By Alice Grist
How often do you hear the words “everything happens for a reason?” All too often we take those words lightly. They are frequently thrown around, but we rarely stop to think exactly what they mean. If things happen for a reason, what is that reason, and why is this true?
This is something I recently had a bit of a ‘to-do’ with my husband about. He is not as spiritual-minded as me, and when I uttered my favorite phrase, “everything happens for a reason,” he was quick to respond with, “what about atrocities, death, war, pestilence and all things evil?”
And yeah, I shuddered, because I don’t want to sound glib. I don’t want to be insensitive. But I do believe that these things happened for a reason, too. I am sure that everything always does.
When things happen for a reason in our own lives we may have to sort through a rainbow of grief and trauma before that reason becomes apparent. Sometimes the reason is so magnificent, it cannot be seen for years to come and requires much retrospect. Sometimes the reason is so lost in a sea of sadness, we simply cannot see it, or maybe we never will. But there is always a reason. This life is complex and often chaotic, but holding faith in an underlying order, an often unseen order, can render our lives a little bit more comfortable.
Of course, it’s not for me to guess at reasons for horrific events, but whether the reasons affect you directly, or affect the wider scheme of humanity, all we can do is hold out faith that each of our life difficulties is sent to make us stronger and wiser as individuals and as a species. That faith will be tested, of course, but by holding a belief in a greater scheme of things, we can find a bit of beauty and magic in even our darkest days. Spirituality can help light shine through from even the most awful times.
If you need some proof of this, look at your past difficult experiences and see where they made you stronger, better and happier even. Look to the little things that happen every day, that ripple out and change the world as we know it.
Just recently my husband lost his job, but I didn’t panic. I embraced it. I was coming to the end of my maternity leave and he had no holiday left. His sojourn from work allowed us to have a last little bit of time together with our baby before we both returned to work. And following our little bit of baby time, out of the blue, a new job popped up – one he is far happier at, although he would not have looked for it had the universe not forced him into that situation.
So, like I said, everything happens for a reason…
Alice Grist is the author of “The High Heeled Guide to Enlightenment,” and “The High-Heeled Guide to Spiritual Living. She is the publisher of John Hunt Publishing’s Imprint, Soul Rocks Books, which publishes spiritual books for a new generation. Her third book, “Dear Poppyseed: A Soulful Mommas Pregnancy Journal,” will be published this year. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and The Conversation, and lives in the U.K. For more information, visit www.alicegrist.co.uk.