Life: Happening TO you, or FOR you?

It seems like this subject has been done before. And it probably has. In fact, I’m probably just plagiarizing someone else’s words, accidentally. I wonder how often that happens, you know? Read read read….where does it all go? I think it must stick somewhere in the back of a person’s brain, and then just sliiiiiiidddddeeeees into the frontal lobe over time, causing the person to think, AHA! I have a new idea! or, ahhhh the cleverness of ME!




My new, (probably old and overdone) idea is this:  Let’s just change  a two letter word, to a THREE letter word, and watch what a huge difference it makes in how we view the world, and ourselves in it. Take a little look-see at these sentences and feel how each makes you react.

  1. Life happens to me.
  2. Life happens for me.

They come off really differently, don’t they?  When something happens TO you, it feels a little bad, you know?…… The vision I get is something coming AT someone. Like a pie in the face. Or a cartoon character getting an anvil to the head. It also feels very powerless, right? When things happen TO you, it implies that you have very little to say about the whole thing. However. When something happens FOR you….it implies something very different. When I envision this, I see someone holding their hands out, palms up…RECEIVING a wonderful pie. (of course it would be coconut cream, because that’s what ALL the good pies ARE.) When something is FOR someone, it reads almost like a gift. A gift to be used by the recipient. There’s power in that, I think.


So, here’s some examples-big and small- of changing a thing from a TO to a FOR.

MAN!!! I can’t believe I didn’t get that job! I rocked the interview. I’m super over qualified. How could this happen to me?! -Lisa Heggen Carr

So let’s change that last part to….How could this happen FOR me? If young Lisa, who thought she knew EVERYTHING, would have changed that last part into a FOR, she may have opened her mind a little quicker to the possibility that this was not the job she was meant to have. She would’ve sulked a whole lot less and eaten way fewer bad carbs, and let’s just say we would’ve saved her a good two weeks of sucking in the lowest vibes available –meaning that just in that two-week period of time, she managed to back into a pair of dumpsters with her small little vehicle (yes both), stub her toe so hard it probably was broken, but toes aren’t important (or so she was told), unless you are trying to walk around,  and have a major disagreement with her normally lovely neighbor over lawn watering during sunlight hours. If older and wiser Lisa could have intervened, she would have said, Just wait. Something is on its way. And of course it was! It was the job that would end up changing her entire future and ultimately would give her: 1. A whole new perspective on the world due to magical and amazing children and their parents 2. Her best friend who loves her always and forever and would move heaven and earth for her, . ..and, OH YEAH… three beautiful children who would not exist otherwise. (that was  a long time to refer to myself in third person. Yikes.)

Yes. Something much bigger and better was on its way, and me not getting that job was the best thing for me. The BEST.


I missed my plane.  –350 passengers on 9/11 including Mark Wahlberg, Julia Child and Robert Redford


My train is delayed from Manchester to London. ARGH!! Why is this happening to me? I can barely make ends meet for my little girl, living on state aid,  my marriage is over, my mum just died–Wait. Maybe this is happening FOR me.  Living in this dead space of boredom,  and where nothing could possibly get any worse, I’m getting some ideas to write a book called Harry Potter. These ideas are literally flooding me right now!!! I think I’ll write them down! –JK Rowling (Note: this is not a direct quote from Jo…I’m invoking a little creative license here.)


I didn’t make the team, and my best friend DID. -Michael Jordan

After going home and locking himself in his room, he cried. Then he picked himself up and turned the cut into motivation. “Whenever I was working out and got tired and figured I ought to stop, I’d close my eyes and see that list in the locker room without my name on it. That usually got me going again.”


I could go on. I mean it. On and on and on- with famous people, normal people, and every kind of person in between. Wonderful things happened to them, but they chose to see that they were FOR them. As I see it, the trick is to see the gift when it comes, no matter how it may be disguised. I’m working on my quickness. It’s like trying to figure out how to get up really fast when you’re roller skating so you don’t get rolled over.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite love warriors, whose commitment to showing up with her hands out to receive all that life has given, and to take it and make it something amazing, inspires me on the daily. Love to you all♥


My wrist.
I have made so many mistakes. I’ve hurt myself and others. I’ve been hurt. I’ve been the left and the leaving. I’ve had some lost years. I drank many of my days away. I didn’t show up. I was left hanging. I’ve lied and been lied to. I’ve been lost, so lost. I’ve survived a bunch of winters but the one coming up still scares me.
All of these things are true. And yet.
I’m still here. With joy in my heart. With stupid hope that’s not snuffed out. With optimism in spite of all that will most certainly go wrong. With a flicker of gratitude that just won’t dim. With another day, another beat.

For the strugglers and the fallers and the bruised up and worn down. For the ones who are so sick of themselves and sick of trying to be different. For the lonely and the too messed up to love. For the ones who still can’t get it right and aren’t even sure what right means, anyway. For the mamas who are just trying to survive the night and the sisters who are on another Day 1. For my people — my favorite, beautiful, fucked up people — we are all these things. And yet. We are. Still. Here.



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