Have you ever asked yourself why bad things happen to good people? I remember having this conversation with my sister over ten years ago when I received some terrible news that devastated me. Up until that point of my life, I had never really asked myself that question, but here I was, a “good person” dealing with some bad news. After the pain of the bad news subsided, I started to try and make sense of why this bad news happened to me and on a larger scale…

why bad things happened to good people

In my search to answer this question, I learned about and developed belief in some bigger life perspectives like:

  • there is good in every situation
  • nothing is ever wasted
  • and my most recent discovery—everything is useful

Isn’t it amazing how we can hear a perspective from so many different resources and the perspectives can actually all validate each other. It’s almost as if it’s the Universe or God or whatever you believe in is confirming a universal truth or something.

So when I discovered the,

“there is good in every situation”

perspective, I remember thinking how can there be good in the death of a child or early loss of a loved one. That was a hard one for me to wrap my head around, but then I learned of true stories where the death of one person positively impacted so many lives that despite the pain the death cause to their loved ones, their passing left a legacy. In their death, their life changed the world. This helped me accept this perspective and adopt it as truth for me.

I came across “nothing is ever wasted” when I felt like my life was in an eternal holding pattern. Full of ambitions, goals and passions, the circumstances of my life left me so stagnant that I felt like I was actually going backwards. I remember thinking “nothing is ever wasted”? Are you kidding me? My life is wasting away right in front of my very eyes. If something exciting doesn’t happen soon, I am going to lose my mind. However, in this holding pattern, I learned how to be still, present and enjoy the moment. I learned how to find peace and joy from within—instead of seeking it in external stimulants. And again, this perspective of “nothing is ever wasted” became a truth for me.

And just when I thought I had figured all of this out,

I heard a teaching on how “everything in life is useful”. Upon hearing it, I thought this sounds like “there is good in every situation” and “nothing is ever wasted”. But there was so much more to this perspective. And of course, my curiosity got the best of me so I listened to the teaching, over and over again. As I listened to it, it felt right in my heart, but my head was having a hard time catching up. Does that ever happen to you? That happens to me a lot. My heart usually gets it first and then my head eventually comes around.

The “everything is useful” perspective is much deeper than it appears so stick with me on this

First of all, this perspective is based on the belief system that similar things attract similar things. You may be familiar with this thought process or maybe it’s new to you. If it’s new to you, then I encourage you to read about the law of attraction because science has been able to prove that matter has a specific frequency, code, vibration, energy, etc. and that matter is attracted to other matter with a similar frequency, code, vibration, energy, etc. Assuming this is true, “everything is useful” shows us that if we want to be seen as useful in life, we have to see everything as useful.

The reverse is also true

If we see things in our life as useless, then we’re saying that we’re useless and then the world, people, etc. will see us useless because like attracts like. I know it might sound impossible or at a minimum difficult to see horrible things that happen to you and the people you love as useful when they cause so much pain, heartbreak and discomfort. However, the good news about acknowledging that something is useful is that you don’t have to like it, you just have to acknowledge that it is useful because it’s happening to you. Since it is happening in your life, it’s a part of your life which means you want it to be useful so life, people, and the world see you as useful.

A simple way to put this into action

When something you don’t like happens in your life, you thank it for happening so you can see it’s usefulness. It’s that simple…but it’s not that easy. Trust me. I have been applying this process for weeks now and there are still some situations where I forget to be grateful for it happening. However, I have to say, I have struggled with feeling invisible (aka useless) for a good part of my life and when I started applying this perspective in my life, I felt more visible, empowered, full of joy and more at peace.

Since this is kind of a counter-intuitive way to approach life, I want to make sure you know that I am not suggesting that you try to positive think your way through difficult situations.

I just want you to greet them with an understanding of usefulness. 

If the difficult situations bring up pain, discomfort and emotions, embrace them. They too are useful and they will help you heal parts of your heart you may not have known were wounded. And each time you heal a part of your heart, life becomes more enjoyable, more joyful, more full of love and grace, for yourself and for others.

It’s all worth it, I promise!