Why Do Bad Things Happen? Polarity: On Highs and Lows


My mom just died a week ago today; her funeral was only hours prior to my writing this piece. This post is dedicated solely to her, as will anything I ever write or do from this point forward. I love you, Mom.

When someone close to a person passes away, you’ll quite often hear assorted fond remembrances or overwhelmingly powerful statements said in mourning – yet things which might not necessarily be a perfect reflection of the reality. Things like: “They were the best,” or “We were the closest in the whole wide world.”

But here’s the thing with my mom: She was the greatest mother in the world. And we were the closest such pair that you’ll ever encounter. Ever!

I can say this myself with nary even a moments pause nor uncertainty. Outside of her, I haven’t exactly had a stellar life so far. I’ve long since come, not only to accept that fact on a personal level, but even to somewhat understand the why such negatives universally must come into our lives.

First and foremost amongst them…? Something I’ve considered a good deal, even having already written about (although not having posted any of these pieces, as of yet), is what I’ve taken to considering as matters of “polarity”. That polarity, it isn’t just a constant in this universe, it’s utterly essential to it.

Nothing of anything we know or understand might exist as a singularity, all to itself; in order to derive meaning or simply to… “be”, absolutely anything at all, it also necessitates an ability for that something to be properly defined. To be defined on any such fundamental level, it outright requires falling within some broad range of extremes; that it may take on meaning through a comparison with or being placed beside something similar, but distinctly different in any number of ways.

We aren’t talking about something like defining a word, mind you – by referencing “fundamental”, I mean like with the most primary and basic of building blocks. Nearly all of our universe’s fundamental aspects fall within binary extremes: Hot/cold, positive/negative (charges), matter and antimatter, high/low, up and down, left or right, dark and light, on or off… well, suffice it to say that this is clearly a most critical concept to our existence. Furthermore, we have a word for everything that falls between such polar extremes: When something exists as a part of some spectrum (such as the spectrum of visible light, for one particular example.)

While most things known to us can be defined by something else…? At the very lowest, most basic of levels, instead? Well, there’s simply nothing that can possibly be used such as to define it! Therefore, that thing must somehow be defined strictly through itself, in its entirety.

Or, put slightly differently, consider those words I mentioned. Words, defined through letters. Words and letters, defined as sounds. Sounds, as variations in tones… and tones, as a spectrum of different frequencies.

So from this understanding, that one thing nearly everyone at some point wonders or asks, “How can/why does God allow bad things to happen in this world?” Just like anything else, so too is bad required for the good as a part of this notion of polarity. Without such negativity, then there are only those “positives.” If there are no negatives, positivity has utterly zero meaning; devoid any frame of reference whatsoever. Suddenly, everything just “is” – there literally can be no good if you don’t also have the bad in order to define what good is, providing a frame of reference for us to conceive, recognize and experience whatever we consider to be “good” in any way. Good thereby becomes “it… is,” if we have not a broad spectrum to compare and put up against all our experiences in this life.

Thusly, by our saying that all good things as are found in life would have no meaning without the various bad ones? It makes for the furthest thing from some nonsensical rhetoric or philosophical claptrap. Instead, it is an absolute and incontestible statement of the very reality/existence we find ourselves a part of just now. It isn’t only an accurate notion, but also 100% a truth.

Well then, the greatest of lows also means the greatest of highs is only that much higher, if only relatively speaking. Therefore, this extraordinary degree of difficulty I’ve experienced personally, in my own life (health) so far…? It meant I might also be able to receive and feel otherwise extraordinary positives!

So such negativity, it is hardly some curse or reason to feel life is “unfair” or something… no. Instead, it is the greatest of gifts and blessings. Why is that? Because it means, one way or another, whatever positives one will invariably be provided with or find during their life are all that much better. Terrible might be the lows, for sure – but those highs in whomever person’s life will be literally stratospheric, just the very same.

Well, for me? My health… the endless pain and continual, ongoing new symptoms/issues… they have been nearly unbearable – my own rock-bottom “negative.”

But I know -for certain, beyond any shadow of doubt- what my positive was, in return: My mom. Mind you, I’m hardly saying those “negatives” meant I simply treasured an “average” mom that much more greatly… oh no! I instead mean that they ensured the mom I did “get” & have -alongside our exceptional relationship- was that much more of an incredible soul, a woman and mother far beyond the comprehension of most.

Furthermore, something else that those horrific health issues enabled: My opening comment about our being the very closest of mother-son pairs? You see, when I was only ten years old, our public school system said they could no longer accomodate my illness. They stated I would have to be schooled at home, the tutors for which they’d happily provide moving forward… and so they were.

You can scarcely imagine just how upset it all made me at that time, knowing I’d thusly miss out on the entirety of adolescence and youth; deprived of experiences, memories and friends I’d never have or get to make, while losing those many social acquaintances I already had (from a good ‘ol fashioned case of “out of sight, out of mind”). Ah, but then…! I got to spend, not just the time we all get with a parent normally, but I also got just about every waking instant of my entire life directly with my mom! That incredible, exceptional and extraordinary loving mother I was blessed with.

Now, here today, I’ll forever have twice the number of memories and experiences everyone else shares with their mom. Yet again, serving as still more tangible proof of how my unthinkably severe health brought about genuine blessings both solely and directly as a result. It isn’t just some new age saying or mantra here: The bad absolutely brings the good; the worse the former is, then all the better the latter will be!

Therefore, I wouldn’t alter or change the slightest little thing about that poor health of mine. All the more, on a more macroscopic level, whatever challenges we face doubtlessly also happen for a plenty good reason; working to allow for or nudge us toward something else we are meant for. As one particular example: Short of those numerous health problems, not a lick of the ideas found on this site would’ve ever existed. Now… whether that’s a good thing -that they do in fact exist today- or not…? I rather suppose that’s all up to you, and not me!

But I know I’d have never worked towards writing all these ideas and beliefs of mine down, and I’m also fairly certain that I’d never have had/arrived at any of them -not at all- in the first place, either. Between not having had the time; never having read and discovered the many different things which informed them, ultimately leading me to the proverbial “door step”; or what all have you.

I also mention all of this for another reason, as well. My mom was my “reward” or counterpoint to the many trials and tribulations I’ve faced in a still quite short life, except…! Now she has indeed passed tragically from this life, moving onward to whatever adventures and amazement that surely awaits us all in the next one. I shall join her one day, myself, as will everyone else – if only in some form or another. But what, then, for now?

As incomprehensible of a gift as she herself always was, it makes her loss even greater of a blow than “just” losing one’s mother. On top of that, her death was also such that it hit me far harder and deeper than I could have ever envisioned – what with her dying as she did: Totally sudden, not a second’s prior notice or warning; less than two days prior to my 32nd birthday, and scarcely three days before her own favorite holiday: Christmas.

I therefore believe wholeheartedly (and, at this point, I simply have to) that it means something just as exceptionally positive must be coming down the road to offset such a truly devastating blow; meeting or having thrust into my life someone that will be just as much of an unusual treasure as my mom was to me these past 32 years.

Mind you, not to “replace” my mom – nor anything of the sort! But instead, just as my mom and our relationship was the “counterpoint” to my many health problems and physical suffering, so too will there be another similar such “counterpoint” to the unthinkable negative that her loss and my grief over losing her presently is.

If one believes in some form (any form) of divinity, there just isn’t any alternative. In a world where we do have real faith in a greater plan, one put in place by a truly higher power, it’s the only conceivable possibility. It isn’t even merely some “possibility” or belief one might have, perhaps desperate to cling to solace or seek comfort in such ways.

Rather, it is borne out and proven constantly; time and time again. Had I faced such exceptional medical issues without something as blatantly and prevalently exceptional in my life as my mom was…? Then these ideas would simply be beliefs, and little more. But that’s not the case: There was indeed blatant and incontrovertible proof of precisely all of this with every memory and second I have of our life together.

In which case, given exactly such tangible proof, it makes for hardly some sort of “feel good”, warm and fuzzy belief… and, instead, something of an absolute fact of life.

So no matter how low the valleys may be in our lives, know for absolute certain that the most towering of mountainous peaks await us on the other end of the spectrum. It might sound absurd (and perhaps it is), but the worse someone’s life may seem to be at any given point, it only means that something great of equal magnitude yet awaits them – in some form or another; whether it should be seen or unseen, perceived by us as such, or not…? If we only prove patient enough while retaining our faith in a higher power, it will always, always come to us -eventually- as things “reverse polarity” and turn themselves around.

As dark as this past week has been for me personally, I know that whatever leads me to emerge from it will be even more blindingly bright. And I also know that this is not the end with my mom, only a brief and temporary pause until I one day rejoin her anew.