"Everything happens for a reason" is one of those spiritual principles that you hear a lot. I call it "bumper sticker wisdom". I love the little nuggets that help expand the picture bit by bit, reassuring us that life has purpose and beneath the appearance of chaos is divine order.
But what does that mean, what's the "reason"? This is a question I often pose to my students.
I'd file this principle under the category of Radical Responsibility: taking full ownership of everything that comes into our awareness. "A Course In Miracles" teaches that we all have our own curriculum. These are the situations and relationships we experience through life. Everything unfolds perfectly to support us in healing the belief that we are somehow separate from Perfect Love.
So, the "reason" that everything happens the way it does is to wake us up to our inherent nature. We are Perfect Love. To quote The Course, "What is all encompassing can have no opposite." If Love is all there is, it stands to reason that you and I are a part of that.
So in every moment we're given the opportunity to heal. We do this by choosing Love, especially when faced with something that feels irritating, enraging, tragic, or scary.
When faced with something that feels triggering, take a moment to pause and ask, "What would be the most loving choice I can make right now?" Not only will this help you feel peace, it will save you time. Every time we're confronted by someone it's another opportunity to see through opinions, judgments, and fears so we can acknowledge their inherent truth (Perfect Love) and in doing so, remember our truth as well.
When we're willing to see the purpose behind the stuff that seems random, the purpose is revealed. Everything unpleasant that has happened to me has provided me with something profound... when I was willing to see the bigger picture. For me, wisdom and insight usually comes in retrospect but it's taking less time to get a place of clarity because I'm really committed to my healing.
When embraced, "Everything Happens For A Reason" becomes more than a nice phrase on a bumper-sticker, it serves as a loving reminder to PAY ATTENTION and allow Love to return us to true clarity.
Jesse Brune-Horan is a Spiritual teacher and happy living expert. He's the co-founder & Spiritual director of Inspire Spiritual Community, a non-profit organization supporting the LGBTQ+ community. He's the host of the podcast "LGBTQ+ and Spiritual", and co-host of the lifestyle series "Super Easy with Jesse and Alison." He lives and Loves in Los Angeles with his husband Christopher and their family.