We’ve all heard or even used the saying, “It all happens for a reason,” but have we really embraced it? How many of us go on with our lives facing the ups and downs of every day with stress and worry, concerning ourselves with what the future holds, or what impact every experience we face will have on the bigger picture? It’s a common concern for many, and truth be told, I too went through a long period in my life where I would overthink everything and where every single experience would feel like it’s the end of the world. That was, of course, until I grew up and realized that this wasn’t at all the case. I began to realize that everything that happens in our lives is a part of a greater plan of God, and though we may sometimes see things one way, it could in fact be completely different. One of my favourite verses in the Quran puts it all very clearly when it says:

But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not. – Quran (2:216)

One of the things I really love about that verse is that it stands as such a great reminder of the fact that we really don’t know what every single thing that happens in our lives means. But even more than that, what it helps me embrace is the understanding and truth that everything in life has its purpose and that God has His Wisdom behind it, thus I don’t have anything to worry about, because as long as I continue to do right by Him, I will be alright.

I’ve gone through my fair share of testing moments, and they have all been uniquely challenging. I won’t compare my challenges to those of others, and I hope that you don’t as well, because every person only faces that which is within his or her capacity, no more no less. That means that no matter what we face in life, it’s all stuff that we can overcome. So, with that said, it’s really important for us to remember that come what may, we can take our experiences, good or bad, and use them towards personal growth and betterment. Now, this doesn’t seem to come as easy for some as it does for others. The only way that we can truly embrace this truth and constantly be in a state of growth and betterment is if we WANT to change and become better. Many of us say we do, but our actions and reactions prove otherwise. We all know that often, actions speak louder than words, and so we all know that we have to reflect on our actions to really decipher whether we’re really wanting to make changes in our lives, or if we just say that but are in fact too afraid to act. As a person who used to be an overthinker, and who would constantly be worried about how an experience I had would shape my future, I was quickly starting to find myself burning out and ending each day in a sour mood and extremely exhausted. I would find myself stressing about things outside of my control, and would find it difficult to just live my life. Everything would eat away at me, and I would get upset over every little thing. This was definitely not healthy, and it wasn’t until I began living by the personality motto of “who cares” that I actually began to live with more peace of mind. This mindset was one that kept me grounded in remembering that not everything holds the weight of everything, meaning, not every day is the end of the world. You have to just live, and sometimes, when the pieces fall where you’re not expecting them to, to embrace that fact and accept it all as being part of God’s Wisdom and Plan for you.

Now, “who cares” doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t care about people. In fact, if there were one things that I would say defines my purpose in life quite well is that I live to care about people.I’m always wanting to help people grow, wanting to make them feel good about themselves, and making those around me feel fulfilled mentally and intellectually after every interaction with me. Now, I am human (kinda believe I’m superhuman sometimes, though…but shh, that’s our little secret), so I’m not always successful at that goal, but that’s the exact time when the “who cares” mentality kicks in. People will say what they want, they won’t always get along with you or see eye-to-eye with you, and sometimes, they may even try (willingly or unwillingly) to make you feel like you’re not all that great of a person. That’s when you have to ask yourself who you are and if you sincerely did anything in need of apology. If so, apologize with sincerity, and then strive to be better. But, if not, then move on with your life, because the older you get, the more you stop caring about the little things, and start focusing on those who help you be better.

How does this relate to coincidences and things happening for a reason? Well, consider this: how many people have come and gone out of your life, only to leave you with either heartache or growth? If you’re at a point of maturity and adulthood to accept this truth, you’ll hopefully say that it has always resulted in growth, even if it began with heartache. It’s all got a purpose. When things happen, especially the things that test your strength, patience, and faith, those are the same times when you are at the verge of either growing immensely or hurting immensely from what you’ve just experienced. Almost everything in life can either make or break you, but it’s on each and every single one of us to individually try to continue growing and to keep moving through it all, in order for us to see ourselves grow and become better people. We all face our challenges, our ups and downs, our makers and breakers, but EVERY SINGLE THING we face is within our capacity to overcome, so take every breath as an opportunity to grow, and possibly just as importantly, as an opportunity to smile, because when you realize there’s really nothing to worry about in life but to live life to the fullest, you can’t help but smile. Truly and sincerely smile.