WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN… January 8, 2014 by mevanow 2 Comments While working with people, young and old, I am often asked “Why has this happened to me?” There seems to be a generally accepted belief that if we follow the rules, if we do our best, that somehow we will lead charmed lives. Somehow, we believe that bad things won’t happen to us because we are “good”. Yet life isn’t that simple or smooth and for many things along our life’s path, there are NO GUARANTEES. Why do bad things happen? I can’t give you a definitive answer to that question. All I can share with you is my own realizations along my path, which has been a path of walking with people in pain, hurt and injured by what life has brought them. WE CHOOSE WHO WE WILL BECOME. That is not to say that for many of us, there are vast barriers, racism, sexism, prejudice, and the list goes on. What is saying is that within the barrage of difficulties we face, we each make choices. Should we go this way? Should we try another way? Do we need to leave the path we are on and simply start a new one? Do we follow along when others lead us the wrong way? Or, do we believe in our truths enough to stand our ground, regardless of the costs? Each of us answers these questions, sometimes consciously and sometimes, we decide impulsively, almost without thinking. WE DEFINE AND REDEFINE THE MEANING OF WHAT IS OR HAS HAPPENED TO US. What does it mean to a child to be abused or neglected by their family and then end up in foster care? If a woman is raped by a man that she has trusted, what does that mean to her? If we lose our home in a disaster, or due to financial problems, what does that mean to us? The wonderful thing about being human is that we decide how we think and feel about things that are happening. Much of the work that I do with people centers around rethinking the meaning behind such difficult and traumatizing life circumstances. That is our power, our ability to rethink, and rethink, and decide differently as we do so. CHANGE IS POSSIBLE, BUT NOT GUARANTEED. Change is a choice. It can improve our lives but it can also be uncomfortable. So, there is no guarantee that change will be what we choose. It is up to us, we need to “make the road BY WALKING“. Change is up to us. It is a personal decision. If you are on the wrong path for you, it may be time to RETHINK! If you don’t like what you or others have decided about you or about what the meaning of your life circumstances, you CAN DECIDE DIFFERENTLY TODAY! What will you do? Where will you decide to take your path? What rethinking will be needed to get to where you want to go?