Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It happens for a reason

Whether or not you are particularly spiritual or believe in karma, destiny or fate, it seems like many of my contemporaries are pretty comfortable in believing that certain things happen, or don't happen, for a reason. We may not always know what the reason is, in the moment or even years into the future when looking back in hindsight, but we take comfort in knowing that there is SOME reason why. Generally, unless you're pretty sadistic, we tell ourselves that X did/did not happen in order to pave the way and make space for better and brighter opportunities. I tell myself this sort of thing all the time. I sprinkle the catch phrase around liberally when dolling out advice or commiserating with friends. But how does this go from commonly used emotional balm to truly internalized belief?

Direct experience. Someone can tell you a million times over that the love you lost, the deal that didn't close, the trip you couldn't take happened for a reason. It isn't until you live through something like that and come out the other side with a gain of some sort that you really begin to put faith in that belief. I use the word "gain" in a very loose sense because it is subjective. What I deem a gift another may deem a curse. An opportunity that I missed may roll off my back easily while causing another great strife. It's all relative and that is a big part of the reason why direct, personal, individual experience is the only way you can really come to understand that life unfolds just as it should, even if you don't always know why.

I've been fortunate to have enough of my own experiences lately that have allowed me to truly say I've drunk the kool-aid and I'm buying into this. Take, for example, the trip to Scotland and Ireland I had intended to go on last summer. My good friend and would-be-travel-companion went, but alas, I did not. I hesitated to leave knowing that my father's health was in decline. Even though the doctors said he had months to go, he passed just days before I would have left for the trip. This was a no-brainer. I was able to be with my family and saved the expense of paying for a trip I wouldn't have taken. It happened for a very good reason.

Less clear has been the process of coming to grips with the loss of a particular love in my life. I don't say love in general because I'm blessed with an abundance of that. But intimate, romantic love of the marital variety is one that many of us desire strongly in our lives, and it can be hard to make sense of its loss. I figured out pretty early on in our separation that the space once occupied by C. and our marriage was being filled with amazing gifts now that it was free. Friendships, a deepening of my yoga practice, a renewed sense of independence and control in my life. But wait, wasn't this totally out of my control?!? Therein was the conundrum. For a while I felt I had no control over the end of my marriage since I was the one willing to save it and C. was not, yet I was walking away feeling more control over the rest of my life than I had in ages. And ultimately, it was in relinquishing control and accepting the fact that this was all happening for a reason that I truly found peace.

That is what it all comes down to. Release, accept and peace shall come. There are forces at work that we cannot understand, nor should we always strive to. Practice having faith and eventually you will cultivate enough direct experience to believe this to be true. This is how I've come to find my happily now and I feel confident in saying that if you try it, you will find yours too.


  1. So when I was going through my divorce, a friend of mine gave me a print by our favorite Curly Girl artist that says: "Faith is believeing that one of two things will happen," she said "that there will be something solid for you to stand on - or that you will be taught to fly."

    This quote always gives me peace because wether you're having a day where you feel empowered to make decisions that will make a difference in your life or if you're having a day when you can do nothing but give in and just surrender to the powers that be in the universe- it somehow makes everything you're doing or that's happening to you feel alright.

  2. Thank you Just and Jody´s quote...
    Today an empty afternoon for me, I found this blog by chance(for sure wasn´t), and your words embraced me and filled my heart with hope and determination to find my love. Every day I fell that our actions to put light in our lives, our thoughts, hearts, turn the sad or bored days days into special says... I can realize it, once someone always appears and put a smile upon my face and make me look on the other side. So I can fell the protection of this vast universe. All the times. All the ways. Thanks a lot, you both made me feel in this way. Again!
    With love, Noelle