I am a pretty positive person.
I meditate. I forgive. I move forward. I try to grow from the unfortunate events that pop up in my life. I spend time surrounding myself with the things in life that keep my spirits hopeful. I try to keep away from negative people as much as I can. I read The Oprah Magazine (that’s kind of a joke even though I do!). I enjoy pictures with inspiring quotes, and empowering affirmations.
But I just can’t bite into this phrase…
“Everything happens for a reason.“
For those of you who embrace this phrase and find it comforting please bare with me as I am not trying to squash your belief. I just have a tweak to it.
By self-proclamation I have stated I am a very positive person. Part of that is because I know what the pits of negativity feels like. I know that living in a generally negative state of mind not only impedes my personal growth, it affects my relationships, and how far I make it in life. I know that finding the good in people and situations is a healthier way to live. However, I also know sometimes not finding one or the other in life’s occurrences is okay. Because for some things-the experience itself is enough without a reason to solidify it; to get lost in the negative of it, or work to find the positive. For some situations I simply like to have a take away.
When my sister was going through chemo I remained pretty peaceful. I went into work and did my job. I kept in touch with my friends to let them know how things were. No searching for the answer to why this was happening to such a good person or placing blame on my God for her sickness. Life kept going so I adjusted and went with it. During that time my appreciation for my sister was even further solidified. It became clear when I was staying calm, and taking care of myself it also helped make the most of the time I was with her. By simply getting through this time I experienced growth in my way of handling a scary, and potentially devastating situation. This of course was a positive thing, but it was also organic. It came from just being what I needed to be during this time.
A take away is something you can learn or face from a situation without the added search for a reason. Sometimes the growth isn’t in finding the reason-it is in simply getting through the situation in a way that serves you in the healthiest manner. Sometimes, abandoning reason leaves more space to learn, to grow, and to take away something helpful that contributes to your personal growth.
Instead of why, try asking, what.
“My point is, shit happens. Randomly. But here’s an amazing human capacity: We can use virtually any experience as a catalyst for hopelessness or growth…Each of these positions in equally untestable. So we get to choose.”
~Martha Beck: “Reversal of Bad Fortune”