Just a coincidence??
“I was just going to call you,” I said.
“I know, that’s why I rang you,” replied my husband.
This conversation has been going on for the best part of 30 years. Some weeks it’s almost a daily event when I think about him, and he calls or vice versa; we can’t put it down to having set times for calling each other due to his work schedule – he’s never free at the same time on any two days.
We pick up the same obscure and random items of shopping without discussion, at opposite ends of the country when he’s working away. One of us will start a conversation on a subject and the other will say that we’d just been thinking of that very thing.
These incidences seem so much more than coincidence. It happens far too often.
We’re on the same wavelength, as my mum would say, but what is really going on?
What is synchronicity? Simply put, it’s thought by some to be the experience of two or more events that are meaningfully related and thought to be connected. It can be as simple as a coincidence or as bizarre as an uncommon bird appearing everywhere you go.
How often do you find that things seem to happen without explanation? Do you ever feel like someone other than yourself is making decisions for you? Well, according to Carl Jung, this may not be too far from the truth.
Jung believed that our psyche (the part of your mind that controls thoughts and feelings) is made up by parts of your unconscious (thoughts or feelings that come from within oneself). Together these parts have a collective consciousness, and they often act together in ways which we might call synchronicity.
The things that occur in your life might be related to one another, even though you can’t always explain how. For example, if you’ve been thinking about a certain watch for weeks and then you see it on a stranger’s wrist, it could be considered synchronicity. Or it could be your reticular activating system (RAS) in action, but that’s a story for another day!
Here are six examples of synchronicity in everyday life:
1) You get really good (or really bad) luck when you need it most
Think about driving to an appointment, traffic has been bad and now time is tight, and you really need a parking space close to where you’re going! You know just how busy that area is, so your chances are slim. You keep willing there to be a space at a particular spot and as you drive up, there’s someone pulling out of a space, just where you wanted it. It’s the only free spot and it’s now yours.
2) You see the same numbers or symbols in unusual places (like license plates or street addresses)
You consider 8 your lucky number because you’re drawn to it and throughout your childhood it’s cropped up in various ways, such as it was the number on your sports shirt whenever you won your match, your favourite dog had a strange marking on its side in the shape of the number 8, your first car had 88 on the number plate and then your child is born early on the 8th of August.
3) Your thoughts and feelings correspond with what other people are experiencing
You’re mulling something over that you haven’t yet spoken about and then your phone pings with a notification and someone has sent you a text or posted a message on Facebook that clarifies the situation. It’s as if you’ve been waiting for a sign of what to do and suddenly, it’s there.
4) You feel drawn to places that are meaningful to other people
You casually mention to a friend that you really like a certain place you discovered by accident on your holidays, that it had a lovely atmosphere and you kept going back and they say that when they were young, their family chose that place as their favourite secret picnic spot for days out. You didn’t know they’d even been there.
5) A person or an event pops up at just the right moment when you need them most
At a time of change in your life, when you have seemed utterly stuck, a new person has appeared in your life – someone who has the answer to the very question you’ve been asking. It’s as though you’ve summoned them from somewhere! Or you need to find a specific course or a job to fulfil a need and suddenly there’s a new one on your doorstep.
6) Something bad happens in your life but then good things start happening
You lose someone close to you but then, in the period of processing that loss you meet someone out of the blue, who turns out to be the friend of a friend. You find out later that this is the person your friend once said would make your perfect partner.
Just to let you know, some of the above events have happened to me…. but I’ll let you guess which ones 😊
Sometimes, it’s not just coincidence. There are times when people experience a pattern of events that seem to be related without any logical explanation.
In other words, you are at one with all things as well as everyone else in the world. These connections can happen unconsciously or consciously, but they make up a large part of our lives.
We're all connected
Synchronicity is an important part of Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious as well as his idea of meaningful coincidences.
It’s been observed that in addition to coincidences, there are other examples of synchronicity such as dreams or “simultaneous thoughts”; those moments where two people have the same thought at the same time (like thinking about ordering pizza when someone mentions it).
For those gravitating toward spirituality or metaphysics, synchronicity is a powerful concept because it suggests we aren’t alone in our thoughts and feelings; they belong to something larger than ourselves--something universal. It suggests that it’s a way for our minds and hearts to connect with the outside world of people, places, and things. Even tarot or rune readers who aim to divine meaning from their readings often also experience synchronistic and repeating patterns with their cards or runes.
If we are thinking about something, when it happens like that can seem mysterious or fascinating. Depending on your point of view, this could happen because our unconscious wants us to pay attention to something it knows needs attention - or equally, it could just be coincidence after all!
It all depends on what you believe in most. Astrologers, psychologists, medics, theologians – they all have their own arguments and viewpoints.
I don’t pretend to know the answer to this, all I’ll say is that I like this connection I have with my husband, and we maintain it’s definitely more than coincidence – for us it’s synchronicity!