As we all know, sometimes life throws us a curveball (or two). How we feel about those curveballs and how we choose to react to them is our choice. I am sure that we have all experienced something we thought was a catastrophe. We bemoaned our fate. “Why did this happen to me? ” we ask ourselves. This is a completely normal reaction. When things occur in our lives that are not due to our own choices it makes sense to us to ask why. When “accidents” occur that we know are not caused by us, then finding that answer is almost always impossible.
Most of the events in our lives are not accidents. They happen for a reason. The reason is not always clear right away. Sometimes it takes a very long time to figure out why a specific event or experience happens to us. But in the end, the reason always becomes clear.
I have had many such experiences in my life. Sometimes the answers come more quickly than at other times. In the heat of our sadness, grief or anger, we are blind to the true reason for what happened. I will give you an example that happened a year ago.
It was my birthday weekend as it is right now. Yes, I am the kind of person who gets excited about birthdays, mine as well as other people’s. I had great plans with my boyfriend of almost four years at the time…the man I thought was the great love of my life. He got upset about an offer I made to free up the computer I was using so that he could complete something he was working on. He often misinterpreted my offers to make things easier for him, so I was not surprised. I could tell that he was angry (again, not unusual) but figured he would quickly realize that I was just trying to help.
We were finishing up the work day to leave his place with plans to stay at my condo for the weekend. When I came out of the shower, he asked to talk to me. Basically he told me that we were done and that he wanted me to pack up all my stuff from his house (I stayed there a lot so left lots of my things there permanently) and that he was going to drop me off at my place. I was absolutely blindsided (or so I thought for the next few months) and totally devastated. I felt like my world was ending. Especially since the night before he told me how much he loved me.
How he felt…how I felt…is not the point. I thought that this was the worst time of my life…even worse than when Greg (my late husband) committed suicide. I spent my whole birthday weekend crying. It was horrible! Friends tried to console me. I even went to dinner (the reservation made for my birthday dinner with my boyfriend) with a really good friend. I had hoped that being out in public with a wonderful friend would help. I guess it did for a while.
I won’t go into how the next six months went in any detail. I will say it was very difficult. But I got through it. I worked very hard to get through it. And as a result I realized that what I thought was possibly the worst experience of my life turned out to be a HUGE blessing. I realized that I should have ended the relationship at least a year before. The relationship I had with him was dysfunctional. There were too many times when he chose to “end” the relationship! Too many ups and downs. Too many things that should have been red flags. But when you love someone, you think, or at least hope, things will work out.
Looking back, I know that our relationship would never have lasted. It was an amazing four years and I don’t regret anything about them except that I didn’t see it for what it was until it was over. I know now that he gave me the greatest gift that I have ever been given…he gave me back MYSELF and my ability to love myself, both of which I thought I had lost forever.
Remember, what we think of as a terrible experience, always happens for a reason. And most of the time it turns out to be a blessing in disguise.