go back to pursuing the job that doesn’t pay very well but gives you great satisfaction. Sometimes your favorite flavor of ice cream just isn’t there that day. The reason? It’s time to try a new flavor. That guy you really cared about? He might still be a great guy or he’s a big tool – who knows? But, it’s not working.
To say that everything happens for a reason implies that it is entirely left up to chance, to fate, to God. Don’t we have some responsibility in the course our lives take? Before you think I’m taking all the fun and magic out of life I do believe in the miraculous and impossible. However, sometimes there is no explanation and we move on. Sometimes we’re given the answer, but more often than not we are searching for the hidden and deeper meaning to life and all of the questions life brings.
I think we find the reason. We come up with the whys and the hows and the whats. We choose how we’re going to respond to something that didn’t go our way.
The world might not bring the reason to us, but we can bring reason to it. We can make life matter. We give our circumstances substance. We can choose to make something a priority and rife with meaning. Other things we can chalk up to a learning experience or a blip and let it go.
Does everything happen for a reason? I think, like beauty, it’s in the eye of the beholder. It’s what you make of it.
This group (our group) goes to the pumpkin patch every year. We started this tradition when our first babies (who are born in the same year) were just babies. We have had more kids since and none of us plan on having more. We hope. We love our kids but we’re good.
So, we do this every October. We walk around, look at the very large cow (it is a beast!), walk through the smelly barn, eat popcorn, mock the ladies that are wearing heels, the kids go into the turkey and goat pen. I send my kids in with their dad and any other willing parents because giant birds roaming free like that scare the bejeesus out of me. We finish it with a hay ride that takes us to the pumpkins. Everyone looks for the perfect pumpkin. Muddy and wet we find our pumpkins, pay too much money for them and go home.
Well, this time that didn’t happen. We went to the pumpkin patch and so did hundreds of other families or what seemed like hundreds of other families. One of us did not want to stand in that long line. Another thought we would never get on that hay ride. It is a domino effect. One person says no. The next person agrees and we keep dropping off one at a time. That’s what is great about this group. It’s one for all and all for one.
We decided to go to the park instead. It’s free after all. We took the obligatory photos before we left. You can’t be around that many pumpkins and a covered wagon and not take photos.