I feel the need to clarify something. After much discussion about what exactly I’m trying to convey, I finally think I’ve gotten to the point I’m trying to drive home in this post. I think there is some tendency (and not just by me) to consider the term “coincidence” equivalent and interchangeable with the terms “chance” or mere “luck” or “accidental” or “without a reason for happening”. It has caused a little discussion about the distinction of what coincidence actually means, and I am learning that coincidences may not entirely be the opposite of synchronicity. Until I figure out a better way to convey “the opposite of synchronicity”, for the purpose of this discussion (until otherwise revised), when I say “coincidence”, I mean events that just so happen to occur simultaneously by mere “chance” or “accident”.
Now that I’ve clarified what I mean when I say coincidence, read on, dear friends.
I have always reflected about the events (the sublime events, the devastating ones, even the seemingly mundane events) that have taken place in my life and the people who have crossed my path, intermingling their experiences and their thoughts with mine for even the briefest of moments.
I truly believe there are no coincidences in life, the idea that things that happen to us in life is a series of random, disjointed events that add up to nothing, only occasionally joining two or more events together purely by happenstance. When you learn to pay attention to those seemingly random events, you do realize they are connected for reasons you may not realize at the time.
I tend to feel as this very old post from Masquerader feels:
Is there a purpose for every person we meet in this life? good or bad?
Does every meeting point achieve a little or big something? exchange ideas? something exciting and fulfilling? to learn something new? to influence? to motivate? to make a difference? to hurt? to provoke?
I’m so hooked on the idea that there is a reason to every interaction, conversation or even silence between two. There’s no such thing as coincidences…there IS a reason people! where someone meets you, hurts and teaches you a lesson or someone who draws a smile on your face stretched from ear to ear to bring comfort to your aching soul.
I learn something new every day. My sensations have become more intense, my perceptions are deeper, the puzzle is completed, music breaking the silence of the world, the palm trees reaching for the skies, mountains peek through the clouds, a pen dances on a paper leaving a trace of art, leaves on the streets leave a great symphony of chaos and children on the streets dancing like popcorn kernels.
I believe in Synchronicity which is
…the experience of two or more events which are causally unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner. In order to count as synchronicity, the events should be unlikely to occur together by chance.
The concept does not question, or compete with, the notion of causality. Instead, it maintains that just as events may be grouped by cause, they may also be grouped by their meaning. Since meaning is a complex mental construction, subject to conscious and subconscious influence, not every correlation in the grouping of events by meaning needs to have an explanation in terms of cause and effect.
As I reflect upon my life and the path it has taken up to this moment in time, I feel as if certain experiences, certain exchanges of thoughts and ideas with others, have been preparing me for future events or encounters with people that at first blush appear coincidental. In my heart, I know these things are not random events that converge by accident.
I know devastating things had to happen to me as a child and young adult in order for me to be prepared to gain insight and to meet future challenges. I know the compassion and generosity of others who’ve crossed my path and taken me in (quite literally at times) when I had no place to go taught me I am not worthless. They weren’t obligated to, but they did anyway. They gave my existence meaning where my own family sought to destroy the importance of it.
I know I could not be where I am right now if not for having gone through hell and surviving it – a little bit stronger, and a little bit wiser. I know I could not be in a position to help anyone else in life if I had not experienced being marginalized as a child and young adult, relegated to a lower caste by my family members – those individuals who were supposed to be protecting me from harm, who were supposed to be a safe shelter from life’s storms. Instead, the most significant storms in my life were within the walls of the home I grew up in.
I lost faith in my family, and in particular my mother, to be my protectors, my guardians, my source of safe harbor in the world when I was growing up. I could have lost faith in myself and everyone else in the world, had it not been for the synchronicity of events in my life and for the compassionate individuals placed squarely in my path to lend me a hand up out of my personal hell.
Someone…or something…has been looking out for me. I can not say that I am religious, but I can say that I’m deeply spiritual.
Because of what I experienced, the lessons I have learned, the insights I have gained, I have endeavored to (hopefully) be that hand up for others, unconditionally offering support to those I sense are hurting and who are receptive to my efforts. I have come to the realization long ago, that a person must have reached a point in his or her own life to be receptive to my efforts, just as I had to have reached a certain point in my life to be receptive to their efforts. This is the synchronicity I am talking about.
Striving to help another who isn’t prepared to do the difficult and sometimes painful self-reflective work needed to create permanent, positive change or growth is a massive exercise in futility. It’s not that I haven’t tried though, thinking my insights, my ability to communicate would be enough to create a breakthrough for another person. I soon realized they were not in a place in their lives where they were ready for change and my words went unheard and my energy resources were being wasted on them, leaving me spiritually empty because I could not help them no matter how much I tried, how much I cared.
Somewhere along the way I realized it wasn’t my fault…that I did everything I could to help another and they just weren’t ready to be helped. Perhaps they will never be. And that’s okay. My conscience is clear because I did my very best. And so I moved on in search of others in need. I know I can always try again at a later point to revisit the person who was important to me, to see if they are ready. Most times I have found that they were more receptive at later stages in their lives, and only occasionally they were not.
When I do find those moments that where growth can occur, I see the synchronicity…of events, of lives (in real life or even through the internet)…converging to a point where real growth occurs for one or more of us individuals involved, and it’s quite remarkable. A sort of synergy then occurs, where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Where the minds and hearts and souls intermingle and words and thoughts and ideas and feelings are shared and new insights are gained and ultimately healing brought to one or more individuals.
This, my friend, is why I believe in synchronicity. Our lives are not so disconnected from one another, not really. They are just part of the invisible living and ever-changing tapestry that weaves our lives together, bringing us close in contact (not necessarily physical contact, but more importantly, spiritual contact) with those we need when we are ready to receive them into our hearts and minds.
This is the biggest legacy I hope to bequeath to my girls:
- That they may be the agents of positive change and healing for others
- That they know how to seek profound connection with others
- That they realize their significance in the universe
What, dear readers, could be better than that.