"Everything happens for a reason," they say. I'm not sure who "they" are, but that's what they say. As we go through life trying to create a good experience, sometimes it just doesn't go as we envisioned. In fact, it almost always doesn't go as we planned. A few weeks ago, I wrote abut how a set back can actually be a set up. That bad thing that happens to you is often preparing your for something in your future. There are also many other occurrences and experiences in life that you don't even think about that have a profound impact on the way you view life or your situation. Often times, the "wrong turn" can be leading to a directional shift that you wouldn't have otherwise taken.
I recently heard Kristin Kaufman retell the tales of many chance encounters that helped her gain perspective into the circumstances of her life. Sometimes the conversations with the person next to you on the airplane or at the deli counter will offer enlightenment or opportunity that you would not have had.
Once upon a time, I was in need of a job. I told the man sitting next to me on an airplane, and he connected me with someone who linked me with others and so on until I had two great job interviews. The man went above and beyond the call of duty. He continued to check on me and try to help me generate new activity in my job search. He did all this for a stranger on a plane that he could have likely never seen or heard from again.
Was it a coincidence that we sat next to each other? Do you believe in destiny or fate or divine providence? Many would say there are no coincidences, and I personally subscribe to that philosophy. Do you stop long enough to pay attention to what is going on around you? Very often, long after the events of your life take place, do they make sense to you. We tend to think, "If that hadn't happened, then I wouldn't have gone there and met that person who told me about the event that I decided to attend that led me to my next job or to meet my spouse or challenged me to take on that big project that has changed my life."
Take some time to think about how the beautiful pieces of your life come together and how you've seen beauty come from pain in your past. Your past can definitely help make sense of your present. It all happens for a reason after all, doesn't it? You can!