Health & Well-Being

What If Everything Is Happening FOR You, Not to You?

“Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.”  —Byron Katie

What if Byron Katie is right — and everything you experience is happening FOR you, not TO you? How would that impact your life?

From personal experience, I can say it dramatically affects both for the better.

Life on planet Earth is a spiritual school of sorts: A place we’ve all come to learn and grown. To reconnect with our deepest values and life lessons.

What “Happening FOR Us” Means

Let’s review the above quote from the vantage point that life is a spiritual school.

I’m guessing you may be wondering how financial woes or sick friends can be happening FOR us. What’s good about either of those?

It goes back to the foundation. Earth is a school. So, everything that happens to us is really happening for us because it’s teaching us something. It’s giving us something of value or making us aware of something we need to know.

A friend recently shared that she’s fallen several times in the past month or two. In exploring what might be causing these mishaps, she began to see she’d been running in overdrive for too long. She grew afraid she’d miss something important. She was tired but didn’t feel she had the luxury of slowing down.

The universe helped her by slowing her down. While the fall wasn’t a joyful event, the lesson, when learned, was magnificent.

Even though I learned this “lesson” decades ago, it was only a few years ago I decided to truly embrace this philosophy wholeheartedly. I’ve come to see my work is always to find the lesson hidden inside every occurrence.

When I learned I would need shoulder surgery, I quickly began to explore its purpose. I asked how it was happening FOR me. On the surface, it certainly didn’t seem like a good thing.

But I realized I had been carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I thought if only I could help one more nonprofit have more impact, or help a friend with their challenges — then I’d be making a difference and contributing to the world in a positive way. I watched the news seeking ways I could be a part of the solution, feeling genuinely responsible for some action. It got heavy.

With the surgery, I chose to release all that weight and responsibility. I do feel lighter!

In every situation, I try to discover its meaning or purpose, rather than lament why is this happening TO me. That’s a very empowering position. I can’t be a victim if it’s happening FOR me. I may not be able to choose everything that happens, but I can definitely choose how I react to it and label that experience. Will I name it good or bad? It’s up to me to decide and remember I have that power.

Believing Takes Practice and Intention

You must trust yourself and something greater. I have learned that the more I look for the message within, the easier it becomes. Looking has taught me there’s always a reason and to trust my intuition as I explore the possibilities.

As you go through the many seasons of your life, I hope you’ll begin to see life is happening FOR you, and that there is good even when we don’t see it.


Ann Ranson

Ann Ranson is a conscious leader and future-focused master facilitator providing guidance for powerful breakthroughs that help you shape your most fulfilled life. Take the free Civility Quotient Assessment, measuring where you shine and where you need work. Find her at  Or follow her on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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