Unlisted: Full of Coincidences

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Life is full of coincidences.

That’s something I’ve slowly learned. This blurb is going to be an opinion-based post, so I am going to be wrestling with some tough topics that might be uncomfortable to hear. It’s why I have this in my newsletter, rather than as a public post.

I used to think that things happened for a particular reason. I believed in a higher power that plotted everything out for me. I had no control over my life but went from lesson-to-lesson this higher power laid out for me. Sometimes I “learned” the lesson, and sometimes I “didn’t.”

I honestly had no way of knowing whether or not I learned anything, because I never had a clear indication of whether the lesson stuck.

But often those “lessons” happened with such frequency, from unconnected parts of my life, I believed my higher power was sending me a particular message. I wasn’t listening, or I wasn’t learning, so I kept having to face a specific “problem” again and again until I got it. 

I found this to be so stressful. It felt like my higher power had it out for me. Each lesson was like a punishment, and I could not escape its grasp. It wasn’t until I decided it wasn’t something plotting against me, nor were these lessons planned, that I found some internal peace. I realized one day, that what I was experiencing was a coincidence.

There were lessons to be learned, but nothing was directing the teaching. It was just a natural progression of things, something that happens when we interact with other human beings. When I refused to change particular behavior in one area of my life, it expanded into other areas, so it felt like my higher power was continuing to send me a lesson. No, if I behaved poorly in one area, it was likely I was behaving poorly in another area; thus, I kept facing the same issue.

Is it a Coincidence?

If we reduce what happens to us in life to the most straightforward level, regardless of what you believe, it’s a coincidence when things happen a particular way. It might be an answer from your higher power or the universe, but in it’s purest form, it’s also a coincidence.

When I moved from New England, I met Ash three months later. When my parents moved closer to Ash and myself, that was the same day I had my first exacerbation. When I went to graduate school, I met some of my best and most genuine friends.

All of these incidents can lead someone to say that a higher power or the universe was at work. I move from my comfort zone so I can meet my future partner. My parents move just at the start of my illness, so they are now available to help me when I need them. I went to school, and while it may have been negative at times, I found some good friends.

Perhaps there is a more profound force at work here, but when I look at them for what they are on the lowest level, a coincidence, I find that I appreciate these circumstances more. That may not work for you, you may want to attribute it to a higher power, and that’s fine. I just wanted to offer a potentially different perspective.

The most important thing is to view these coincidences when they are positive is to appreciate them as they happen. Show gratitude to your higher power, the universe, or for those involved because it is a positive thing that has happened.

Gaining Perspective

Acknowledging what happens as coincidence isn’t meant to deny the actions of a higher power or the universe at work. It is merely to suggest another perspective to what is going on in life. If believing in the intercession of a higher power brings you comfort, and keeps you in a healthy state, then keep what works.

If believing a higher power is the source of the positive and negative in your life causes you to stress, consider removing them from the equation and view it as coincidence. I found that it helped remove a lot of stress in my life when I no longer felt at the whims of a higher power. I refocused my perspective as just experiencing what happens in the stream of life.

It allowed me to take responsibility for what I was responsible for: my reactions, behaviors, and specific circumstances. It also allowed me to let go of a responsibility that I had no right to own but did because I believed my higher power was punishing me.

Your higher power or system of beliefs should always be there as a source of strength and comfort. If you find it’s causing you more stress, then consider speaking with someone within your community to provide guidance back towards support. Tests may be a part of your belief system, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but a test should not leave you feeling worthless or unloved. It should allow you to feel empowered and strong.

When a test comes up, and you feel worn down by it, consider it not as a test, but as a coincidence. See if that helps you deal with any other roadblocks that come up in life.


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