I trust that everything happens for a reason, even if we are not wise enough to see it.” – Oprah Winfrey

__________________________________________

There is a general saying that says, “Everything happened for a reason.” Do you believe or rather do you agree with that saying? Just as a coin has two sides, some of you will agree with that and others will not. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in whether you choose to believe in it or not. I believe that ‘Everything happened for a reason.‘ Sometimes we can see the reason immediately after it happened. At times, the reason will only be seen much later and when you see the reason, it’ll be like those moments of ‘aha!’ That was why it happened.

For people who believe in a Greater Being above, they will say that they are being put through tests to prepare them for greater things ahead. For me, I see it as opportunities for growth; chances for me to surpass myself to become a better person so that I can be of better service to others around me. My aim is not to ask you to search for the reasons for everything that happened but rather to believe that you too are given unique opportunities to grow.

In so speaking, that will lead to the following statement, “Is there meaning to suffering too?” If we applied the above saying, then suffering happened for a reason too and suffering too provides opportunities for one to grow. In the book Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl under ‘The Meaning of Suffering’ in page 112, he said, “We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed. For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one’s predicament into a human achievement. When we are no longer able to change a situation – just think of an incurable disease such as inoperable cancer – we are challenged to change ourselves.”

He went on to cite an example of one of his cases:

Once, an elderly general practitioner consulted me because of his severe depression. He could not overcome the loss of his wife who had died two years before and whom he had loved above all else. Now, how could I help? What should I tell him? Well, I refrained from telling him anything but instead confronted him with the question, “What would have happened, Doctor, if you had died first, and your wife would have had to survive you?” “Oh,” he said, “for her this would have been terrible; how she would have suffered!” Whereupon I replied, “You see. Doctor, such suffering has been spared her, and it was you who have spared her this suffering – to be sure, at the price that now you have to survive and mourn her.” … In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of sacrifice.”

On a seperate account he shared:

“…when a rabbi from Eastern Europe turned to me and told me his story. He had lost his wife and their six children in the concentration camp of Auschwitz where they were gassed, and now it turned out that his second wife was sterile … the rabbi evaluated his plight as an orthodox Jew in terms of despair that there was no son of his own who would ever say Kaddish (a prayer for death) for him after his death.

I made a last attempt to help him by inquiring whether he did not hope to see his children again in Heaven. However, my question was followed by an outburst of tears, and now the true reason for his despair came to the fore: he explained that his children, since they died as innocent martyrs, were thus found worthy of the highest place in Heaven, but as for himself he could not expect, as an old sinful man, to be assigned the same place. I did not give up but retorted, “Is it not conceivable, Rabbi, that precisely this was the meaning of your surviving your children: that you may be purified through these years of suffering, so that finally you, too, though not innocent like your children, may become worthy of joining them in Heaven?”

Although this is Viktor E. Frankl’s ways or methods in helping his patients find meanings in what they are going through, I do see the underlying opportunities for his patients to grow through their incidences. One does not always have to search for the reasons or meanings for what happened, but to always believe that ‘Everything happened for a reason‘ and always attached with an unique opportunity to grow.

What do you think? Do you believe that ‘Everything happened for a reason’ too? Or do you have your own way to put it? Do feel free to share it with us in the comment.

Man's Search For Meaning

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46 Comments so far »

  1. by Sangeeta Sinha, on July 8 2008 @ 2:47 am

     

    For sure, everything happens for a reason. Initially we get frustrated when things don’t work right, but at the end, when every thing goes on well, we overcome that frustration and feel happy. So feeling the frustration was for a reason and feeling happy at the end was also for a reason.

    Sadly, many people don’t believe in this…..they say that many things can happen without any reason also.

    Sangeeta Sinhas last blog post..BOYFRIEND & HUSBAND

  2. by Symphony of Love, on July 8 2008 @ 7:15 pm

     

    @ Sangeeta, you are right to believe that everything happened for a reason and so are those who don’t believe in this. Different people holds different thought and perspective. There is no right or wrong issue here. If we are able to see things from their perspective and from the rational of their thought, then there will also be reasons when they said that many things can happen without any reason also.

  3. by Mitch, on July 8 2008 @ 11:29 pm

     

    I do believe things happen for a reason. But there are times that I forget about it – but later realizing it.
    I like the second scenario by Mr. Frankl. It’s really touching.

    Mitchs last blog post..Davao Cyber Expo 2008

  4. by Symphony of Love, on July 9 2008 @ 2:59 am

     

    @ Mitch, it is normal that we forget something sometimes. We are only human :)

    Viktor E. Frankl scenario is indeed very enlightening. He had managed to help his patients found meanings in their sufferings.

  5. by Theresa, on July 10 2008 @ 6:54 am

     

    BK, great post! Frankl is a favorite of mine, especially “Man’s Search for Meaning.” His observations and thoughts kept him alive through his unimaginable ordeal. That he came to celebrate his triumph of survival is a great contribution to existentialism.

    Though it can be difficult to see The Big Picture, I agree with you that everything happens for a reason. What I found helps me is avoiding putting a negative or positive label on events by just looking at it objectively instead of emotionally. Then, I can think things through.

  6. by Symphony of Love, on July 10 2008 @ 8:40 am

     

    @ Theresa, his example had certainly shown that even in extreme condition or situation, one still have a choice in choosing one’s attitude. You have made an interesting point on looking at events objectively instead of emotionally. Through that way, one can look at events in a rational way through different perspectives and angles.

  7. by Ivy, on July 11 2008 @ 8:39 am

     

    Hi BK. Having been through a lot in my life, I can definitely say the everything happens for a reason. And yes, it may be an opportunity for growth but then again there are those who fail to seize it and end up bitter, not better.

    Oh, and no matter cheesy it may sound, the quietest place for me is antyime I’m with my husband ;)

    Ivys last blog post..pied-à-terre

  8. by Mamaflo, on July 12 2008 @ 6:03 am

     

    I came to your site after you left a comment on my blog and I have to tell you that I’m impressed with what I’ve read.
    Yes, I know that everything happens for a reason, including you coming to my blog.
    I have bookmarked you for a daily visit – thank you for a beautiful blog.

    Mamaflos last blog post..I’m In Love

  9. by Maggie's Mind, on July 12 2008 @ 7:57 pm

     

    Thank you for your kind words over on my blog, and I enjoyed reading this. I have some mixed thoughts and lots of reasons for them, but I do think there are definitely good things that can come out of anything, even out of tragedy, but what we take from it is largely up to us.

    Maggie’s Minds last blog post..Rare Saturday Post – Breathing / Believing

  10. by Symphony of Love, on July 12 2008 @ 9:14 pm

     

    @ Ivy, you are right. There will always be people who failed to seize the opportunities for growth. Maybe if they have an opportunity to view from our perspective, they too may see that everything happened for a reason and came with it an opportunity to grow.

    It is always blissful joy to be spending time with our loved ones. Wishing you always be blessed with Love and Joy!

    @ Mamaflo, thank you for your kind comment. Hope to see you again :)

  11. by Symphony of Love, on July 12 2008 @ 9:31 pm

     

    @ Maggie, you are right on the spot, “What we take from it is largely up to us.” It is always our reaction to what happens that is most important. Although we may not always be able to control what happens, we can always control our reaction.

  12. by Brandie, on July 14 2008 @ 5:16 am

     

    Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. I completely agree; in fact it’s pretty much my life motto. I try not to stress out about any particular thing because I know, eventually, I will see the reason for it. The hardest part is the patience!

    Brandies last blog post..Not As Young As I Used To Be

  13. by Michelle, on July 14 2008 @ 7:20 am

     

    You know, it’s strange, but “everything happens for a reason” is the phrase I tell myself whenever something not-so-good happens. So to come here and read a post about it is kind of neat. :) Of course, it isn’t always easy to see the reason–and, a lot of times, I forget to even look or think about the reason–but just telling myself that helps me to relax when I’m tensed or stressed.

    BTW–thanks for visiting my blog! :) I’ll be sure to come back and visit again!

  14. by Symphony of Love, on July 14 2008 @ 5:38 pm

     

    @ Brandie, I agree with you totally on the point about being patience and which is also the most challenging. For reasons which people can see immediately, they would agree just as fast that everything happened for a reason. It is a challenge when the reason is hidden or may not surface instantly. I also agree with you on the part about not stressing out – there isn’t really any reason to be :)

    @ Michelle, Yes! the challenge is we do not always see the reason. The statement is very empowering especially when one believes and have faith in it. I believe it always comes together with an opportunity for growth. Just as Albert Einstein said, “In the middle of difficulties, there are opportunities.:)

  15. by Chelle, on July 15 2008 @ 5:10 am

     

    I’m a big believer in everything happening for a reason. It’s hard to see it when it is happening, but usually days or years later it begins to fall in place and make sense. When you look for the meaning, there is meaning. :)

  16. by Brandie, on July 15 2008 @ 5:21 am

     

    Right! Right now I’m waiting, and hoping (I have a good feeling) that I’ll soon find out why I was forced into a work situation I absolutely abhorred, that had no seemingly way out, except to get a new job outside the company. That happened 1.5 years ago, and I’ve been doing the best I can at what I do. I’m really hoping that my new assignment will answer that long-awaited question! I have a good feeling about it. But, if not, guess I’ll go into patience mode again :-)

    Brandies last blog post..Trim Up Tuesday, Week One

  17. by mimi says:, on July 15 2008 @ 6:37 pm

     

    I recently had a very deep relationship end….we were perfect for one another..the pain I feel is really unbearable….because of circumstances beyond our control, our wonderful love affair ended. When you say “things happen for a reason” there is suffering involved and you can’t help but evaluate why you had to go through it, why your lives crossed paths, will they cross paths again in your life?? Unfortunately, thre is no answer. You do grow from meeting that special person. I wish one day we will speak again and continue to learn from one another life’s challenges..thanks for you wonderful articles!!

    Mimi

  18. by Symphony of Love, on July 16 2008 @ 3:06 am

     

    @ Chelle, I agree with you when you said, “It’s hard to see it when it is happening, but usually days or years later it begins to fall in place and make sense.” That is where patience comes in like what Brandie. Besides patience, we have to believe, to trust and have faith that “Everything happened for a reason.

    @ Brandie, have faith and trust in your ‘good feeling.’ There is a saying that goes, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” You have been doing your best at what you do and this will definitely open up new door for you. I sincerely look forward to hearing good news from you :)

    @ Mimi, sorry to hear about the end of your very deep relationship. Your sharing reminds me of a relationship which happened to me almost 8 years ago. During that time, I had to make a decision to stop a relationship due to circumstances beyond our control too. For a few months, I felt very sad then. And I believe she felt very bad too. Looking back, I am glad that I made the decision. Although there was suffering involved, I had learnt to handle that situation in a way at least not hurting more people around us. I wish for goodness in every areas of your life and you will have nothing to fear!

  19. by Brandie, on July 16 2008 @ 7:33 am

     

    Thanks for your well wishes! I hope I’ll have good news to share …

    Brandies last blog post..If I Never Made It Home

  20. by Louise Pool, on July 16 2008 @ 11:53 pm

     

    I couldn’t agree more. I have been through so many ups and downs in my life and truly believe there is a reason for everything. If I’m going through some trouble, I try and find meaning in it. It’s not always possible to see it at the time, but the more you try to find the meaning, the easier it becomes to actually see it. Practice makes perfect…

    Louise Pools last blog post..What Your Taste in Music Says About You

  21. by Symphony of Love, on July 17 2008 @ 2:31 am

     

    @ Louise, I am starting to think that the frequent moving and now the landlord wanting to tear the house down to build luxury condominiums is a sign of you getting nearer and nearer to your dream beach house? I sincerely wish that you will find your ideal house soon. :)

  22. by historylover, on July 20 2008 @ 9:50 am

     

    Hi, Lovely post! I do believe that everything happens for a reason, that is my motto in life. So if it’s good or bad, I believe there is a lesson to be learned. Maybe you don’t realize it for a long time, but then suddenly one day, you’ll say, oh that’s why that had to happen. And I always try to grow and become a better person from my mistakes.

    historylovers last blog post..Neil Armstrong Walks On The Moon

  23. by Symphony of Love, on July 20 2008 @ 6:03 pm

     

    @ historylover, I most certainly agree with you. Good or bad, there will always be lessons to be learnt. And I view them as opportunities to grow and to become a better person. :)

  24. by Sherxr, on July 31 2008 @ 6:13 am

     

    Friend…
    I used to think that everything happened for a reason. And I sought to find the reasons behind.. that implies a cause and effect.
    But who is going to tell those that are terminally ill and living through their last few days on earth? That their illnesses have a reason? To prepare them for? Tomorrow? They don’t have such privilege.
    When I watched a friend that I hardly knew, contract lung disease and died in a span of only two weeks..I wonder why… Perhaps the reason cannot be found in the person (the cause)but rather in the effects?… he had left a deep impression in my mind. Life is too short. Never waste it. Go.. go for your dream!

    Sherxrs last blog post..Our 3 day summer holidays!

  25. by Symphony of Love, on July 31 2008 @ 5:24 pm

     

    @ Sher, yes there seem to be a lot of times that, “everything happened for a reason” doesn’t stand or make any sense. Like the case you quoted about terminally ill people, I cannot tell them the reason too; The reason(s) does not show immediately all the times.

    It is not really a cause and effect thing but rather a cause and the reason behind the cause. Nature works in such a way that there is always cause and effect and also there is always reason behind the cause. One does not always have to search for the reason but to believe that it give an opportunity for growth. To a terminally ill person, what opportunities of growth are we talking here? It gives one an opportunity to fight and thrive against it. And when one does, one will live to share one’s fight and continue to give hope to many. Just as we have seen in the cases of many who won in their fight against terminally illness.

    And in the case of your friend, it seems that he/she did not have this privilege to find out the reason behind the cause. However, didn’t his/her death left a deep impression in your mind – that life is too short and one should never waste it and to go for one’s dream? I am very sure it left the same deep impressions on many around him/her too. Is that the reason why? Frankly speaking, I do not know and I am not going to search for the reason too but rather to believe that “everything does happen for a reason” and that I am being offered the opportunity to grow.

  26. by Sherxr, on August 1 2008 @ 3:10 am

     

    Hm.. I’ve seen so many cases of those who won the battle against their illness turn to Faith as answer. That’s the reason for being for them. Back to the existentialist question of What is the meaning of Life.

    For my aunt’s case, we are her reason for living. Again Faith but not religious Faith.

    I guess it’s more appropriate to question the Reason for life here then.

    Sherxrs last blog post..Our 3 day summer holidays!

  27. by Symphony of Love, on August 1 2008 @ 5:22 am

     

    @ Sher, I agree with what Viktor E. Frankl mentioned in his book Man’s Search for Meaning; a lot of people are going through life asking what is the meaning of life when it should be them giving life its meaning. I agree with you on the point faith – not necessary in the religious kind of faith. To some, it is the faith in God and to others, it is simply mind over matter.

  28. by mspennylane, on August 2 2008 @ 7:09 am

     

    I was returning your comment on my blog, and this post caught my eye. It has a wonderful message. I really don’t know if everything happens for a reason, but I do believe that life is probably a lot better if we are able to see it that way. Frankl’s examples show that even in the most tragic situations you can find a reason to keep going, a reason for your current situation. When I look back on my life I look at the hard times and see that they brought me to where I am now. The hardest thing is recognising this while you are still going through the hard times.

    mspennylanes last blog post..Did I mention I love music?

  29. by Symphony of Love, on August 2 2008 @ 9:23 pm

     

    @ mspennylane, indeed Frankl’s examples are powerful messages showing that even in the most tragic situations, one can find a reason to keep going. The challenge is to have the faith especially when one is going through hard times.

  30. by Jamie, on February 26 2009 @ 7:09 am

     

    Yes, I believe everything happens for a reason, but sometimes that reason is not made clear instantly. It’s only then that you can look back and see how a particular incident affected your life.

    Jamies last blog post..Are You Really in Love Quizzes

  31. by Symphony of Love, on February 26 2009 @ 8:23 pm

     

    @ Jamie, yes, a lot of time we might not see the reason instantly and it is only when we looked back later that we realized.

  32. by Amber, on June 16 2009 @ 5:19 pm

     

    It is easy to say when things don’t always go our way to say well it happened for a reason, I do believe it is a matter of your faith and your beliefs though. It is easy to have a positive attitude living by this belief.

  33. by Symphony of Love, on June 16 2009 @ 5:54 pm

     

    @ Amber, as the saying goes, “there is no shortcut to any place worth going.” I understand that it is difficult to believe that everything happened for a reason especially when everything seems to be going wrong. And yet, there is much learning in things that happened when we keep an open mind.

  34. by Aubrey, on September 6 2009 @ 5:26 am

     

    I want to believe that everything happens for a reason. Maybe it takes time before I will realize that what’s transpired in my life the past months has a reason. For i can’t see why it happened, or am i just being stubborn not accepting the reason behind what’s happened to me?

  35. by Symphony of Love, on September 6 2009 @ 6:21 am

     

    @ Aubrey, you are right, at time it may take time before we realize the reason and at time we may not realize the reason even when it is there. And perhaps sometimes we already knew the reason but the time was not right to accept them. Whatever happened there for you, I wish for you the courage to move on. Have a wonderful week ahead.

  36. by Pratishtha, on October 10 2009 @ 3:09 am

     

    Incredible post! Simply amazing. My heartiest appreciation and gratitude for sharing your wonderful thoughts. Yes, everything indeed happens for a reason, and there is always a better way of looking at things. I just cannot appreciate you enough for the way you are looking at things, the stories are heart wrenching and so meaningful. Thanks again. God bless you.
    .-= Pratishtha´s last blog ..Moving to the next level of reality =-.

  37. by Symphony of Love, on October 10 2009 @ 4:42 am

     

    @ Pratishtha, glad that you like the post here. I remember something which Anthony Robbins said, when I attended one of his trainings many years ago, that it is not what happen but how we react to what happen that is important.

  38. by Ben, on February 3 2010 @ 3:48 pm

     

    I really connect with what you said about suffering happening for a reason because it causes a person to grow. I think that’s dead on. And the example about the doctor surviving his wife was very poignant. Excellent article. I’m very much enjoying going through some of your original posts!

  39. by Symphony of Love, on February 3 2010 @ 9:15 pm

     

    @ Ben, thank you. We just have to have the faith that we are being prepared for greater things through the events we are currently going through and to embrace and learn from them.

  40. by john, on June 21 2011 @ 2:15 am

     

    i agree with u ,In love or else evry thing happen for reason.

  41. by Doris Plaster, on July 9 2011 @ 6:43 pm

     

    Wonderful post and a rich discussion.

    I recently purchased that book. I haven’t read it yet as I have a high pile of books to read first, but I guess now I will rush to read it after this insightful post.

    As you, I tend to look at crisis as an opportunity for growth.

    Maybe it was meant for me to read this post as a few days ago I had a car accident, on my way to the hospital to visit one of my nursing home residents. I don’t know what happened but I ended up in a car wreck where my car I believe was totaled (still waiting to hear from the insurance company). I cried that day, and asked myself: why me? why today? why when I was on my way to do something good? etc. But after days of reflection, I am thankful that I suffered no injuries, and I value my life and what I have. It was a call to appreciate my blessings and not to take anything for granted. Things can happen when we least expect.

    Doris

  42. by Symphony of Love, on July 9 2011 @ 8:36 pm

     

    @ Doris, thank you for your kind comment. I am just glad to read that you are alright from the accident. You are right that things can happen when we least expect and I believe that they always offered an opportunity to grow.

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