No, everything does not happen for a reason

On some level, I’ve never quite believed that everything happens for a reason. I’ve never believed that tragedy is necessary for or a precursor to transformation. Tragedy may or may not transform you. But there is never a “reason” for tragedy.

There are a huge number of empty platitudes floating around the interwebs, supposed inspiration that actually is a pill to ignore the grief. To get up and move on, to treat grief and loss like an illness or disease that must be cured.

 But you cannot move on unless you sit with your grief. Unless you allow yourself to feel the spaces and the contours of your loss – no matter how big or small said loss might be. So allow yourself to sit with your loss for as long as it takes. To bear witness. To mourn. To cry.

Personal transformation can certainly occur after a tragedy. It occurs through your choices in how you deal with the aftermath of tragedy. In the daily decisions you take to cope with your grief. But to believe that there was a reason for your tragedy is a fallacy. As is the belief that tragedy is necessary for transformation. But that is a post for another time.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on grief, transformation and things happening for a reason.

This post is in response to this article

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One Comment

  1. We can also interpret “there must be a reason” as “there must be a cause” without implying that “the occurrence was justified; thus don’t lament …”

    We should recognize that lamenting only, by itself, may not help healing. I think your point is that the response to tragedy should not merely be its dismissal and keeping feelings bottled in. It is not easy and natural for most of us to express feelings in a manner that helps healing and is reconstructive. Can you post more on your blog about how untrained mortals like me can learn how to express our emotions in a reconstructive way?

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