Everything Happens for a Reason: The Truth of the Matter

"Everything happens for a reason" is a popular saying. Is it true though? In the article, you will find some inspiring quotes about it and also some things to ponder.

Someone once told me ‘it’s all made up’, meaning our thoughts about life are all made up and we have also created society, which we, frankly, made up. Not to mention, we make up new businesses and machines daily. And if you think about life in general, it’s true – a lot of it is pure perception; what makes one person happy doesn’t make another person happy. Reality has a lot to do with interpretation.

Therefore, when people say “everything happens for a reason”, it’s hard to know whether this is true, or just a saying to make us feel better, because those who believe in it will make up things to prove it’s true and vice versa. It doesn’t really matter though, because the happiest people are those who find something good in every situation.

Or should I say: find a lesson in everything that happens. And in that sense, there is a reason for it happening, because it’s an opportunity for us to learn, grow and move onwards and upwards.

To put it in other terms: it isn’t what happens that matters the most, but what you make of it. How you choose to interpret it and use it to move forward, or to destroy yourself.

Below, you will find some nice quotes about everything happening for a reason; quotes which will hopefully inspire you to create greatness in your life.

Closed doors

When a door is closed, a window opens. ~ Unknown

Realize that if a door closed, it’s because what was behind wasn’t meant for you. ~ Mandy Hale

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. ~ Helen Keller

The first quote is one of my favorites, because of something that happened to me: when I was a teenager living in Sweden, I chose to apply for a high school program that had half of the classes in English, as I was keen on traveling abroad after high school. Then suddenly, the rules changed and because this program was in a certain town, I no longer had access to it.

As a result I had to pick my second choice – the International Baccalaureate where everything was in English and some of the classes went into university level material. This scared me a bit as it seemed very demanding. At the same time, I liked a challenge and the general idea of the program. So I kept thinking about this quote, I think the school advisor was the one who quoted it.

In the end, the rules changed back again, and I could choose the original program I had in mind, but by then I had made up my mind to go with the window that had opened and was accepted to the IB after doing tests and an interview.

I loved the IB, and sitting here today, I can attest to the fact that I did, indeed, end up traveling the world after graduation. I’m currently typing this in the Hollywood Hills – the place I finally came to call home.

When a door closes, don’t stare at the closed door; rather look around for what windows are being opened. Maybe there will be a much bigger opportunity lurking around. Imagine that there is and go find it, because it exists somewhere, for sure.

After all, when you think back on some of the people you’ve dated, you realize just how blind sighted you were at the time.

Find gold in the debris of an explosion

I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. ~ Marilyn Monroe (potentially mis-attributed)

In essence, what Marilyn Monroe said was that in every situation there is a nugget of gold, if you are only willing to look for it. For example, learning to let go is not a pleasant aspect of life. You’d much rather have everyone you love around you forever, but as most people know, friends change, lovers stop loving you, and people die.

You have to learn to come to peace with this to best be able to deal with and enjoy life. Many people live in denial though and as soon as they lose a friend, or someone dies, they think they are cursed. If you learn early on to accept life for what it is, and are able to enjoy it as such, you are a lot better off.

Blessing or lesson

mother theresa quote

Some people come into our life as lessons. Others come into our life as blessings. ~ Mother Teresa

Let’s face it – maybe you shouldn’t have trusted that friend, never gotten involved romantically with this or that person and most certainly never accepted a job offer from a person that turned out to be a nightmare to work with. So where’s the good thing? You learn to stop and really see what’s happening before you get involved with someone, in whatever way, again. You learn your lesson.

I was actually thinking about this today – in my teens and even in my twenties I sometimes fell head over heels with someone a minute after meeting them. Even if I had known them for years, when I fell for them, I fell without holding back. I didn’t stop to think whether it was right to fall in love with them, I simply thought that if you felt something for someone, that was it. You couldn’t control it.

Through the years I learnt that attraction can fade fast once you get to know someone better, or try having a relationship with them (they may be great as people, or as friends, but be terrible at relationships). I also learnt that people are not always who we thought they were and our attraction might have been to just one tiny part of their personality, but we become blinded by the attraction and don’t look at the rest.

Today, when I meet guys, I stop and check what it is I’m attracted to – are the guys the type that will re-activate childhood scars and am I drawn to them because they will prove my unconscious thoughts and beliefs to be true? Am I just attracted to them because they know how to play women and make me feel ever so great without really having any intention beyond flirting?

Is it just plain physical attraction? Is it a true heart and soul connection? Would this guy be a good father and boyfriend? Does this guy really show a willingness to invest in a relationship with me?

I felt a bit sad when pondering this today, as sometimes you would like to fall head over heels without restrictions – not wait a month to see if the guy is worth it. On the other hand, you don’t want to do it with the wrong person. It’s better to wait, see who they are and then fall in love. It will be even more amazing if you wait, because you then trust them.

Point being: sometimes the lesson is simply that you shouldn’t go about life as you used to. Your lesson is there to teach you what not to do in the future. If you had known that before, all the better, but if you didn’t – now’s the time to learn. And as they say: even when you have studied something and know about it, it’s hard to live that wisdom unless you have firsthand experience.

Believing everything happens for a reason allows you to relax

If you believe things happen for a reason, then you have faith that life will teach you what you need to know – if you only open your eyes to the lessons. You can relax because you feel confident that if you only pay attention and learn, you will move forward.

On the flip side of the coin, I’ve seen people do the same thing over and over again, telling me they are exactly where they need to be. And in a sense they are, because not unlike a video game, it appears they can’t get to the next level unless they learn from the lessons around them.

This is not to say that death, disease and a number of other things happen for a reason, you cannot control everything around you, but you can learn something from every person, every job, every business you run and every relationship you have. And chances are that if we learn from both our mistakes and successes, life will get better and better, because the decisions we make become better and better.

Believing everything happens for a reason allows you to leave the past behind

bob dylan quote

Sometimes a “mistake” can end up being the best decision you ever make. Sometimes it takes a wrong turn to get you to the right place. ~ Many Hale

I knew everything happened for a reason. I just wished the reason would hurry up and make itself known. ~ Christina Lauren

There is no success like failure and failure is no success at all. ~ Bob Dylan

I have about three major regrets in life, one of which has bugged me the most – leaving Los Angeles. I left L.A. because I had an investor lined up for my business in London and I missed Europe and friends from over there.

I was totally panicking about leaving though, because I felt like California and more precisely Laurel Canyon, high up in the Hollywood Hills, was my home. But I reasoned it was better to focus on business first and then I could come back to L.A. once I had the business running. I felt I had an opportunity I could not miss out on.

As the story goes, I was so miserable in London I told the investor I didn’t want to stay and instead fulfilled my promise to myself and God, or whatever powers of the Universe, to go work in Africa. Before that, I also took some courses in intuitive coaching, which is one of the best learnings of my life – it’s knowledge I use every day.

Moving to South Africa was life changing and healed me as a person, brought meaning to my life and also brought me the twins I now foster. This is by far one of the most life changing, epic events of my life. Without Little Angels, the community center I am now a spokesperson and board member for, I don’t know where I would be today.

Could I have avoided London altogether though? Yes. I could have avoided one year of misery, but I wasn’t enlightened enough back then to believe I could find an investor in Los Angeles – I didn’t have that much faith in myself. So I went to London and spent a year feeling like a shadow of myself.

London brought me to Cape Town, so I can say it all happened for a reason. Instead of regretting leaving L.A., I could be happy to where it took me today – I’m back in the hills, thank you very much. I’m back with a much more solid understanding of business, a writing career, a pair of foster kids and a charity organization behind me.

I am much more open, happy and confident than what I was when leaving L.A. How I react to people and events here and now, I feel is very different from how I reacted four years ago. I don’t want to go back to my former self.

I could waste time regretting my past and fretting about what it will take to set up my business and get my visa this time around, or I can believe that everything happens for a reason and trust that when the student is ready the teacher will come – maybe I would have ruined my business four years ago?

Today I know more, I lead better, I love better, I am much more myself than I ever dared being before and I have much more knowledge.

A nice quote and a thought to end it all

Out of the welter of life, a few people are selected for us by the accident of temporary confinement in the same circle. We never would have chosen these neighbors; life chose them for us. But thrown together on this island of living, we stretch to understand each other and are invigorated by the stretching. The difficulty with big city environment is that if we select—and we must in order to live and breathe and work in such crowded conditions—we tend to select people like ourselves, a very monotonous diet. All hors d’oeuvres and no meat; or all sweets and no vegetables, depending on the kind of people we are. But however much the diet may differ between us, one thing is fairly certain: we usually select the known, seldom the strange. We tend not to choose the unknown which might be a shock or a disappointment or simply a little difficult to cope with. And yet it is the unknown with all its disappointments and surprises that is the most enriching.
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

And as one last thought – have a read at this Chinese story about a man who was lucky and unlucky several times and where each piece of luck and misfortune eventually led him. If anything, this should be an eye-opener that what we believe to be fortune or misfortune will lead us onto other events that may be so much greater, or so much worse.

Have your own take on everything happening for a reason? Tweet me about it @OhMyMontgomery or just comment below.

About the author

Maria Montgomery

Writer. Social Entrepreneur. Foster mommy (twins). Change maker. Foodie. Health freak. Nature lover. Creative nutcase. Blogger (Confessions of a Dizzy Blonde). A friend of mine once described me by saying “One minute she’s like the Dalai Lama, the next a dizzy blonde” and maybe that does sum me up…

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