For as long as I can remember, I've always believed that everything happens for a reason. Having this perspective, I thought, makes it easier to cope with difficult times. Instead of sulking or obsessing over the unfair nature of life, you're forced to find meaning behind it. And this meaning is the silver lining – the very thing that will transform your anger, sadness, jealousy, etc. into something positive.
And there's even an added bonus. Since everything was meant to happen, regret is an impossibility, and time isn't wasted dwelling on past mistakes.
Up until a few weeks ago, I used to think there was something ideological and maybe even romantic about believing in fate. But now I'm reading a new book, Choosing Brilliant Health: 9 Choices That Redefine What It Takes to Create Lifelong Vitality and Well-Being, which challenges my entire belief system. Believing in fate, I've come to realize, can make you feel powerless and even apathetic at times because you can't control your own destiny. Is that really how I want to feel?
By looking for the silver lining, you're not accepting the negative emotions that are cursing through your body. And by denying your feelings, you're not accepting the reality of the event, and the event becomes meaningless – the very thing you were trying to avoid in the first place.
Instead, the authors say that people are the happiest if they accept accountability for everything that happens in your lives. "Happiness, quality of life and healing are the result of taking control."
So now I believe that when something bad happens, you can either learn from it and move on or victimize yourself. Instead of focusing on why the event happened, focus on why you feel the way you do, and face your emotions head on. That way, no experience is meaningless and you're not allowing yourself to become a victim to fate.