Does Life Actively Try To Screw You Over?

When I was at University studying French, I had to read a really boring book called Candide by Voltaire, a French author from the eighteenth century.

The character of this book, a rather annoying chap called Candide strikes you as the type who is taking too many happy pills. His mantra is: “All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds” (everything always happens for the best!) He is basically one of those people who always sees the good in everything. But even earthquakes, death and wars he thought were all for the best.

He was a bit of a Pollyanna.  And Voltaire didn’t like pollyannas. So in the story, he breaks Candide.

Candide begins the story in a paradise, sheltered from the world. But during the story, the author makes Candide come out of paradise and he starts living a normal life, with struggle, pain and disappointment.  By the end of the story, his mantra is no longer “All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds“. Instead, his worldview has become: “We must cultivate our garden”.

I.e. instead of being a blissed-out Pollyanna and accepting what God sends us and thinking all of it is good, Candide now reckons that realistically, one should take control and change things.

Even though the book (and most books I had to read at University) were a real chore to read, I always remember it, because as I was reading it, I was quite embarrassed to realize that my worldview is like Candide’s, at least the worldview he has before he gets disappointed by life.

But thankfully, it’s not just me who has this worldview. A bunch of other people’s Spirit Guides seem to think like Candide too (I know because I talk to lots of them in readings).

And religious people.

When I was a Christian, I was taught about an angry God, one who punishes people, who sends experiences to us for us to endure them, FOR OUR OWN GOOD. Ouch. I decided not to run with that for too long because at the time God sounded to me like a bit of a git.

So instead of believing that God sends me experiences to teach me a lesson and suffer, I replaced that with the spiritual person’s worldview – me sending me experiences to make my life better and to help me to expand in the long-run.

At one of my low points, my guides told me that:

“You, in your great wisdom, always send yourself the most loving experiences possible.”

I’ve had jobs where I felt I was undervalued and paid about ten euros an hour when I had a mountain of student debt of about 40,000 euros to pay off…wasn’t life taking the piss? Yet, I now see that each one led me to here, perfectly and contributed something that I needed to know or learn in order to get here.

I’ve had abusive relationships where I undervalued who I am and allowed people to treat me like crap. But I now understand the importance of boundaries, being the authority in my life and all my relationships generally don’t suck now.

So, if you book a reading with me, I might tell you that the bad stuff is happening because you’re…learning to trust yourself and your perceptions/learning to see your worth/learning to take control of your own life path/learning to stand up for yourself, etc etc and that might satisfy your mind for a while.

But I think there is nothing bad or painful about any event, apart from the meaning your mind ascribes to it.

And your mind ultimately ascribes meaning to everything. It can tell you that your husband should not have left you. It can then tell you that actually, it was good that your husband left you because now you’ve met someone else who’s more compatible with you. The mind can keep on going forever debating whether something was good or not as your life changes.

Or you could just skip all that and go with “I am in control of my life – on a superficial and deep level.” “I am good”. “I send myself the best experiences I could possibly send me, even if they feel awful at the time”. “I am creative, life has twists and turns and things will turn out better than I could have imagined or expected.” Doesn’t that feel so much better? In the end, I only believe in feeling good, and those are the best-feeling thoughts I can find in such circumstances.

What about you?

Do you see the Universe as benevolent?

Do you have any inspiring stories of blessings in disguise?

Is there some difficulty that you’re going through right now?  Can you trust that the outcome of it might be better than what you had, were, or did before?

Love from,

Candide x



Meet Anna

Hi, I’m Anna Sayce! My purpose here on this website is to provide practical techniques and information to help empaths to understand, and fix the root of their energetic overwhelm & also to help sensitives to embrace and develop their intuitive gifts. I believe that developing our spiritual & intuitive side is very powerful and allows us to improve our own lives, and if we wish, even make the world a better place for others. Discover more >

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  1. Avatar

    Great article Anna, something I always remember in bad times and I suppose good times too, is that fable, cant remember what its called but its that one where the wise person says something about judging something as bad, but then something turns good because of it.
    Recently my son was assaulted, it was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life and Ive had alot of those, I still dont see the silver lining in it for him, but its moved me to get therapy around an anxiety condition I have. Huge growth for me.
    I also like to believe that if something doesnt turn out then it means something better is coming along.

  2. Avatar

    That’s interesting. You decided God didn’t exist because you didn’t like being tested. Then you decided that you are god and you test yourself, and it is good. Perhaps you might come full circle and admit there is a greater power that can’t be so easily explained!

  3. Avatar

    Great post! My mottos are that everything happens for a reason (even if we don’t know the reason at the time), and You Are Responsible For Your Own Experience. With that mindset I know there is a lesson in everything. Though I must admit, finding it can be rough. 😉

    PS – I love Voltaire 🙂
    .-= Raiscara Avalon´s last blog ..Well, Today Wasn’t All Bad =-.

  4. Avatar

    I feel a bit confused – how is thinking that your suffering will lead to better things later (and knowing that it has in the past) different from thinking that “All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds”? Or are you advocating that view (or perhaps a mix of that one and the garden)?

    As for me – having severe depression gave a lot of depth to my thinking that I couldn’t have obtained otherwise. In addition to that, if you don’t mind the slightly morbid note – attempting suicide, having my best friend attempt suicide (both within six months) and getting to know somebody whose husband killed himself has taught me that no matter how hard it gets, I will not ever take that option, or try to again.

    Right now the only hard time I’m going through is the one my mind is giving me – I often feel stuck or depressed, but I have noticed I’m getting better. Though I don’t feel up to things that healthy people do, having been through depression and anxiety has taught me to celebrate the little things and not to compare myself to others. Tonight I talked to somebody online I was scared to contact, and did fine, and I feel good for that. I feel good when I reach out for my spirit guides instead of hiding from them like I used to, I feel good when I challenge my own thinking and realise that I’m okay.

    Seeing the universe send me little synchronicities (I asked my guides to make them obvious [because I can be a bit dense where they’re concerned], and as a result I’ve been tripping over them so much it’s a miracle I don’t have concussion) also gives me hope. I know that after this period I will be a better person. I also have no regrets, because I know and understand that I did the best I could at the time no matter how that turned out.

    Thanks for the post. 🙂

  5. Avatar

    “If we don’t find anything pleasant, we will at least find something new.” 😀 One of my favorite quotes!

    One time recently, I looked back on my life… wasn’t feeling pain while looking back on all this, I was completely at peace… but, I wondered if the suffering was all worth it, and to my surprise the answer was this resounding NO.

    The Biblical story of Noah’s ark came to mind, when God (who supposedly never changes His mind) looks down at the people and says, “I wish I never made them.” Taking the viewpoint that we are all an aspect of God, I supposed that story demonstrated how, even given the wider perspective, nothing makes suffering “worth it.” Suffering simply has no place in history or future, on earth or ether, or anywhere, period. And it was this collective and absolute realization of the antediluvian people, that brought about the cleansing.

    (At this point, it became clear to me that I wasn’t actually the one thinking, I was just… having these thoughts.)

    The informant continued, that I was living in the era of the Rainbow’s Promise, which meant far more than a pledge against such a cleansing to ever happen again. I am not called to explore the consciousness of the people who brought about the cleansing, but if I would understand the rainbow’s meaning, then I would learn what can turn the NO of my original question into a Yes.

    … I think this message was too clear and well-formed to be my subconscious. I met my higher self later, and I feel it wasn’t her who told me this. I haven’t consciously connected my guides or angels yet, so perhaps it was one of them? It’s a terribly bizarre message, since I can’t seem to associate the rainbow with anything but those cheesy stickers of dolphins and ponies that I used to collect in grade school. ;p

    Would anyone hazard a guess as to who or what could have told me this? And what could it mean? Could the rainbow mean chakras, that we can develop to receive messages from our guides? Is it like Indigo children, are raised by less remarkable/marketable Blue generation, and before that this world was filled with Green souls or something?

  6. Avatar

    Great post Anna.

    Life always tries to screw with us. I think we organized this before we were born. And that teaches us certain things so we remember them! What a great way to learn. Life wouldn’t be as eventful otherwise.

  7. Avatar

    Great thoughts, Anna, along with your humor! Me, I’m a Pollyanna by choice– it just feels good. I really buy into your “or, you could just skip all that . . .” yep, why bother with all the analytics? It’s no fun anymore, and I’ve decided to reject what isn’t fun.

    You continue to be cool!

  8. Avatar

    “My guides always tell me whenever I get discouraged that creating change and moving forward is not about the big events, but about the little steps we take along the way that seem like nothing at the time.”

    (I like that so much I’ve saved that in my quotes file, hope you don’t mind.) That’s so right – even the big things sometimes happen so gradually I don’t notice they’ve happened until they’re over.

    And I feel special that somebody’s dreamed about me. 😛

  9. Anna

    Hi Kate, that’s wonderful that you see something positive coming out of that traumatic event. I hope your son finds a silver lining at some point.

    Hi Joe! Actually, you might have misunderstood me a little or I could have misrepresented my beliefs because I do believe in a higher/greater power – only I believe that the divine is within everything that exists, including human beings (instead of being a God that’s ‘out there’ or separate from us). There could be a lot more to learn about that, I am certainly open to discovering more or even discovering something different, as long as it resonates and most importantly, feels good to me 🙂

    Hi Raiscara, yes, that sums up my beliefs perfectly too. I didn’t imagine there would be someone in the world who liked Voltaire?! 😉 I thought he was such an old bore…

    Hi Zora – my point was that I have the same view as Candide – “All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.” It’s great that you see some positive in those difficult experiences and that you take things one step at a time and celebrate the little things. There is a lot of power in that. My guides always tell me whenever I get discouraged that creating change and moving forward is not about the big events, but about the little steps we take along the way that seem like nothing at the time.

    Btw – I had a dream with you in it the other night, which is funny as I don’t know what you look like! I should say, I had a dream with your energy in it!

    Hi Micaela – A clairvoyant healer I worked with told me that rainbows symbolize a healer. She saw me with rainbows coming out of my hands when I just started this website a while back, which she said is the image her guides give her when someone has healing as their life’s vocation. I wonder if that’s what it means for you. It is a bit of a cryptic message though!

    Hi Yang – You know, I think that is a good point that we remember things rather than learn them. It is a great way to live, isn’t it? Even though there are hard times too, you are right, it is exciting.

    Hi Jeanne – Thanks for your comment! It is a great philosophy, rejecting everything that isn’t fun. Personally, I think they should teach it in schools 😀

  10. Avatar

    Healing? I haven’t heard that association before, but I suppose it does give a new dimension to after the rain. Thank you so much for the input! 😀

  11. Avatar

    When I was in Marrakech this summer with my sons, one of them put his hand through a plate glass window, hit an artery, severed a nerve and a tendon… all while I was wandering merrily through the gift shop and thinking how blissful I was feeling.

    Later on, in the hospital, we realized a lot of things, such as how my other son, who is going into med school and wasn’t too sure about it, felt encouraged because he was able to stay calm and take over the situation, how we were able to have an EXCITING ambulance ride through Marrakech, and especially, how helpful and kind the entire staff of the hotel was, where we were staying. I will never forget the kindness of those people.

    You know, in my experience, when you look for the silver lining, you will find it… but then again, I too am a Polyanna. Some people may call it “unrealistic”, but I think it’s a blessing.

  12. Anna

    Hi Anne, thanks for this touching story. I think it is a blessing to be a Polyanna as well. I hope your son’s hand is better now.

  13. Avatar

    Human world is a place of good and bad. Anything can be happened anytime anywhere. Nobody knows what will going to be happened in the next hour of his/her life. Though all of us at least have an expectation from the time or the future, sometimes things go far beyond expectation. And when things go out of our control, panick attack may be formed on human brain. My personal suggestion is build up a mind like who cares. Just this kind of feeling may let you pass some toughest time of your life as most of the time panic attack comes when reality goes beyond our imagination . actually we not fearless probably anytime, when things go beyond our imagination, we become panic, look and look again, find the truth, try to be wise. Believe that you have no fear, try to act like fearless.

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