Talking to a somewhat religious friend the other day, I heard her use the phrase “It happened for a reason” to describe an event in her life.
The first thought running through my mind was, “No, it didn’t.”
But I remembered when I was religious, I felt the same way.
Letting go of that notion was probably the hardest barrier to overcome when I became an atheist.
It means you go from seeing life as a series of steps in God’s Master Plan to seeing it as an infinite set of coincidences, one piled on top of another.
When you met your future husband/wife at that one friend’s party? Just luck.
When you didn’t get into the car that later crashed? Just a twist of fate.
When your parents met and conceived you at just the exact right moment for you to be born, and their parents did the same, and their parents, and their parents, and all the ancestors before them at all those precisely right times?
Chance. Pure chance.
Nothing was meant to happen.
There are so many ways a particular trail can branch off. You’ll walk down just one of the paths. Maybe some paths end up in the same place. Maybe the one you’re on veers so far away from all the rest. But you’ll never know.
It’s a vulnerable feeling. No one’s in charge. No one’s looking over you…
How mindblowing is that?! To think: of all the ways everything could have gone, they fell together by chance to create your life story.
The sooner you can accept that — the sooner you realize you’re the only person responsible for your life and what happens in it — the easier it is to let go of your faith.