In journaling/writing/ try this at home

everything DOESN’T happen for a reason …

everything happens for a reason.

I am SO over hearing that “everything happens for a reason.” 

but it really doesn’t. everything doesn’t happen for a reason.

Things do NOT happen for a reason. Things happen, and we try to make meaning out of them. But there is absolutely no empirical capital R-reason, and no cosmic plan behind the difficult things that happen to us. When …

everything doesn’t happen for a reason.

  • …my mother died of pancreatic cancer at 66?
  • …my friend Marybeth died at 53?
  • …a kid is born into poverty and has no access to clean water or food?
  • …a young man stayed at Pulse nightclub for last call instead of leaving 15 minutes earlier and was murdered by a man carrying two semi-automatic weapons?
  • …someone nearly missed a plane but got on just in time … only to have it tear into the World Trade Center 45 minutes later?

Or take some things that are a little less dramatic: how about when you lose a job; when a significant relationship ends? And then, even slightly less dramatic than those: when your back goes out; when you get in a fender-bender in your new car? 

everything doesn’t happen for a reason.

There are REASONS for these? 

everything doesn’t happen for a reason.


seriously, hell no.

When things like this happen that clearly suck (or even those things that are upsetting, or simply real annoyances), and we tell ourselves that “it happened for a reason” it’s an attempt to shortcut the feelings of suckage. It’s a variation on the theme of spiritual bypassing, magical thinking, and finger-in-the-ears going “lalalala; I don’t hear you!” – and there’s no true healing or understanding available there. 

seriously, hell no.

Because when hard things happen we need to feel hurt, angry, sad, devastated, incensed, helpless, overwhelmed, livid, hopeless – all the things – before we can make any sort of peace with them and come to some kind of understanding. 

seriously, hell no.

By trying to turn away from the hurt and anger by telling yourself that “it happened for a reason”, it takes you out of the true experience. 

and we don’t want that.

Did something horrible happen? Then feel awful. Something shitty happen? Then feel like shit. Let yourself rage, kvetch, and let it out. (May I suggest writing it out?)

you should definitely write it out

And though there will never be a “reason” for what happened, if you let yourself go through the feelings, in time, you may be able to make your own meaning of it. Perhaps you’ll figure out how you grew, survived, or learned something new about yourself and the world.

because things don’t fucking happen for a reason

And whatever you come to, it’ll be more organic, and bring longer-lasting understanding than the quick, unreal bandage of “everything happens for a reason.”

fuck no

Because it just doesn’t.  

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