This is an age old question and today we are tackling why it actually causes us a lot of pain. I’m going to tell you exactly how to find the answers you need to finally have peace with all the “whys.”
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Welcome to this episode. I’m so excited that you’re here with me and I have one thing to tell you about it is my October group coaching.
You guys, this is going to be so amazing. I know that October can be a very difficult month for a lot of lost moms. Sometimes we’re sharing our story, we’re talking about our babies. We’re participating in walks, we’re fundraising, or we’re doing all sorts of things. Participating in the wave of light. To remember our babies, and it’s a time that can be very tender.
And then you have holidays that remind us of children. There’s Halloween things everywhere, and it can be emotionally exhausting if you don’t have the right support. And so I have created a support group for you, but it’s not like any support group you’ve ever been to. We are gonna meet every week on Zoom.
It’s gonna be a really small group and. You get to be coached and hear other people be coached, and I am going to lead you through October so you don’t end up in November. Just emotionally exhausted and hungover from all the vulnerability. This is for you. If you’ve been interested in coaching. This is a great place to start.
It’s going to be an amazing time together. And you don’t wanna miss it. You have to register before we start on the first Wednesday in October. Go in the show notes and there will be a link where you can sign up for October group coaching. It’s going to be the best four weeks. And another thing is it’s going to give you all the tools you need as we head into the rest of the holiday season so that you don’t have to be emotionally exhausted from that.
You’re gonna have so much peace of mind, so much support, and you’re gonna feel infinitely better. Get signed up. Let’s start with this question. Why do bad things happen to good people? And I wanted to read a quote that I think sums up a lot of this question. It says, for many of us, suffering and brutal unfairness can seem incompatible with the reality of a kind, loving, heavenly father, yet he is real.
He is kind and he loves each of his children perfectly. This dichotomy is as old as mankind and cannot be explained in a simple soundbite or on a bumper sticker. And I would add or on an Instagram post or a Facebook post or in a podcast, but I’m gonna try it now. I. I am a Christian. I believe in God. So I am going to talk a little bit about that.
’cause really this question is something that all of us face at one time or another, or maybe more than once. I. And I wanna offer you some beliefs that I hold and some of the answers that I’ve found in my journey. If you believe a different way, I’m still gonna touch on that. I just want you to apply what I’ve got for you today to your specific circumstance.
Maybe your, you’re going to hear something that. You’ve never heard before. That’s really gonna help you answer this question of why. Why do bad things happen? Why did my baby die? All of these why questions that we have. So the first thing that I want you to understand is that we live in a mortal world.
Because we live in a mortal world, we are all going to die. That’s just reality. And I know that a lot of people don’t want to think about it. In our culture, we’re not very good at talking about it, thinking about it, but death is as much a part of life as birth. And so when we’ve lost our babies, we’ve just experienced those two things with our children very close together.
But it happens. In all honesty, babies have been dying. Throughout all of history, right? This is something that happens in the animal kingdom. It happens to little seedlings, right? Like how many seeds does a tree drop or a tomato plant? They drop a lot of seeds. Not all of them are gonna grow up and be happy.
Plants. They’re not gonna grow into a great oak tree. There’s a lot of things that are gonna happen that are gonna cut that life. Shorter than what we believe it should be. I don’t know if you’ve ever watched the Animal Kingdom type shows and you watch those baby sea turtles and a lot of them don’t make it to the ocean.
And they’re so cute and we don’t want the seagulls to eat them, but you know what? The seagulls are trying to feed their babies, and this is part of mortality. This is part of nature. This is what happens. And I think that something that helps is to understand that this is part of living on earth. It just happens and things are allowed to happen and they’re not.
Done to us. So they’re not done to us on purpose. And I think this is a first question that we think about when something bad happens. When our baby dies, we want an answer, right? Our brain really, really, really wants an answer. We want to know why. We wanna know why, because we think that we will feel better if we have an answer.
But if you have. Been following me for very long, you know that that might not be true, right? We don’t always get an answer that we’re looking for, so we have to come up with these answers on purpose, and so this is where we start to blame God. That’s a whole other subject I would love to touch on in a different episode, but I’m gonna talk about it just a little bit here.
Today is a lot of times we will feel like. God did this to us and that’s why, but I want you to notice how painful that thought is. It really hurts. Because I think it goes against what we believe. And like I said in the first, that little quote, it’s like we believe that God loves us, that you know Jesus Christ is our savior and he wants to help us in our suffering, and we believe that God is good.
And then we also believe that he’s punishing us that we did something wrong, that there’s a reason that this happened, and I just don’t think that that is useful. I choose to believe that these things happen because we live in immortal fallen earth world where there are laws of nature and mortality where life is fragile and we all could go at any time.
But it’s not something that is done to us for any reason. And I think that this is something we can struggle with over and over and over for years, no matter where you are in your grief journey. I want you to know that you can put that down. These things happen. They don’t get done to us on purpose. It’s not a punishment.
It’s not because of something we did or didn’t do. It’s not something that’s going against God’s plan for us or the plan that the universe had for us easing into accepting reality and letting go of the need. To explain why is going to give you so much relief. You are gonna feel so much better, and it doesn’t have to even take time.
You can just decide this. You can decide, God isn’t punishing me. I didn’t do anything wrong that caused this. It just happened because it happens sometimes. Okay, so there’s my first answer. We live in a mortal world and death is part of life. The second reason I think that bad things happen to good people is we don’t grow from ease.
Now, a lot of people have a little resistance to this idea that these things happen so that we can grow. And that’s not what I’m saying. You always have a choice. You have a choice if you want to grow or not. What I am saying is I believe that this life is a place where we want to learn to become a better person, where we want to evolve, where we wanna keep moving forward.
And I believe that we want to become like our heavenly parents, that we want to go back to be in heaven and be like them. And even on this earth, if we don’t talk about a religious sense or those beliefs as a human being, if you want to be a good human, does it come from getting everything you want handed to you Exactly when you want it?
Think of a child. Who gets everything they want, whose life is easy, who doesn’t have to do any work? Who doesn’t have to do anything hard? Who is handed everything they ask for? Do they turn out to be the best people? Now, I believe people all have an infinite value, but you know what I mean? Are they going to relate to the world very well?
Probably not. Right? And we would say those kids are probably gonna end up being spoiled, entitled, not have a work ethic, not contribute to society, right? All those things that we would say are not the best characteristics for a human, and that’s how our life is. We don’t grow from ease. We don’t evolve. We don’t learn more about ourselves, more about each other.
We don’t learn about empathy. We don’t struggle in our relationship with deity or higher power or the universe or whatever you believe in, right? We don’t learn all of the skills that we need to overcome obstacles. If we don’t have any obstacles, so it’s okay that we have things that we would describe as difficult in our lives because we need them.
We need them to become the person we’re supposed to be. They are part of our journey. They are part of the class that we are here to learn from. I really think this is important. You can look at it as a punishment or you can look at it as an opportunity. And I think it’s much more useful to look at it as an opportunity.
It doesn’t mean it’s gonna be easy, it doesn’t mean that we want it at the time, but you can really change the way you’re looking at what has happened to you. And use it as an opportunity for growth. All right. My next idea that I want to give to you is the point isn’t to be happy all the time. Now, we have been fed this our entire lives that the goal is to be happy, right?
We wanna be happy, we should feel good all the time. But that’s just not true. That isn’t the point. So when we have things that come into our lives, That maybe trigger some negative emotions. That’s okay. That’s what our life is supposed to be. And that’s what I mean when I talk about finding true joy. And that’s what I teach my clients in coaching is learning to accept that these things that come into our lives are supposed to be there.
We’re not supposed to be happy all the time. We want to feel an entire range of emotions. That is the full human experience. We want to see both sides because it makes everything so much sweeter. It makes the good times sweeter when we’ve been through the bad, and I believe that this is one of the first choices of the first people on Earth is to understand that suffering helps us understand the joy and going through hard things helps us see the good.
And that is so, so powerful, and it seems really simple, but the point is not to be happy all the time. And the sooner we let go of that belief, the better our life is going to be. And when I say better, I don’t mean happier, I mean, We are going to allow for all the emotions. We’re not gonna be mad about it.
We’re not gonna be mad that we’re grieving. We’re not gonna be mad that we’re sad, we’re not gonna be mad that our relationships have changed or evolved. As we’ve gone through this process and this metamorphosis, we’re going to ease into the reality of human life, which is. Sometimes you’re gonna feel negative emotions and sometimes you’re gonna feel positive emotions, and that’s how it’s supposed to be.
Again, if everything was easy and everything went our way, we wouldn’t get to experience that, and I think that would be a loss. I want you to think about someone who you know, who maybe has had a really easy life and who hasn’t been through anything hard and you have. Do you find it hard to relate to that person sometimes?
They can’t understand what this kind of pain is like, but you can, and that is a gift, and I don’t think you should underestimate that gift, right? So this question is a little bit subjective. It’s not very objective. So we say, why do bad things happen to good people? Well, first I think all people are good.
And I wanna define bad, what does bad mean? I really want you to question the way you’re thinking about what has happened to you in your life and how are you labeling it? And even if everyone around you would agree that having your baby pass away is bad, or having your spouse loser job or living through a pandemic, or any of the challenges that you might’ve been through recently.
Is it really bad? We get to define that for ourselves. And when you are managing your mind and you’re looking at things, you have to notice this. You have to observe the way you’re telling your story. If you’re telling it as bad, you’re kind of stuck and it isn’t really useful or helpful to you as you move forward.
So can you redefine the circumstances in your life? Do you need to call them bad? Bad things or can you look at it a different way? I think this is easier as we zoom out, as we have time and space to look back on our lives. But you can also do it in the moment, and you don’t need time. You can just decide.
I remember when Lauren passed away and I’ve told this story a little bit before, so if you’ve heard it before, um, that’s okay. I just want you to keep listening in this same context. When Lauren died, I didn’t really have any signs that anything was wrong until it was too late and I went through my day as you do.
The days leading up to her death and all the things that had happened, and the first impulse, of course, is to say, to start to blame and to feel like everything went wrong. Like all the choices we made were wrong. The choices like my doctor’s appointment had been changed. Well, that was a bad thing that happened.
If it wouldn’t have changed, maybe she would still be here if we wouldn’t have been so busy if we wouldn’t have done this or that or the other thing. Like all these things went wrong and that’s why she died. And I remember really, really early, within the first couple of weeks deciding no. I wasn’t gonna think that way because it didn’t serve me.
It didn’t help me at all to think that way, that everything had gone wrong and she had died and that was wrong. I decided that those things had all happened because this was the plan for her and her life, and my life, and it really wasn’t up to me. I just had the choice to believe that everything went wrong.
Or that everything went right perfectly so that she could pass through this life the way she was supposed to. And that was a really powerful turning point for me in my journey, um, in my grieving, in my story, just deciding on purpose. Even in that early, early grief, after losing my daughter at 39 and a half weeks, I just decided that was how it was supposed to happen.
Everything happened in the right way. So that she could pass away because I would’ve stopped it if I could have right. Any mother would. If I could have stopped it, I absolutely would have prevented it, but I wasn’t given that chance because that’s what was supposed to happen. And I truly believe that it has given me so much peace throughout my life, and I can tell you that as I lost my other baby river.
Uh, I didn’t have that piece as much. I was pretty mad and I felt like it wasn’t fair, and I had a lot of thoughts and that was really painful for me. And so I can see both sides. And I wanna tell you that no matter how fresh your loss is or how long it’s been, you can just decide that too, that this wasn’t a bad thing that happened.
It’s something that I love to think about that some of my coaches have, um, explained to me and, and as I’ve studied and thought a lot about these things that maybe we signed up for this now, I believe that we lived before this earth and that we had choices and that we did things there. And maybe this is a class that we signed up for, that we all had.
Different things that we knew we were gonna do and different challenges that we were going to have on this earth. And maybe we did have a choice. ’cause a lot of times we feel like, again, this just happened and it was totally against our will, but maybe it was exactly what we asked for and we just can’t remember.
’cause when we were born, we forgot all of it. And I think this is really a powerful image to think about. Now, I don’t know if it’s a hundred percent true, but that’s okay. ’cause I can just choose to believe it. But maybe some people signed up to have physical disabilities, or some people signed up to be born in a place that is really, really difficult.
And some of us signed up to say goodbye to our babies. And another really powerful thing to look at is our children, maybe they decided that. They were gonna sign up for this, that all they needed was a body and they didn’t need to go through the other trials that this life brings to us. I’ve heard it said that sometimes it’s a blessing and it could be something we could rejoice about.
They did not have to suffer. They did not have to go through a lot of hard things on this earth. They kind of got to skip some of the tests that we need to go through. So thinking about our children and their choices and their agency and thinking that maybe this is what they wanted and that they love us so much and they knew that this was part of the plan for both of us together because we’re so connected and we both signed on for this.
I think it’s really powerful and it really changes the story that we tell. Uh, I think that again in our more. Um, Western Christian religion. Sometimes we believe that, you know, God has a plan for us and sometimes we turn this around to mean that if, if bad things happen again, bad in air quotes, that he caused it and that.
It’s his fault. You know that he did this to us and we kind of fight against it. We kind of rebel against a parent who seems like they’re being really mean and unreasonable and not listening to us, right? Maybe we prayed and prayed and prayed for a baby and then it died and it doesn’t make any sense.
And so we have this why question that is so painful. What if we just believed. That this was always meant to happen. This is how it was planned from the beginning. And we can let go of some of that pain, I think in a more Eastern traditions. Um, and this is super overgeneralizing, but I think it’s more about understanding that suffering is just part of this life.
And our goal here is to learn to accept it and to come to peace with it. And I think that’s really beautiful. So I wanna ask you a question. Do you really need to answer this? Like I said before, our brain wants an answer because it feels like it would feel better if we had an answer, but do you really need to answer this question?
Why did my baby die? Why do bad things happen to good people? Is this a useful. Question for you, or is it a really painful question for you? I was just reading from my mentor, Byron Katie. She is an amazing coach and she has a book called Loving What is, and in that book she is talking about a fire. If you have.
A stove that is hot and you put your hand next to it, you are gonna pull your hand away right away. You don’t even have to think about it. Your body just knows. Your brain just knows danger and pain and get away from that. So it just automatically pulls away. But when it’s emotional pain, a lot of times we actually like to just leave our hand there and we.
Don’t pull it back. And so I wanna offer to you if this question, why did this happen is hurting you, you can pull away. You don’t have to stay there. You don’t have to sit in that pain over and over. You have so much control. You can take your hand away from the fire anytime you want to. And there are different ways to do this.
Like I said, you can make up an answer. That works for you, that explains it for you. Like I did. I just decided all these things happen because that was the only way that I wasn’t gonna save my baby. And that wasn’t her plan. It wasn’t our plan. You can make up a reason that works for you because beliefs are all just made up anyways, right?
And you just choose to believe them. So either you let your brain make one up on a default, which a lot of times those are the most painful thoughts like, God is punishing me, or I did something wrong, or I messed up. Or My body is the worst. Everything. I failed, my body failed. My doctor failed. They’re painful, but that’s what your brain’s offering to you, but you just have to make a conscious choice to decide something that works for you and takes that pain away.
And another option is to put it on a shelf. You might still have this question and you might want an answer, but maybe you decide on purpose that you’re gonna put it away for a while, that you’re gonna put it on a shelf, you’re gonna put it in a box, and you’re just gonna keep on living and you are gonna look.
For answers at a later time, or you’re gonna allow yourself to move forward and trust that an answer is gonna show up for you, right? It might happen. You might get an answer, but you might not. You might never have an answer that’s really satisfying in the way you want to, and that’s okay. I think this is a time where you can give yourself the gift.
Of letting go of a painful, painful question that doesn’t have a good answer, and allowing yourself to believe the thought. I don’t need an answer to find complete healing. To find joy. Again, I don’t need an answer to this question. You might want one, but you don’t need one, and that is really a powerful shift too.
You don’t need to have an answer to feel better. Because you know how to manage your mind, manage your emotions. If this is weighing you down, if this question is always in the back of your mind, or maybe it’s in the front of your mind and you’re wrestling with it so hard right now, it’s okay to put it down.
I’m giving you permission. I want you to let go of this question and finding an answer to it. You have a certain amount of emotional energy. Do you want to spend it? Trying to answer this question that has been around for millennium millennia. Why do bad things happen to good people? Again, there’s so many deep thoughts that you can go into it.
You can go into complete like a philosophy, but I just wanna offer to you the simple, simple answer. It’s not a good use of your time if it’s not serving you. Stop thinking about it. You can do this. It really is just letting yourself put it down. Stop trying to answer these why questions that don’t have satisfying answers and start asking better questions like, who do I wanna be and what do I want my relationship with God or the universe to be?
’cause I think that’s another. A painful part of this question is it distances us from a higher power because we keep asking and asking and asking, and when we don’t get an answer, we feel like that’s another way that God has failed us. Not only did he take our baby, but he’s not telling us why and he’s not giving us peace and release from this pain, but I believe that you can get peace and you can.
Build your relationship with deity and you can come closer to our father in heaven. By letting go of this question and understanding that love is the answer, love for you, love for your baby, and understanding that the universe wants the best for you, it’s always conspiring in your favor. That’s another thing that Byron Katie teaches that I think is so beautiful.
You are here to succeed. You are here to grow and to become the best version of yourself. And if answering this question is taking away from that or taking a lot of time and a lot of energy and you’re just tired of it, it’s okay to put it down. If you’re feeling like you don’t know how to let go of this question, you don’t know how.
To answer those why questions. Let me help you in my one-on-one coaching program. We can tackle all of this, and you don’t have to do it alone. I will help you. You’ll be able to let go of these questions and find ultimate peace and true joy in allowing yourself to live this human life and become the best version of you that you can.
It’s a beautiful process. Go in the show notes or go to smooth stones coaching.com. And sign up for a consult call and let’s do this. Let’s answer this question for you in a way that brings you peace. You can do this, sending you lots of love, and I’ll see you next time.