Lately, I have a problem with the phrase, “Things happen for a reason.” It smacks of being at the mercy of an external agency and doesn’t ring with the choice-centred worldview that I prefer. For me, things just happen. Our own imagination and creativity give an event meaning or a reason. Then we make choices about potential responses to the event. Through the experience we become our own teachers, gathering wisdom that’s relevant and personal rather than accepting a pre-fabricated belief or practice.
Last week, my brother-in-law Alex died unexpectedly, leaving my sister widowed and my niece fatherless. The funeral was yesterday. Sad? Yes. Numbing? Yes. A blow to the heart? Yes. Yet, I have a choice here. Will I become hardened and cynical about life or will I allow this breaking open of the heart to remind me of my connection with loved ones? I choose the latter.
There were people at the funeral with whom I wish to remain in better contact. I witnessed people there who for whatever reason hadn’t been communicating with one another reach out, hug, cry, and really be there for and with each other. Will I allow my spirit to wither or will I allow it to touch others? I choose the latter.
The meaning and reason that my imagination and creativity choose to weave from the event of Alex’s death is to stay connected. In our connection, healing can take place within me, within our family, within our community, and (one hopes) within our world.
What major event has occurred in your life? How did you choose to respond to it? What did your choice(s) teach you? How is that teaching a gift to our world?
* Image: Wheel of Fortune from “Tarot ReVisioned” by Leigh J. McCloskey.