Sunday, November 24, 2013

Making Sense of the Senseless

I've been having a tough time since this car accident trying to make sense of why it happened. As much as I don't want to, I keep replaying the incident and I keep crying asking myself "why?" It's one of the few times something has happened to me that I can't explain, that I can't justify as being the result of some previous known action. When I was 15 I was stung 23 times by yellow jackets, but that's because I ran over a nest. Three years ago, I sprained my ankle while walking down the stairs because I wasn't looking as I turned up the volume on my cellphone.

This though? This I cannot explain -- I had a walk signal, the car had stopped, he saw me, and yet as I crossed he hit me anyway. The accident keeps replaying in my head like a bad song. Most people tell me some things cannot be explained, or sh*t happens and that's the end of it. I can't accept that. I can't swallow that bad things happen and that's the end of it. Even disasters like floods and hurricanes I understand because they are consequences of natural forces.

What I'm falling back on is my faith, my spiritual philosophy. The night of the accident I felt some weirdness in the air. A minute before I was hit, I contemplated what I would do if I was hit by a car. I'm starting to believe the incident was inescapable, that for whatever reason it had to happen to me. In my spiritual path, we believe in the law of karma, or action, but it's not limited to my current lifetime. Karma can carry over for many lifetimes and follows the principle of physics -- for every action there is a reaction. Maybe this car accident was a reaction from something lifetimes ago that finally got expressed.

I bring this up, the idea of something being inescapable, because it's the only way I know to continue to feel safe in the world. I've done some trauma work with my therapist and she reminds me the world is usually safe, that I've crossed the street billions of times and been fine. Believing the accident was meant to be allows me to cross the street in confidence (because I'm already a defensive pedestrian). It allows me to believe I really am safe and protected. That perhaps like I wrote about in May, I can be safe within danger because this incident was not preventable. That maybe higher power is still taking care of me all the time, is protecting me, but the car accident was something I had to experience. Maybe the reason will become clear, or maybe it's just one of those karmic reactions, but I don't need to worry every time I see a car driving toward me.

I have no idea whether this post will help other people, but for me the way I'm making sense of the senseless is by choosing to believe in the laws of nature, choosing to believe some things are not preventable -- especially when they seem so deliberate as in my case -- and that I can still be safe, protected, and taken care of even when I undergo hardship. Maybe there's some sense within the senseless after all.

I dream of a world where we're able to accept some things are meant to be. A world where we still have trust and faith in something greater than ourselves especially when life hands us lemons. A world where we're able to grapple with life's difficulties and still retain our joy and optimism.

Another world is not only possible, it's probable.


  1. This post really resonates with me because I'm like you -- I always try to see the reason behind something. When it's clear or not too hard to find, it's much easier to accept. Lately, I have been thinking about this as well and I think that... there are things that happen in our lives that aren't just for us. They are for the bigger picture, or for humanity as a whole. Yes, they contribute to who we are as a person and maybe if we look back, we'll be able to see just the way that a certain incident changed our lives, but I also think that parallel to our story is the story of us as human beings. And if you believe that there's not really separation, that we're all connected, then I think we start to realize that not only are we the person who was hit with the car, but the person who did the hitting -- if this makes any sense.

    Anyway, I totally relate to this!

    1. What's funny about your comment is another friend said something similar to me -- that maybe the car accident wasn't about me at all, wasn't for me, and had more to do with the driver.

      And you are right -- there isn't a separation. At my best moments I remember this, I remember nonduality and don't take it so personally because I am the person who was hit, the one who did the hitting, the car itself, the pavement, etc. It becomes less about *me,* about self-pitying, playing the victim, and more about humanity as a whole. I'm paraphrasing from the Bhagavad Giita but there's a line that says, "Some battles open the gates of Heaven." So you're right, some things are for the greater good and maybe I have to take some hits in the process.