And it was the first thing she'd said all week that came close to irritating me. It seemed such shallow 'new age' mumbo-jumbo. It also seemed a little tactless, since it must have been obvious what emotional torment I was going through in trying to make sense of why this had happened.
But I found it impossible to be irritated with her.
And so I pondered the phrase further, sought out the redeeming value in it.
We shouldn't take it as a serious expression of fatalism (I'm pretty sure she doesn't).... although I think we all at times succumb to that superstitious impulse to suppose that coincidences are being marshalled against us (or for us) by some unseen directing intelligence; there's some comfort in this, since even when this force appears to be working to our detriment, the conceit still confers meaning and importance to our lives, and that gives us consolation even in the midst of our misery. But I don't think that's what she meant.
No, I think what she had in mind was more of a positive-thinking mantra. If we cultivate the attitude that there is some 'reason' or 'purpose' behind everything that happens to us, we can direct our minds not to the unknowable force contriving those events (which we know, really, is nothing more than coincidence) but to the possible result of each of these events - what new opportunities does it give us? If we seek out the best possible interpretation of 'why' anything might have happened to us, in terms of what new chances it presents..... well, it may inspire us to consider options we might not otherwise have thought of, it may empower us to make changes in our lives that might have seemed beyond us.
Or so I hope.
Is that just 'new age' mumbo-jumbo?
I think there's something in this. I must ponder further.
And I must ponder very carefully the question of why this happened, why she happened.