By Melanie Salazar
Web Content Contributor
I used to wholeheartedly believe that everything happened for a reason; I was good at it too. I could see all the small inconveniences in my life, like having to take an alternate route because of a road closure or the person in front of me taking 10 minutes too long on their coffee order, making me late.
They all seemed like things that had to happen, and maybe sometimes, they did. Maybe something worse would have happened if they did not.
It wasn’t until I was placed in situations I could not decipher, like the death of a loved one, the crumbling of a friendship I had held dear to me or a global pandemic, when I realized, maybe not everything happens for a reason.
It is a hard concept for me to accept, just as hard as when I was trying to crack the code to why bad things happen. The crazy thing is, when I look back on my life, I have spent much more time trying to find out why something happened than how to heal from it.
I would like to believe everything that causes me to suffer has to happen for me to be a better individual. Believing that some things happen, just to happen, did not seem to leave room for that to be true.
As someone who is religious, I always thought I was supposed to believe that bad things happen for a good reason. It took one individual explaining that God does not desire for bad things to happen to jolt me out of what seemed obvious, that when bad things happen, it does not mean it was part of God’s plan.
However, this does not mean that when bad things happen, we are unable to do our best despite it. That is one of the most wonderful parts of being human.
We can choose. We can choose to try and grow from the situations we wish never occurred. We can search for what there is to be learned about ourselves, others and how we act because of what has happened. We can also, of course, cry when needed, grieve when needed, be angry when needed, but we get to choose.
There is a quote I have heard many times, and always forget to put into action in my own life. It goes, “we don’t get to choose what happens to us, but we always get to choose how we react to it.”
So, as I go about my day, glance at the news or feel disheartened about how, after a year, I have become accustomed to seeing those around me with half their face covered, I am going to continue working on accepting instead of driving myself crazy, asking “why?” I have never gotten an answer I could be absolute about anyways.
Featured image by Melanie Love Salazar.