Fuck sake. This was up there with one of the hardest to write. I started it, and erased it, and wrote almost exactly the same introduction, and erased it again.
Everything happens for a reason.
There it is. Simultaneously one of the most comforting — and most terrifying — thoughts to try and make sense of this weird little world we live in.
I put an Instagram poll up (side note: how bloody good are polls), on both rackoool and rackers.co, asking whether people believe everything happens for a reason. Frankly, I was shocked with the answer.
I’ve never been sure which side I sit on. I’m sitting here thinking: there’s some sort of comforting thought that the fates are actually deciding what’s happening to me; that while I ultimately make my decision, there is a path I am meant to follow. But then I go, hold up a fucking second; how can we justify this? How do we explain the famine, hatred, war, anger, death in the world? Because it was meant to happen?
Admittedly, after the very trialling year I have had, I am starting to truly believe it. That while you do decide your own destiny, there are reasons for the things that happen. If you search for them.
So, on this fateful day, 16th February 2018, I wrote;
“Does everything happen for a reason?”
And the results were as follows:
76% Yes. (79 people)
24% No. (25 people)
78% Yes. (42 people)
22% No. (12 people)
I thought it was somewhat eery that both polls ended with close to the same percentages. And, not surprisingly, I find a similarity between almost every person who voted no.
These are people who have dealt with significant deaths within the past few years of their life (majority being a parent).
There’s no coincidence in that. Hell, I was one of those people for the most part of the past four years. It would make my skin crawl when I would talk of losing my mum and uncle within the space of four months, and people would say, “oh, well, you know — everything happens for a reason.”
And it was all I could do not to yell in their face asking what in the hell that goddamn reason was. (Even, admittedly, the death of my dog two years later. Broke my lil heart that did).
But here it is: while, yes, I believe everything happens for reason. I do not believe this gives you justification for treating others like shit, nor justifying questionable decisions of yours.
I’m not sure how many of you have read The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty (and if you haven’t, you should — I read the entire thing in one day because I could not put it down), but her epilogue touches on something similar in such an eloquent way. She writes of all the things that could have been, had her characters all chosen to do something different; the paths their lives would have gone down. What could have been, what should have been. But, simply, what wasn’t.
Overanalysing is a trait I think many of us share, but only few of us are willing to admit to. I am chronic. Stress and anxiety eat me up because I start to overthink the smallest things; where my life is headed, why they said that, why my heart beats so fast when I’m trying to make a phone call, why I have a small pain in my stomach (pregnancy, obviously, even when I know it’s certainly not possible). But I recently opened up to those close to me about the way my overthinking has actually helped me; because I’ve come to understand (or, perhaps just search for), the reasons things happened.
There are many paths I could take you all down, and I could write a series of blog posts on the way things have worked out because of something that happened then and this happened because of and this is why and that and this and… you get the gist. I could go wild with it. But I figure there should be some humility and secrets left out (I know, this is not what you signed up for); you will all be able to read about it in a few years’ time when I write a novel about it, I’m sure.
Every opportunity that has opened itself up to me within the last year, specifically the past few months, would not have happened if my head wasn’t in the space it was. A poetry ebook (available here) would not have been written if I was not lost so far in my head that I found no way out except for writing the thoughts down into prose; thus, opening doors I could not imagine.
Hang on a second; is this me being some sort of thankful for a spiral of depression?
Perhaps it is.
The people who are meant to be in your life will find their way there; you were hurt before because life was showing you you still had an immense capacity to care. You unintentionally hurt someone else because life was trying to show you how to have empathy and consideration for others. Understanding this does not always bring you a sense of calm; there are still moments I am yelling at nothing, and everything, because it’s not fucking fair and why would you treat someone like that? And, most of all; what in the world did I do to deserve this heavy hurt on my heart?
Life is and always will be unpredictable; perhaps everything does happen for a reason. Some people search hard for those reasons just to feel a little comfort, and that is okay. The person you love did not die because they had to die; in most ways it feels as if their chapter was not finished, in your life and in theirs. But the person you love did die.
They did everything on this earth to make sure you knew of their love for you and that is why it hurts you so terribly. And here is your reason: To show them what their love could do; to prove to yourself what your own love is capable of. To live, and love, and laugh until you piss yourself; to cry and scream and some days truly hate the world, and other days, wrap yourself in the wonders of the world.
Everything, in some way or another, happens for a reason — this does not mean it’s fair, this does not mean it’s okay; but trust in your heart you will find your way. And if you’re screaming at your screen right now, complaining that what I have said just doesn’t make sense because WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?!
Look no further than your heart — do you care enough that this is happening? Yes? Then what are you doing to change the world for the better? Where is your hand in helping someone else so they do not have to know, or see, or do, what you have? What are you doing to make this world better?