What to do when you don’t understand what’s happening to you


“We don’t always have the answers to everything that happens. And that’s okay.”

– Joy Iseki, @thekounsellor


In my work as an emotional wellness coach, I’ve been privileged to meet very unique people across borders with peculiar circumstances and experiences. This has also helped me with accepting some of the things I had once found too difficult to admit could happen to me. The more I see “saints” in pain, and “sinners” at peace, the more I’ve come to realize the shortsightedness in the labeling we place on people’s lives based on our own biased evaluation on how their life MUST turn out from our judgement of them.

People almost have similar stories across the borders. Even though we may be differentiated by our race and locations, human issues are almost the same regardless of where you’re from.

The events that happen to us do not recognize who we are in many cases. It’s like all of us from the different race and geographical locations do have some experiences we find very difficult to process. And we all seem to hurt from the reality of not fully comprehending everything about certain things that happen to us.

We often quote how “life’s not about what happens to us but our interpretation of the event.” That’s quite true though. But there’s more to it. The thing is, this interpretation is because of our level of understanding, the insights or lack of it, as regarding the situation at the time of its occurrence. Thus, we can agree that a limiting interpretation causing any lopsided view about the situation is often the result of the limited understanding about the situation too.

If we understand this, it becomes easier to admit that this limited comprehension is because we do not know fully what we ought to know to help us with better perspective about the situation. It’s easier to see the large numbers of us that fall into the category this way.

When some inexplicable things happen to us, especially those stuff that cause us pain, it can seem naive of us to admit that we don’t fully understand what had happened to us. So we try to play along with too much analysis about what could have led to it, using the law of cause and effect to make it sound logical.

After all, we’ve been taught how there’s no effect without a cause somewhere. Maybe true.

But, life is teaching me daily, as I hear more of people’s true life’s stories, and as I observe my own personal navigation here on earth, that some things happen to us which doesn’t make much sense yet we cannot really pin down what may have caused them to happen to us. These things may be one or two  strange events in your life along the many others with definite causes and corresponding effects. But they’re there. And we cannot deny their existence.

Our struggle is the efforts we often expend in trying to have concrete reasons why they happened. Unfortunately, for the majority I’ve met, myself included, who were almost drowned by these events, had it that way because of the huge energy used up in this painstaking efforts just so we can have a vivid cause.

I have experienced many things in my life that I don’t know why they happened. In my earlier exuberant years, I used to try very hard to give reasons for some things. I’d usually do a lot of “logical” analysis of what may had led to the situation. Then leave that place more exhausted and confused than before.

These days, I’m learning to respond with “I don’t know” when asked certain things about my life. I’ve found a relief doing this. It kind of liberate me from finding explanations for what I don’t fully understand anyway. Or, rather, from what I don’t fully understand YET. I’m learning that until when I am able to fully grasp a comprehensive reason for why they had happened, it’s okay to say I don’t know now.

For those of you that also experience this kind of stuff about some of the things that happen to you, which you find difficult to process but too vulnerable to admit you do not actually “get it,” this attitude can save you from the mental exhaustion that comes with trying to crack a hard nut.

So when some events happen to you, and you cannot place it, you are no longer fussy about trying to anymore. You allow it just be.

Like other people who go through this, our problem lies more in the numerous attempts at trying to understand these things. And so some people may breakdown as a result.

There are better ways to mange unforeseen events which we don’t fully understand as at the time of its happening in order to maintain our mental wellbeing.

One way to this freedom is to accept what has happened as one of those life’s experiences. Accept that life does truly happen even to the most meticulous among us. This will help the perfectionist in you to see more clearly some of the other non linear life’s paths which had happened to you before this one, and so enables you to be in a better mental space to accommodate this unprecedented event.

Acceptance is very key to lots of things that show up in our lives unannounced. Because life’s experiences are not always predictable with a hundred percent certainty no matter how deliberately we are about life. Some people eat the most healthy meals and still become diseased, another love to the moon and back and still get heart broken or rejected. Some others work really hard and smart at their jobs but get laid off. Another parent tries all her best and end up with a very delinquent child.

These things happen. Unfortunately. But we don’t understand fully why, especially with all our seemingly right efforts to get life running  for us perfectly. Therefore, it’s best to leave some space in our lives for these uncertainties so that when they happen, it’s easier to accept as one of those things. And then move on. If we don’t, we stress ourselves tirelessly by trying to arrive at a definite cause.

We may resort to self blaming in our attempts to find someone or something to address as the cause. Truth is, you didn’t do anything wrong in many of these cases. you’d probably just missed the right timing. Maybe. Or met the wrong person. Or wasn’t at the right place. I don’t know!

Whatever may have led to what it is you’re currently battling to find precise explanations for its causes, its best to accept the situation so you can begin the remedy by admitting that you really don’t know why it happened. This attitude is not only relieving in managing the present confusion, it is “peacefull” too. Because it resolves the fuss you’re having about the “why” without you having to die first!

This is the way we can learn to embrace certain unplanned, and never-anticipated-for-once events in our lives.

Thereafter, we can move from the struggle to finding the solutions to the problems. Herein is our emotional wellness assured, every time we’re stuck with these unpleasant events life sometimes throws at us.

We must never feel ashamed or naive about the sincere “I don’t know” response to what we truly don’t know why it had happened.


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To your healing, love and fulfillment.



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