When bad things happen

September 19, 2023

when-bad-things-happenWhen bad things happen in the world around me, especially to people I love, I always wonder if there’s meaning to it, or if it’s just a random world.

I don’t think it’s punishment.

It might be karma, but karma is not retribution (as many think). Or it might just be random, I don’t know. There’s so much we don’t know in this world of ours. That’s why religion exists–to provide a structure of sorts. (I am not a believer in organized religion as a spiritual thing, although I’m good with it as a means to do good works.)

So, back to when bad things happen. I’ve come to think about those things and how we respond to them as a challenge to be our best selves and model that for others. Maybe that’s why they happen, I don’t know.

My dear friend, Marilyn, would ask me, “what am I supposed to be learning from this disease?” and I would always respond that maybe the lesson wasn’t for her, but for those around her. I know that her illness and subsequent death provided me with the opportunity to really be there for another in all the important ways. I learned so much, and shared that learning in my products at A Healing Spirit. Which she used in draft form, first.

Opportunities abound

As I write this, my week has been full of giving. Donations of a bunch of my products to an auction Cutie and Benji’s rescue organization is having. Two boxes of things a Maui friend will be giving out to women who lost everything. A donation to Maui Strong, which is providing direct aid, no fees, to victims of the fires. A bunch of pet food and supplies to the Maui Humane Society off their Amazon wishlist.

Most months I am provided with opportunities to give and to share or to be there for someone in need. I don’t have to look for them. They appear in front of me, on social media, in the mail, through friends. It could be physical goods or money. It could be a non-judgmental and caring ear.

There are so many ways we are given chances to show our best selves TO ourselves, while helping others. And if we are seeking answers to the question, Why do bad things happen? Maybe that outcome is one reason.

I don’t know, of course. I have no answers. But I have always been intrigued by Rainer Maria Rilke’s idea:

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

What I’m saying is that life is about living the questions, and in doing that, we might find clues to the answers.

Is the existence of bad stuff in the world really meant to inspire us to be our best selves? I love the answer my regression teacher once gave me about something:

“I don’t know. But why don’t you act as though it were, and see what happens.”

If you’d like to help the Maui fire victims, see my post with links to how you can help, HERE.

6 comments on “When bad things happen
  1. Mona McGinnis says:

    Sometimes there are no answers to the questions. I just need to ask them until I don’t anymore.

  2. We don’t often question just one incident, but when they start to feel as though they’re piling up, that’s when they start to wear us down.

  3. Laurie Stone says:

    One of my favorite quotes in the world is that one by Rilke. Yes, certain answers are only supposed to be learned in time.

  4. Diane says:

    I’ve always thought we’re here in this life to learn and grow. Some lessons are harsh. Some easier. But all of them teach us something.
    I absolutely agree with your answer to your dear friend’s question about what she was supposed to learn. When my Mom was suffering so terribly from Parkinson’s, we kids were all wondering why such a thing was happening to such a sweet person. What could she possibly learn? My oldest sister said something very similar to you. “Maybe it’s not for her, but for us.”
    As she had done throughout her life, she was still teaching us. <3
    And you are still teaching us!

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