Why Did This Happen?
October 19, 2016
This is a question I am asked with frequency.
For instance, I have a client Jane who is going through a very painful separation from her husband. As she is sitting in a lot of emotional turmoil, feeling rejected, alone, and despair, amongst a host of other not-so-fun emotions, she painfully asks, “Why is this happening?”
I find a lot of times when this question is posed, we look to the past to answer it. Attempts to find meaning in our pain often looks to point out its source. It makes sense why – the idea is to trace back the steps that led up to this event, so we can either have somewhere to focus our anger and our blame, and/or so we can take measures to ensure those exact steps never happen again.
Neither of those ultimately work. If we find somewhere to focus our anger and our blame, it runs the risk of unfairly cementing them, and not actually resolving them. If someone else is to blame, we will remain in fear or victimhood and not the empowered place of self-reflection and ultimately forgiveness.
Similarly, if we discover every single specific step taken ahead of whatever event is causing us turmoil, there is no guarantee it won’t happen again. We need to learn from our past mistakes, but things will never happen exactly the same in the future. Certain themes or patterns may play out again, but as the future is always unfolding, we will never know exactly what will happen next. Rest assured that things that are pleasurable and not (and all colors in between) will happen again, and they will look different from what has unfolded in the past.
So what if instead we consider the question “Why?” about now and about the future? What if we all have the control to create the answer to that question? (more…)