The intrinsic verbiage you're using is limiting your perspective to the concept that something and nothing are separate and not connected. You cannot have something without nothing; you cannot have nothing without something. The cross-over point is when you are able to observe that something is just an expression of nothing.
The existence is not it's label, it is being. That is to say that there is a difference between saying the word "real" and the all-at-once effect of capture a gong gives you. They are fundamentally different. One is real, the other is a label in a language designed to communicate the concept of real.
You used the word "happened" that's a curious word that we use in generality; the use often infers that something can not
happen. The universe is, in a sense, nothing but "happening". It so happens that we are existing (verb), we are not the noun our language structure appends to us. Because we view nouns as stationary things. Perhaps that the stationary thing is moving, such as to say that a ball is bouncing. But a ball is happening just as much as the bouncing is happening. And so in this fundamental way, the universe is happening. And as such that happening paves the way for more happening, just as the happening of the ball exists to allow the happening of the ball bouncing.
So too are you happening, and so too is all of the cosmos happening in the infinite designs or flavors or shades or colors that it happens to be expressed in. A planet happens in the same way a cup of tea happens. A galaxy happens in the way the ocean happens. It is all moving, it is all the same constitutional building blocks. You are part of this. So am I. So is everything between you and I, and larger and smaller than you and I.
This ideology is a challenge, surely. But in practical terms, how did the whole of the universe come into being when, as we presume, there was nothing before it? That is a most challenging question indeed. How did something come into being when we presume that all of the things that are something must inherently be created. I would say that the bigger question here is .. "How do we truly know what originally was at the dawn of all of existence?", which alludes to a preamble, "How do we know that there ever was a dawn of existence at all?"
We perceive time in the most peculiar way, don't we? We presume that because our egos flicker into and out of recognized existence - or that is to say - that things are, and then they are not, that so too must be the nature of all of existence; that all of existence was not and then it, in the same way a flower grows and dies, so too must the universe have been born.
My challenge with this is that we do not see any evidence, truly, of anything ever coming into existence where never were there existence of such a thing as before. We see new any interesting expressions of a thing, but never wholly new. Even as something is born, it is the energy and molecular combination and transformation of one thing into another temporarily.
If we perceive this, in this manner, then time starts to seem a bit silly doesn't it? If we take play dough and turn it into something, then something else, then something else, do we measure the time it was all of those things and call them different? Or do we still call it play dough?