There's a difference in saying "Everything happens for a reason," and "You are exactly where you are meant to be.
I don't believe that everything happens for a reason. That would mean that there was some reason that my dad died way too early? That would mean that there was some reason that my brother-in-law has had to fight leukemia. That would mean that there is some reason that some shooter opened fire at a Las Vegas concert.
That would infer that we all exist on a plane where every action we take is already dictated to us and we have no choice in the world.
I don't believe that. Some may choose to believe that and there is no wrong in that mindset, I just prefer to be more open and allow my spirit to fly as it sees fit.
I was talking to a friend the other day who is going through an excruciatingly difficult time in her life. We were talking about just this.
Like so many people who have suffered loss, our first question is always, "Why? Why did this happen to me?"
And with that question, there are many people who go to the answer that "everything happens for a reason."
Here's my truth. At the age of 58, my dad died from some unknown lung infection. Here I am, 33 years old without my dad and my mom, a widow at 57. My babies are without their grandfather, and we are all left with a wonder of why this happened.
There is nobody on this earth that could have told me that this happened for a reason. I have been down the path of complete and utter torture and loss with my friends and in my life.
This is how I see it. Everything does not happen for a reason. BUT...understand, you are exactly where you are meant to be.
How are these two things different? If it happened for a reason, then we have no choice. If we're exactly where we are meant to be, we have taken what life has thrown at us; the good, the bad and the ugly; and we have risen. We have shown our strength and shed our tears and we have grown stronger for it.
Every decision we make, every day leads us down a winding path. We're always going forward, never backward and our decision propel us into the situation we currently exist in.
Nobody can tell me that young people die, that babies die, that entire countries are wiped out with natural disasters "for a reason." BUT, from my perspective, it has shown me people both directly and indirectly connected to the tragedy who have chosen to step up. They've chosen to help in some way. That's strength - that's a decision they, and they alone could make.
I have a tattoo on my arm that says just that: "You are exactly where you are meant to be." Until I got that tattoo, I wore it as a copper mantra bracelet around my wrist .
I have not worn that bracelet for almost 2 years now, as I now have it tattoo'd on my arm in a place I will always see it.
The other day, something drew me to it and I picked it up and put it on. That was the day a friend reached out and needed me.
That bracelet brought me strength through a lot of heart ache and solace in some really lonely moments. I knew then that I had been drawn to wear this bracelet because my friend needed it more than I do.
I gave it to her in hopes that it will provide to her the strength it gave to me in my saddest of moments, and at the very least, she knows that there is always someone thinking of her and there to hold her hand when she needs it most.
Yes, I am exactly where I am meant to be.