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Everything Happens For A Reason

Even the bad stuff...

I believe that my life has meaning. I didn’t always believe that.
However, stuff has happened to me and things have transpired that
have allowed me to glimpse a little something beyond what is normal
in life, to witness the ultimate purpose to why I am here and to
uncover my mission here in this world.

I must admit that, earlier in my life, I didn’t have much of a clue.
Things didn’t start out so great. My father’s physical, verbal and
emotional abuse was not a good start. My personality disorder made
life difficult. I suffered from epilepsy, too. The teasing and
bullying at school didn’t help either. The day I held the hand of the
girl I cared about while she made out with someone else didn’t bode
well. Hating myself at 13 years old wasn’t good. Being homeless for 2
nights at 30 years old wasn’t great either. Being friendzoned by a
pornstar when I was working on a cruise ship didn’t do much for my
self-esteem.

I’ve met other people who, if they had suffered what I have, would
have given up years ago. I’ve met people who are all too willing to
throw in the towel and say, :”What’s the use? Life sucks.”

However, I say they weren’t paying attention to the details. They
didn’t have an “attitude of gratitude”. My father didn’t kill me.
My epilepsy stopped. I did have 2 friends in primary school. I am the
only one in the love triangle who didn’t get fired. At 13 I started
making plans for my life. When I was on the streets, my girlfriend
still loved me. Having had experience of “bad girls”, I now love
women intensely.

Most of all, I always had a dream. Plus, most of them time, I have
had at least one plan in place to achieve it. Always keep moving
forward. I’m positive. I’m a good guy. I have to be. With all these
bad things happening, the only alternative to being a good guy was to join the dreary crowd
eking out a living, trudging to work. I didn’t want to join them. It
felt scary. It also looked unbelievably miserable. Secretly, I was
frightened. Frightened of being thought of as a bad person,
frightened to face the intolerance of others, frightened that this
was all life had to offer. I wanted to be different and I wanted to
feel special. So I had a dream.

I was studying media at college with quite a cool crowd of teenagers
and twenty-something mature students. The eldest was 34. I enjoyed my
time with them but occasionally, I would feel like something wasn’t
quite right. There was the odd off-colour remark or pointed and snide
comments. Media and journalist types – always trying to look cool,
yet rather cynical about the world. Can’t be too gullible when you’re
a news reporter, huh?

I was at an all-night party at the house of one of them when Mike
came up to me while I was sitting quietly in the back garden having a
beer. We talked some chit-chat for a few minutes. Now Mike was a cool
dude, quite chill and laid-back and spent most of the time trying to
seduce the girls in the class. I mentioned how I sometimes felt not
entirely “in with the crowd” and that I didn’t think I was too
popular. He replied, “Do you want to know why everybody hates you,
Oliver?”

I looked at his face carefully to check for signs of rejection. I was
surprised to find there weren’t any. So, with some hesitation, I
said, “Well, OK, go on, tell me.”

“It’s because you’ve still got it.”

“Still got what?” I asked.

“The light, man,” he explained. “You’ve still got the light in
your eyes. You’ve still got a dream. You still hope. The others,”
he continued, looking over his shoulders at the rest of the crowd
behind him, “they’ve already lost it. They know they’ve lost it.
When they see you, they still see hope in your eyes. It reminds them
of what they lost. They don’t like being reminded, so they resent you
for it. That’s why they hate you for it. They had a dream once but for whatever reason, something happened and they
felt they had to drop it. You’ve still got it. Always keep it, man.
Don’t worry about these guys. Just keep as you are. Always keep the
light, man. Never lose it.” Then he wandered off. I have always
remembered his words to this day and they make me feel better when I
feel judged or criticized by others.

Some people, when their childhood dreams don’t come true, replace it
with a smaller one. Totally unnecessary – why not just get another
one the same size?

Later, I met some “bad” people. I didn’t copy their behaviour. I
didn’t do what they did. I stayed a good guy; but we hung out. There
was the homeless dude in Freeport, Bahamas, the South African man who
ran naked through the streets of London at 10pm, there was the time I
drank frozen margaritas with a former Colombian bounty hunter, there
was the pornstar I mentioned, there was the bisexual woman who had
sex with 3 men in one night just because she felt sad, there was the
hot Brazilian babe who invited me to samba with her under the stars,
there was the guy who smoked weed, there was the time I tried a
cigarette (I didn’t like it), there was the love triangle. Why did
God give me these experiences? Seemingly random, I just put it down
to “stuff happens”, you know?

Later still, I got married, had a son and became a high school
teacher. My teens started out as very cute, innocent kids but then
they started experimenting with shisha, smoking, drinking, underage
sex, teen pregnancy, weed, viewing pornography, depression and “I
hate myself” issues. I suddenly found that my “random”
experiences were now useful to others – I could advise them better
than any other teacher and could now try to bring them out of the
difficulties in which they found themselves into a new life that was
better, a life where they don’t feel judged by someone older than
them but rather talk to someone who has “been there”, survived
and come out the other side.

In retrospect, I now believe that nearly everything that has happened
to me has happened for a reason, which makes me believe that it can’t
be just me. I believe that things happen for a reason in the lives of
everyone. However, there are some who are so focused on the here and
now that they don’t allow themselves time to take a step back and
review the “big picture” to find out what these experiences mean.
Also, those without a religious belief may also find it harder to
believe life has a purpose, since believing that things happen for a
reason strongly suggest the existence of a master plan arranged by
Someone bigger, higher and more powerful than they are. Finally,
believing life has purpose assumes a basically positive view of human
existence, which is an attitude that, sadly, not everyone shares.

 So Divine Providence is that tendency for created things to develop
to their fullest capacity by bending towards the greatest good, Who
is God. My life is testament to that and yours can be, too, if you
maintain a positive attitude, reflect on the meaning of individual
events and keep an eye on the “big picture” of your life. In
doing so, you can make all your dreams come true!

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