When something distressing happens, the first thought that enters your head and the first question out of your mouth is usually, “Why?” “Why me?” When good things happen you never seem to ask yourself, “Why me?”
It is natural and normal to think that you deserve and are entitled to the good things that happen and that good things are the norm. When bad things happen they often seem unfair and unjust. You might feel let down, disappointed or even shaken to your core.
This is especially true when you are living a righteous life. There is a common, underlying belief that what happens to you is a reflection of who and what you are and that the things that happen to you are a consequence of your thoughts and actions. You trust that if you are an upright person and do good things, you will be protected from the vagaries of life.
Misfortune and even illness and death can feel like a judgment on your qualities and goodness as a human being. Behind this belief is the concept of rewards and punishments. This belief can cause intense feelings of shame and embarrassment when something bad happens.
To cope with these feelings, you have to disconnect the idea of rewards and punishments. Misfortune is not a punishment. You have not failed in some way.
The familiar lament and question, “Why me” has an answer. It might not be the answer you want to hear but it is an answer. The answer is “Why not you?” If you ask yourself, “Why not me?” it will put things in a better perspective. It will remind you that you are not alone. Distressing things happen to everyone. While this may be true, it is not necessarily a satisfying or comforting thought. Everyone wants to feel special, unique and above the fray. Everyone wants to be the exception to the rule. Everyone hopes to be protected from misfortunes. Unfortunately, this is not life’s way.
Patricia Frank is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305- 788-4864, firstname.lastname@example.org