“I’ve often wondered why bad things happen to good people – the answer is simple. Because it keeps them good.” – Adrian DeRoy
My first encounter with grief and trauma was almost two decades ago when a very dear friend passed away in a brutal accident. They were four of them in the car on that fateful night, two survived and two met with instant death. Why him? Why take him away? Why do this to his parents? That was the first time I had asked a very loud and excruciatingly painful WHY???!
WHY do bad things happen to good people? I kept asking this question, reiterating in every real instance concerning people whom I know –
– WHY does a tree fall on a teenager so badly that she has to get her leg amputated?
– WHY does the metal wire accidentally flings into the eye of only one man in a room of ten?
– WHY does a selflessly loving family get cheated of their rightful legacy of wealth?
– WHY does a poor maid’s only son becomes a drug addict and leaves her?
– WHY do life-threatening diseases attack the kind-hearted folks?
In our moments of deep pain and mourning, it is only human to question our faith. To question God. To question the very existence of God. If there really was God, why would He want suffering for us? Is He not supposed to love us, bless us, keep us safe? Why are we truly here and what is our life’s ultimate purpose?
The questions took a personal dimension, as I lay on the threshold of my marital separation. ‘Why would this happen to us? I haven’t hurt anyone or done anything wrong. I have been a good wife and a sincere daughter-in-law (or so I thought). This is so unfair!’ I found myself being unusually skeptical. Amidst my suffering and tribulations, there were innumerable times when I doubted my faith. The very core of my values was shaken and under threat. Life was posing more and more questions.
As I kept seeking, the answers came revealing in several different ways – through books, people, meditations, spiritual channels, quiet times, synchronicity, etc. It has been a gradual process of understanding and internalising. Purely out of my life experiences and my views only, this is what I believe I have learnt.
When bad things happen to good people:
- The universe is interested in our personal and spiritual growth
- The Law of Karma is showing up
- Its time to learn the lessons we are meant to learn
- A situation needs no labelling of good or bad, positive or negative
- Life is not meant to be fair and doesn’t always give what we want
- How we face things and live – that’s what matters
- Our hardest challenges reveal our true spirit
- Tough times don’t last forever, tough people do (clichéd but relevant)
- Everything in our life happens for a reason, though we may not see it or believe it in that moment
“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself. ” -Walter Anderson.
Looking at tough times from a different perspective:
It is in our darkest hours that we are inspired to seek the divine light. Hang in there and try to accept your life situation like a bystander, the pain will be significantly lesser. It is okay to be an atheist, but do know that God does exist. There is a strength that comes from within in God’s presence. And He is watching over us, constantly guiding us on the path we are meant to follow. Keep the faith and take one day at a time. There is a larger plan at work and the universe will fit all the puzzle pieces into one big picture. Believe!