Transform the Experience

By Kristen
Page Updated on July 28, 2007

Things may not happen the way you expected them to or wanted them to, but that doesn't mean that everything is lost when something unwanted happens.

What Can I Learn from This?

When something good happens, I smile, and I ask myself, "What can I learn from this?"

When something bad happens, I cry, and I ask myself, "What can I learn from this?"

A small question, "what can I learn from this" can change everything. In that moment, I can take something devastating and transform it into something with hope. I give it a positive reason for happening.

Everything Happens for a Reason...Maybe

Think about how negative events resulted in positive outcomes in our past. Perhaps a death of a loved one resulted in a new friendship or passion for life. Perhaps a sexual encounter with an abusive person resulted in the birth of a wonderful child. Perhaps the loss of a job results in finding your dream job. Even the worst situations have beneficial outcomes, blessings in disguise, a reason for happening.

At the very least, that reason can be a lesson that teaches us to live life in a new way because every event changes the way we live.

The Reason and Religion

This is where religion comes in, and the debates begin.

If you don't believe in spirituality, then you probably won't believe that there is a reason for anything; chaos rules. However, in this case, you get to decide what the reason is. Make the event have meaning by using it to create a beneficial outcome. Maybe that benefit won't be for you, but you can use it to help somebody else.

Some religions teach that the reason is punishment. These are often the same religions that teach that God is vengeful and judgmental. This makes sense only if you lack knowledge and understanding. If your child makes a mistake, a horrible mistake, you can choose to believe that your child is evil and punish him/her for the evil deed, or you can choose to understand what led to your child's mistake. What were the events that influenced your child? What factors would cause your child to believe that he/she was actually doing the right thing, not the wrong thing? What was emotion that he/she was trying to get by doing the deed (e.g. attention, love, a sense of power, etc.)? Why was that emotion missing from his/her life prior to the event? When you answer such questions, you gain understanding. When you gain understanding, you realize that there are no bad people, just children who haven't learned a better way to deal with their situations. You don't punish your child out of vengeance. You try to help your child learn to make better choices. You forgive your child and have compassion for their misunderstanding. I would expect God to have at least as much understanding as a loving parent, so punishment simply doesn't make sense as a reason.

Some religions teach karma, but even the nature of karma serves to help you grow.