Everything happens for a reason.

That's right, everything happens for a reason. The reason that a thing happens is that the circumstances leading up to said thing cause said thing to be inevitable. There is a reason that a car crashes through a guard rail and plummets to the bottom of the canyon, killing everyone inside. The reason is that the driver was going too fast!

We may be good at seeing patterns whether they are there or not, and it may help some people deal with life more successfully when they think that their lives are part of a grand, future focused plan, but this seems to be wishful thinking. I think we're better off accepting that shit happens, and attempting to make the best of whatever situations cause and effect have put us in, rather than looking for and embracing some, ultimately positive, "reason" that we went through the shit.  Both approaches may result in similar outcomes, but at least we're basing our decisions on reality when we stop imagining ourselves to be part of some cosmic plan.