A friend posted this on Facebook, Everything Doesn’t Happen for a Reason, and I was angry at first, because I don’t believe that things happen at random. But as I read through the piece, the author was speaking about using that phrase to “comfort” someone who has gone through a big loss. Said in this context, “everything happens for a reason” is a cruel invalidation. Only the person who has suffered and used it to turn their lives around has a right to say that about what happened. I think that the true reason difficult things happen to us is to challenge us. We have the choice how to handle it, we have the choice whether to use it for new growth, turning our lives around, or to reinforce our smaller self by blaming, or manipulating, or hurting others. The women of Journey Into Courage did not “learn compassion” from our experience of domestic violence, as someone in the audience commented after a performance. No. We learned to get stronger, to take charge of our own lives, to find compassion because that was the kind of people we were. Many people who suffer from domestic violence become locked into victimhood, or choose to abuse others in order to not feel the pain of having been abused.
“There’s nothing as dark as night, but nothing so strong as light, and here is the choice, to let it burn out, or bright…”