Coincidences Are the Road Signs for the Future

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I believe in coincidences. And they believe in me.

I don’t believe they happen randomly, so I guess you could say that I don’t believe in them in that sense. Instead, I believe in them as messages and patterns. Or, if you will, gifts from the Gods.  They are the road signs for the future.

Coincidences have always fascinated me. It’s those weird little synchronicities like looking at a specific and unusual word in a magazine article at the same instant you hear someone on TV say that word on a channel you rarely watch. Or having a dream about someone you haven’t thought of in 15 years and the next morning, over breakfast, you run into a mutual friend with news of him–and when you return home, you find he’s friended you on Facebook.  A few nights ago, while watching 500 Days of Summer a second time with my daughters, I loved Zooey Deschanel’s character’s musing about how she met her ideal man through a wild coincidence that might have been avoided if she’d been anywhere else on the planet at that moment.

Deepak Chopra’s new book, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul:  How to Create a New You, suggests that coincidences should be given strong attention because they are the Universe’s way of helping us get onto the right path or even to change course. This is where my “Three Data Points” process comes into play.

In the late 1990’s, I had a supervisor who wasn’t exactly fast about reacting to anything and even less so about being proactive. I could tell him that there was a critical issue with a certain contract and he’d just nod and tell me he’d take my input into consideration. Then a colleague would run to him soon after, same problem, and he’d do no more than listen and “consider” the problem. Finally, if a third person brought the problem to his attention, he might take some action because, he told me near the end of our association, it wasn’t just one person’s reaction to an event or person. He needed to see a pattern before he could act.

It took a long time to get work accomplished with him because he always needed to see more data before the problem became “real.”  He wouldn’t even consider a solution until he was was done considering the problem.  Thankfully, we never had a fire break out with only one of us shouting a warning at him or he’d still be waiting for

1. A fire alarm, (data point #2)

2. The smell of smoke,  (data point #3) and possibly

3. The actual flames lapping at his feet.  (data point #4)

As frustrating as his “Three Data Points” decision-making process was, I’ve come to apply it to coincidences. I’m too likely–and too busy–with Life to notice odd occurrences sometimes, but if there’s a pattern, I’ll move on it.

If something is called to my attention three times or more in a very short period, I perk up and take notice. That’s when I start to ask myself if there’s something there I should act on. Usually, there is.

We all look for signs, yes, and our minds selectively filter what we are focusing on, even if the focus is subconscious. Anything and everything can become a sign to go right, go left, or go down the middle–or turn back. It’s already there, programmed into us, but we need help recognizing it and finding our way. Coincidences are those road signs.

I’ve almost always had great luck with checking out patterns of coincidences and turning my life in that direction. Some amazing people and projects have come into my life because several people mentioned them to me within a few day’s time.

My best example–and the first time I really understood the value of patterns of coincidence as a spiritual message for my life path–was when I finally received healing for my back injury 27 months of excruciating pain later. I had obeyed the Worker’s Comp people and not tried a chiropractor while neurologists and classical physicians couldn’t diagnose the problem–and most of my doctors (at that time, Worker’s Comp) never took the proper X-rays that uncovered the source of the pain. Meanwhile, my injury had healed but my body was contorted for so long to deal with the pain that my face, arms, and back would often go numb if I moved in a certain way. I followed the “rules” for all those months and was pigeon-holed and abandoned by the medical and legal system I tried to work within in order to get help and stay gainfully employed.

In the midst of my pain and frustration, when I was walking with a cane and could not even carry my own light tote bag on a business trip, one of my fellow passengers said, “Have you ever seen Dr. Johnson? The chiropractor in Niceville? He really helped me when I hurt my back.” Okay, data point #1. No big deal. Just a simple question.

Then, a few hours later, a stranger in the grocery store saw my pained expression and how hard I was leaning on my cart to keep from hurting. “I go to a chiropractor in Niceville,” she said. “Dr. Johnson. He’s great and doesn’t keep you in chiropractic care for the rest of your life.”

Hmmm. That sounded familiar. Data point #2. Just an innocent and helpful comment. Geez, I thought, I wish those morons at the Department of Labor would approve me to see a chiropractor but I don’t want them to drop my case if I go against their warnings to follow their rules or else be deemed a fraud. If I knew they wouldn’t invalidate my case, as they’ve suggested, I’d go see Dr. Johnson today and see if he can help.

Not an hour later, I was at the pharmacy, nearly dead on my feet and tears in my eyes because I just…hurt…so much. A safety technician from work was within earshot, talking about a fishing conversation he’d had with his good buddy. Yeah. Dr. Johnson. The same Dr. Johnson I’d heard about twice within the previous few hours’ time.

Data point #3. I took it as a sign from the Gods, and by four o’clock, I was in the chiropractor’s office, having X-rays made that were more extensive than any of the previous ones taken by begrudging and hard-to-find doctors certified to accept teensy payments for a Worker’s Comp patient with a back injury.  It took him 5 minutes to tell me what was wrong–and I burst into tears at being believed.  The next business day, he realigned my contorted back, and the pain disappeared instantly.  It took another 30 days of adjustments several times a week and about three months of re-building and re-shaping the muscles in my back to hold my new form, but I was healed.

Just that quickly.  If I hadn’t recognized that odd pattern  of  messages to see a specific chiropractor and taken action, who knows where I’d be today?  I’m productive and active now, but my path would have been quite different if I’d failed to see the road signs leading me to someone who could help.

These days, my intuition leads me, like a light shining on the path ahead, but every now and then, if I’m not paying that much attention, a series of what would seem to be coincidences will redirect me to an even better and smoother road.