They say, “Everything happens for a reason,” and I’m sure I’ve used this saying before too. But mostly I’m not a fan of it because it seems to justify every perceived bad thing. I don’t think the saying is necessarily wrong, but it just comes off as callous. It doesn’t express the full story.

Things happen in our lives that we register as pain. Whether it is emotional or physical, we tend to want to avoid pain at all costs. We don’t want to be hurt, let down, or disappointed. And most of the time we don’t know how to deal with the resulting emotions when one (or all) of those things happen. We can try to avoid thinking about it, but that’s usually just a signal to your brain to think about it more. Or we can pretend like it didn’t happen, which again keeps our mind constantly going back to reexamine. Or we can tell ourselves a different story about what happened.

The latter option sounds like we’d be lying to ourselves, but that wouldn’t really work — again, we’re too smart for that. Re-framing the situation is something else entirely. Instead of placing ourselves as victims of our own stories, we have to force ourselves to look at the bigger picture. If we believe that the Universe is for us, we understand that whatever happened was meant to wake us upAnd really, who doesn’t want to hit snooze when the alarm goes off? Staying in bed is comfortable. Getting up to face the workout or the workday takes effort.

If we want to adequately deal with what has happened to us, it’s going to take a little effort. Instead of continuing to play the victim in our story, we have to acknowledge simply that some things happened that were meant to move us to a different — and, I think, better — reality. We can stay in a rut thinking about what might have been or what we think should have been… OR we can bravely face the day waking up to a new reality where we are thankful for grace and lessons learned from a painful experience. Like an artist, we approach a new canvas and start painting a new picture of the life we want and live that.

If we accept that things could not have happened any other way…and we give up hope that the past could have been any different…we breathe in the flavor of forgiveness. We stop the cycle of the victim mentality and get to the business of building the life that we want — not staying trapped in a life we don’t want. By taking what we’ve learned from the experience and sharing it with others creatively, we ease our pain and unknowingly ease other’s pain.

Just think of the song that you played over and over again while going through a tough time that expressed all of your unspoken feelings and comforted you. Or a painting that transported you to another place and eased your spirit. Or a movie that inspired you to reach new heights. Or a photograph that captured your emotions and gave you a pathway to your next steps.

Yes we can say that everything happens for a reason. But more specifically, things happen as the Universe’s way of participating in your unfolding. The rose may not appreciate every rain drop, but the bloom is so beautiful. We don’t have to understand the reason why things occurred, we only have to decide what we’re going to do about it energetically. If you can find beautiful ways to transform negative energy into a positive for all, you win and we all win.

An illness experienced by you or a family member may lead you on the path to find or develop a cure. An accident may lead you to develop safety standards or preventive measures. A poor educational experience may inspire you to be a great teacher. An increase in crime may make you decide to run for office to change policies. Seeing the beauty and potential of the world may inspire you to write about it, paint it, or sing about it. For who can say what is right or wrong or good or bad? All of these energies flow together and we must dance a cosmic dance to prevent any chains from taking hold. (I envision the whirling dervishes of Sufism.)

Emotional freedom means reframing your story and determining how to transform energy into a loving state. As you love yourself, you love others. As you forgive yourself, you move forward. Regardless of what happens, my wish for you is that you stay free and release yourself from being the victim of your story. You have so much Art in you…and we need you to paint it ;)



Photo source: Red Rose

Burdened with the weight of the rain, the rose blooms anyway and allows the water to nourish her. ;) <3