What If It’s All For A Reason?

I’ve been bitch-slapped by life so many times I’d have solid grounds for a restraining order.

Each time my heart’s been broken, my will exhausted and my spirit crushed I’ve had to dig deeper and deeper to find what I needed to carry on.  Each time I picked myself up I got a little bit stronger.  And each time I’ve thought, “Okay, enough now.  Just how fucking strong does life need me to be…?!”

You should know that I’m not a fan of the fluffy stuff.  I don’t believe in God. I think the Law of Attraction has its heart in the right place but has the execution all wrong. Crystals are pretty rocks and angels are awesome, beautiful and powerful – but fictional – creatures.

So it was pretty unexpected when the idea that “Everything happens for a reason” entered my head quite naturally as a valid, reasoned thought, as though everything I’ve been through really was for a purpose.  As if life was taking me somewhere to show me something.  As if there was a grand plan or that destiny really did exist.

Those thoughts had crossed my mind before, but only as a purely intellectual idea.  They never had relevance before.

But this was different. It *felt* different.

I’ve learned so much from every time I’ve been beaten and bruised and got back up.  I’ve learned so much from coaching these past ten years or so. I’ve learned so much about value. I’ve learned so much from having to dig deeper than ever to integrate and accept ME/CFS.

And it feels like something’s happening.

I deliberately haven’t written about this years World Domination Summit, because I think what’s to be said about it has already been said eloquently by others. It was a different kind of experience for me this year – more subtle, more peaceful – which felt entirely appropriate.

At the end of Andrea Scher‘s session, she gave a card to each person in the room. Each card had an individual, hand-written message. This was mine:

I don’t know exactly what that means and I’m careful about misusing the term “greatness” as it would be easy to stray into self-absorbed asshole territory, but it feels closer than it ever has. And the reason it feels closer is down to everything I’ve learned.

So what if everything that’s happened in my life – all the good and all the bad – has been to take me somewhere I was meant to go? What if everything really has happened for a reason?

You and I are no different, so if that’s true for me, it’s true for you too. Everything you’ve gone through and everything you’ve learned has been to take you somewhere you’re meant to be; a place where you can step into your greatness.

Wouldn’t that be something…

  • I waiver back and forth with this one. It seems to be, more than anything else, my faith that is being tested. Not faith in a religious sense, but faith in exactly what you talk about here – that it’s all for a reason and ultimately it will lead to somewhere extraordinary, great, real, whatever term one chooses to use. Interestingly I’ve pretty much always been a believer in the theory. I don’t know why or where it’s come from, but it’s been there as long as I’ve been able to form the conscious thought: Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we know the reason immediately, sometimes in a day or in 5 years, and – this is the clincher for me – sometimes we’ll never know. We just have to (?) have faith that there is indeed a higher reason.

    The wavering comes in when looking at the bigger picture of my life: I’m 43, never married, no children, currently no relationship, and a very tiny, rather anaemic social circle. Before you picture a wallflower of a woman sitting home alone with 23 cats every night, I’ll offer that I’ve traveled the world, seeked out adventure at every possible turn, tried to squeeze what I can out of life, tried to analyze and study and fix the flaws of my character, endeavoured to make personal connections when it feels right….yet here I am. Alone. (Yes that’s me, the “chronic loneliness” girl. I’m still researching professional help for that).

    How, how, how does one keep the faith that it’s all for a reason, while at the same time knowing the reason might never reveal itself? How does one keep from feeling like it’s all just a big punishment?

  • I’ve always doubted the logic behind anybody recomending the use of affirmations. Surely by affirming something your not your setting yourself up for a massive dose of cognitive dissonance.

    I agree with the late Jim Rohn, You wanna affirm something, affirm the truth, then get about making it better.

  • Hmmm, so step into my greatness, eh? Well, how am I supposed to do that when I have to rely on the decisions of others about something? I want a certain job, I may not even be interviewed for it even though I know it’s a perfect match. I’m feeling anymore like I’m paying heavily for karma in a past lifetime. Was I that shitty a person back then that I keep getting fucked over now? I’m not a God person, either, and all the pretty affirmations I’ve done haven’t amounted to shit, so what now?

    • Feels like you’re pretty frustrated Patricia, and I totally get how bloody annoying it can be when you know you’re perfect for something but it’s essentially out of your control.

      You ask “What Now?”. What do you think happens now? Just entertain the possibility that maybe where you are right now is something the universe is doing as a kind of test; a situation it’s given you to see who you are and what you’re really made of.

      How would you respond?

      • OK, Steve, well, next question: How the fuck long am I supposed to be “tested”? Different tactics, attitudes, whatever, all wind up with me back in the same place. Changing my attitude hasn’t changed my circumstances. I can’t force that recruiter to call me back or even be honest with me. I can’t make that job that was mine until oops! Budget cut! Sorry! magically appear again.

        • Eek, Patricia. Not sure what I can say or whether this is the best place to have this conversation. Nevertheless… You’re in a place where it looks like nothing – nothing – you try is working out, and you’re clearly pretty “Fuck this shit” about it. You’re in the belly of the beast, and you’re right. Changing your attitude won’t change your circumstances. But it sure can change your experience of them.

          And I don’t think the “test” ever really ends.

          • Thanks, Steve. I know. I’m gonna concentrate on doing what I can. Affirmations can be great, but when they don’t work, then it’s just another stressor.

          • I’m not a great believer in affirmations. Much better to simply be aware of your intention. I know it’s frustrating when you want something so much; just go easy on yourself and be sure to keep yourself nourished.

  • I agree that things happen for a purpose, whether you think it’s God’s master plan, or the universe, or whatever higher power you think is laying out a path for you. These events shape us whether we like it or not. And I think they shape us for a reason, to turn us into the people we need to/are supposed to be. Like you, Steve, I hesitate to use the term ‘step into greatness’, so maybe it’s more accurate to say something like ‘step into your realness’. In other words all of the events of our lives give us wisdom, skills, and abilities that are unique to each of us. Now is the time to step into being who we really are as a result of those experiences, and not because of what others, or the world, expect of us.

    Thanks for your thoughtful and meaningful work!

    • Right. What’s interesting to me is that maybe you can only become that person – whether it’s a matter of greatness or realness – after you’ve been shaped sufficiently by your life. In other words, is the capability to “step into” a constant throughout life, or does it require a journey first?

      Probably getting a little philosophical rather than useful; rich and interesting nevertheless! Thanks Jeff.

      • Nothing wrong with getting a little philosophical! Having lived a little, it seems to me like it takes a journey. Some of us are lucky enough to know (seemingly from the womb) what we’re really all about, while most of us (me included) have to let those life experiences bounce us around and shape us. It’s kind of like one of those old rock tumbling machines – throw in some rough looking rocks with a bit of sand, spin it around for awhile, and out comes the polished and smooth result. Though some of us (me, again) may require several spins through the tumbler!

        • I think we’re probably all tumbling around in that machine and not sure that the aim is to become polished and smooth – but I totally agree that it’s the “tumbling” that shapes us.

          Let me join you for a few more spins ; )

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