For a Reason

One day this pain will make sense to you

I saw this poster the other day, and it almost made me mad. All I could think was, “No, it won’t.”

You’ve heard it a million times: Everything happens for a reason. I know really great people who truly believe that. But I don’t. I think some things happen for no reason at all: good things, bad things, everything in the middle.

I think the “for a reason” sentiment is a coping mechanism. If you can believe there is meaning in the pain you feel now, then it’s not so bad. Maybe my belief that there is no reason at all for so many things is my coping mechanism.

Stuff will happen. If there is a lesson to be learned, by all means, learn, grow, mature from the experience. But everything doesn’t mean something in the bigger picture. Sometimes you’ll never know why. And it will just be whatever it was.

One day, this pain might make less sense than it does now. That’s life.



Filed under The view from here

12 responses to “For a Reason

  1. I dunno, I kind of agree with the poster. I guess that’s because all my pain has eventually ended up making sense to me. I’ve yet to experience something bad that I wasn’t later thankful for.

  2. KatieMc

    A hearty amen. I hope to someday find out why certain pain has happened in my life. I think I will be really pissed off if I don’t find out. Maybe, by then, however, I won’t care. Until then, good friends, good food, good medication, good liquor.

  3. I’m kind of in between. Maybe more of a “hindsight’s 20/20” kind of a thing. Do I think *everything* happens for a reason? No. Do I think we can often look back and see the lesson we learned or the way X put us in a position for Y to happen? Yes. Either way, pain sucks. Then eventually – hopefully – it sucks a lot less.

  4. I agree with you. Now forgive my rant…… but I want to get this out and don’t want to blog about it.

    I love all my friends that have this view but I can not for the life of me wrap my head around it.

    How can losing a baby at birth have a purpose? (NOT me but so many good people that prayed SO HARD for it NOT to happen … but when ONE baby pulls through that had the same number of prayers and parents with just as much faith?? .. Well, I guess that goes with the purpose thing, so scratch that rant … sorry.)

    How did my paralysis have a purpose? So I could have THESE kids? Marry this husband?? Ok. I am grateful it happened for that reason but that was not the PURPOSE of it happening…

    My favorite dish breaking? The cheap dresser being sold before I went back?

    No. They just happen.

  5. I’m with you. I just can’t even believe in a God or Universe in which some of the truly terrible things that happen are caused by God/the Universe in order to teach some sort of lesson or accomplish some sort of purpose. Quite frankly, I’d rather be an atheist than believe in a God who caused the Japanese earthquake. The world is broken. Terrible things just. happen. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason. Sure, sometimes we learn something from them, but that’s not the same thing as them being caused for a reason.

  6. The poster doesn’t say pain is caused for a reason. The poster simply suggests that maybe we can learn something from our pain. No one is saying that a lack of prayer or a vengeful God or a karmic lottery causes bad things to happen. Rather, the point made is that when bad things happen, for whatever unknown or ridiculous reason, perhaps it’s best that we learn from our pain rather than wallow in despair.

  7. I guess there are just painful experiences in my life that I don’t think will ever make sense to me. The pain of rape, for example, will never make sense.

  8. I appreciate all your responses. While the poster that inspired this blog was about pain, I also believe this is true for pleasure. For example, I’m a white, middle-class woman. I like to think of myself as reasonably attractive. The hard truth is that advantages come to me because of the body and socio-economic status I was simply born into. There’s no reason I get this and others don’t. It just is.
    I readily admit this is my particular coping mechanism for life. When I try to make sense of or find reason in some things, I have driven myself to the brink of insanity. I simply shut it all down by saying, for some things there is no reason, it will never make sense and just move on.
    If finding sense in the senseless helps you, then go right ahead. And please disagree with me if you think I’m off base. I like a little banter now and again.

  9. It’s like you’re in my head Kerri. I hate that phrase. People literally act like God is sitting at a control panel plotting our existence through a series of mishaps and tragedies (and good things). I have always said, “Maybe we ARE supposed to learn from our experiences or turn them into something good but no, I don’t think things happen for a reason.” Thanks for posting.

  10. My pastor was talking recently about his frustration with Christians saying that God caused/allowed the earthquake in Japan. He pointed out that the Bible says even the Earth cries out for it’s redemption. Things are not what they should be.

    Yes, God can make all things work out for our good, but I think that is more about Him redeeming the destruction and pain in our lives not about Him planning circumstances for the purpose of teaching us a lesson…or even for the benefit of others learning from our experience.

  11. Sometimes life doesn’t make sense. Sometimes pain doesn’t make sense. Granted, I think that we can grow and learn things from bad experiences but that doesn’t necessarily make the bad experience in and of itself something that makes sense.

    For example, the Japan earthquake happened to do some sort of seismic activity involving the Earth’s crust. (Yeah I’m not a scientist but somewhere there is a scientist who can explain earthquakes. I am not that person). That being said, the Japanese who experienced the tsunami will probably take away lessons about the value of material possessions versus human relationships and a whole host of other lessons involving personal strength, the intrinsic good or evil of humanity, etc. BUT that doesn’t mean that the Earthquake happened for that reason.

    Yeah I’m with ernie. Rape just sucks. There’s no rhyme or reason and I’m not even sure the pain of it even gets less. I think you just get used to it.

  12. kat

    I’m a big fan of this post and Katie’s comment above! I think sometimes the time/distance just changes the pain and it doesn’t feel so acute.