Everything happens for a reason. Do you believe that?
“Red and blue police lights were reflecting in the puddles that filled the parking lot behind the abandoned Rocky Mountain News building, which closed its doors ten years ago. As the rain continued with no sign of letting up, a dozen Denver Police Officers moved slowly behind the yellow and black caution tape that spanned the perimeter of the parking lot.
I had an extremely vivid dream come to me about 15 years ago. The type of dream you remember the colors, sounds and even the smells…if that’s possible. I thought for months about turning my dream into a book, but when I actually sat down and wrote a few paragraphs I said to myself, “What are you doing? You are not a writer!” And so, to this day, the story only lives in my head (well other than the bit you read above, that still needs some tweaking).
Fast forward to 2018 and I am divorcing my husband of 14 years, going through one of the most difficult things in my life and for sanity, I begin journaling. Who would think just a year after my divorce was finalized I would be launching a self-help blog. Now, I can’t say “never”, but I believe there is a 95% chance that I never would have written a blog if I was still married.
“Good Things Are Gonna Come”
I created my blog 7 months ago, deciding to call it “Good Things Are Gonna Come” because of my life experiences and my struggles over the past 2 years. At the time I started the blog I felt that good things were on the horizon for me and I wanted to share that hope with others that were facing…well, life!
My blogs have changed slightly over the past seven months, my story telling in the beginning has shifted more toward self-care and encouragement for those reading. As I have gone back and looked at the 29 blogs I have written, I can’t help but notice there are components in each of them that touch on what the world is going through right now:
- The Most Challenging Year of my Life – so far
- Where is my plane
- Do Good, Feel Good
- Hold On – Interview with Amy Gerhartz
- There is no pill to cure loneliness
- A marathon is 26.2 miles, life is a long ass journey
- 5 stages of grief
- Do something “old” for you this week
- Good Things Are Here Now
- Stop comparing your struggles
- How to get out of your funk!
- Holiday traditions after loss
- Creating a life you don’t need to escape from Part 1
- Creating a life you don’t need to escape from Part 2
- Choices, Chances, Changes
- Setbacks for Growth Opportunity
- You can do ALMOST anything
- Don’t sweat the small stuff
- Be kind
- Create a life you don’t WANT to escape from!
- Create a life you don’t need to escape from Part 3 (this sure is a theme I write about a lot)
- Life 101
- COVID-19: We Are In It Together
- COVID-19: A Different Perspective
- COVID-19: YESTERDAY
- COVID-19: Good Things Are Gonna Come
- COVID-19: Is There Any Good?
- COVID-19: Social Distancing
It is amazing to me how I can see things I wrote way back in September that pertain to the global pandemic we are facing today. Here are some of the words from different blogs that I feel pertain to what we are all facing:
- “We can’t go back and change what has happened to us, it’s part of our story now. All we can do is figure out how to move forward.”
- “Hold on, don’t give up, one day at a time, good things are gonna come”
- “In life we crawl, we walk, we sprint, we run, we stop, we go, we stop…we go. Keep going, the run sometimes sucks and it’s hard, crawl on the days you need to crawl, sprint when you can and do your best to absorb all the lessons you are learning along the way.”
- “Acceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “ok with what has happened. This is not the case; most people don’t ever feel “ok” about loss. This stage is more about accepting the reality that “this” is your new reality and you can’t change the past. Take your time as you move through grief, allow yourself to feel each of the stages knowing that acceptance doesn’t mean you are making it ok, you are simply accepting it as the new reality.”
- “Although we really want to, if we all just fast-forwarded through the hard times, what would we actually learn? It’s these difficult times that are teaching us something. They suck and they are hard. The natural reaction most of us have is flight, just run away…fast-forward.”
- “The road is long, it’s dark, it’s scary and some days it seems impossible…but you can do it, we can do it. You aren’t alone.”
- “There are things that happen to us that we wouldn’t necessarily choose, but we do get to choose how we respond to the choices that are “made for us”. We do have control of our lives, maybe not control over everything that is presented to us, but we have a choice on how we respond and react to life. You cannot control the world, but you can certainly control how you choose to react to various situations.”
- “When you are faced with these setbacks, ask yourself, “How can you adapt to accommodate this setback I’m faced with?”
- “This sucks, and it’s gonna suck for a while, but one day it’s going to suck a little less”.
Although there is a lot of sadness, frustration and uncertainty during this time; there are some that are finding bits of unexpected positives in the midst of all the chaos:
- Family Time: I have seen post after post on Instagram and Facebook about people sad about missing events that have been cancelled, trips postponed, or they are ready to pull their hair out because they need a break from quarantine. But I have also seen just as many, if not more, from people loving the amount of family time they are getting. My favorite was a post from a dad that hadn’t tucked his kids in for bed for years due to working the night shift. After having been laid off (his company was cutting jobs due to the coronavirus) he has been tucking his kids in every night he has been home.
- Businesses: Many businesses are struggling during this time having to close temporarily or have been forced to change their mode of operation. However, there are some businesses that are thriving more than ever.
- Door Dash has seen revenue increase by 21% in March
- Sign companies are seeing a significant increase in business by making “We Are Open” banners for business or making yard signs for graduates, birthdays and health care workers. (Speaking of Health Care Workers, today is National Nurses Day, THANK YOU to all of the nurses out there for all that you do!!!)
- And even new businesses that have started DURING the pandemic, like Pandemic Donuts that was just opened by a Denver couple who both lost their jobs in March. Now I don’t know if this couple would have ever started a donut company, but I’m pretty sure they never envisioned starting a business in the middle of a pandemic could be successful.
When we are experiencing some type of adversity or unplanned event, the thought that everything happens for a reason can be comforting. It is a phrase we can naturally gravitate toward when life gets a little too intense. But it is so much more than that, it gives us the strength to move forward.
We might not always like the choices that are presented to us in life, but the truth is you would not be where you are, doing what you are doing today, if everything (good and bad) that has happened in your life didn’t happen.
I believe that if my life wasn’t drastically changed in 2018, I would never have started Good Things Are Gonna Come. I really believed those words back in September 2019 when I started my blog and I believe them today while we are in the middle of a global pandemic, Good Things Are Gonna Come!
Personally, I do believe everything happens for a reason, even a global pandemic. Hey, you never know, maybe this quarantine has me rethinking writing that best-selling “dream” book of mine after all. I’m sure you are wondering why all of those police offices were in that parking lot on that rainy night in Denver, Colorado!
Whatever you have going on today, it’s happening for a reason…
Remember, You Got This!
Jasmine, I love the perspective you took here! Reminds me of a favorite quote – “a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor” (FDR) – which gets me to try and reframe the “bad” stuff in my life into opportunities. How you view the challenge can have a huge impact on how you persist through it – as seen from the bad who gets to enjoy family time again, or the couple who gets to be their own bosses now. So while we can’t control the global pandemic, we can control how we react to its impact on our life 🙂
Thank you! 🙂