When Life is Happening For You, Rather Than to You

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I was listening to a talk on YouTube or a podcast the other day when I heard an idea worth sharing.  I say a YouTube video or a podcast because at this point I’ve completely replaced watching TV with those two options, and I listen to so many talks when I’m driving, walking, or doing things around the house that I end up forgetting who said what or where I heard it when I want to share the moments I jot down in the notes section of my phone.  I want to say this one came from Glennon Doyle Melton — but if not, we’ll just give her the credit today, I guess.  The idea I’m referring to is this . . .

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“What if this is happening for me, rather than to me?”

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We can always fall victim to seeing things as happening to us (primarily when they’re negative).  It can be something as small as getting stuck in traffic — like you’re the victim and it is something that has happened to you.  Or it could be a difficult situation at work that makes you feel like the bad things always happen to you.  Or it could be a difficult relationship that just can’t get on track.

But what if these things are happening FOR us?

What if the traffic was “for” us and saved us from an accident if we’d arrived sooner or gone a different route?  Or what if the work situation is intended to teach us something that we’ll need in a future job even though we don’t realize it now?  What if that difficult relationship is supposed to have us tap into some inner strength and help others with the lessons we’re walking through now?  Who knows the possibilities when we consider things are “for” us?!

This idea can really apply to anything and I’ve been putting it to the test in the last week.  When things have happened, big or small, I’ve been stopping to ask myself how this is “for” me rather than allowing it to put me in a reactionary mode where something is happening “to” me.   I’ve been considering what in that event could be preparing me for something more and is working to my benefit vs. adding to the list of “well, guess I got screwed-over on that too” type of attitude . . . and honestly, it has helped!  I wouldn’t say I roam around typically in a victim-mode or a “poor me” mode, but I am just like everyone else in the world and sometimes we focus on all these cards we were dealt and how life happened to us in a way we didn’t want or plan for, but to consider all of these events are happening in a way that are actually “for” us . . . “for” our best us . . . can actually make a traffic jam seem somewhat intentional and almost encouraging.

So try it out this week.  When you give a large exhale and feel like something is happening to you, something you didn’t plan and didn’t want, consider how this is FOR you in a larger and better way than you could’ve planned yourself, and then dream about the good that can follow.