Serendipity means a "happy accident" or "pleasant surprise"; a fortunate mistake. Specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it.
Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events as meaningfully related, whereas they are unlikely to be causally related. The subject sees it as a meaningful coincidence, although the events need not be exactly simultaneous in time. The concept of synchronicity was first described by Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychologist, in the 1920s.
The concept does not question, or compete with, the notion of causality. Instead, it maintains that just as events may be connected by a causal line, they may also be connected by meaning. A grouping of events by meaning need not have an explanation in terms of cause and effect. --Wikipedia
The universe, I'd like to think, conspires to instruct, to reveal itself, to heal. But, of course, I'm a human being, and I'm actively, if subconsciously, looking for meaning, for revelations. Much like my children, who are on the autism spectrum, and people in general, I like structure and predictability. I like to feel I've got a handle on things and am the master of my own destiny, if not always the master of my bladder (Sheldon reference and middle-aged woman reference--serendipitous, no?).
This year, as have most years, has not surprisingly continued to challenge that assumption of me in control of my destiny. Even if I shut myself off, loved no one, cared for no one, I would still not be in control, as events would still happen that were beyond my ability to predict or control. So, truthfully, the last two goals of psychology, prediction and control, are a pipe dream, a fantasy. At least, in terms of the big picture.
But, in trying to remain open, in trying to adopt a successful Nataraja (Indian god of the dance)response to the world, I occasionally feel the universe sending me messages to remind me that the path isn't supposed to be clear, that the end of the journey isn't supposed to be set, that the future is in the future for a reason, and that it is the learning to live in the moment and see what is in the world to be appreciated, recognized, and rejoined that is where my focus, if indeed I have focus, should be.
The year, although mentally mine runs concurrent to the school year, is drawing to a close, and like most people, I'm taking stock, attempting to make my story blend, have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and a nice little moral tale to go with it.
Recently several things have resonated with me.
Thanks to Rose, this video about the black dog of depression, kicked me in the seat of my pants as I recognized myself once again. But it also reminded me that I am not alone in the battle to find an equilibrium that lets me honor myself and my reality while also honoring others. We have to find a way to speak our truths to the people who matter the most to us. A book I had picked up off the dollar rack, Difficult Conversations, was a kind of synchronicity with this video, and well worth the time and dollar, even if an initial reaction of mine was snarky--but as Kathleen pointed out in a round-about way, maybe that was because it hit too close to my reality.
Another blog post "The Bully Too Close to Home" provided two powerful tips to negative thinking: saying "Stop" and "Only Love today." Stop--such a simple command--when we find ourselves being negative to ourselves and others, and the reminder that love is a much better, kinder action. A life-changing action.
All of the things that have coalesced these last few days (and weeks and months as friends and loved ones have lifted me up) have been beating in conjunction with my heart, working on me.
I don't come out of this with any clear answers, with a set path, with some greater wisdom, or even out of the tunnel I'm currently working my way through. I'm not rendered healed, better, or suddenly over the detritus of my life. I'm still Princess Leia in the trash compactor on the death star, yelling bitchily at Han and Luke (which did you know can totally buy as a toy? Ummm, mine, both the Chewie one and the other!).
What I do feel, though, is a sense of gratitude for those who SEE me and love who I am.
What I do feel is a sense of hope and optimism that this current cycle will pass, even if it repeats.
What I do feel is that everything is a learning and growth opportunity and that growth is often painful.
What I do feel is alive, no longer numb. And while that is painful, it beats numbness.
I said I hadn't really learned any clear answers or greater wisdom, and maybe that's not accurate. Or maybe it is. It doesn't matter, either way. I did learn little lessons, guideposts.
Although it can be scary, it's important to speak up when you are uncomfortable with something.
Don't let it fester or eat at you.
If you can't do something with grace and freely, but only grudgingly, recognize that you shouldn't do it at all.
Not everyone needs to know everything about you and what's made you you, but sometimes you've got to break some eggs. Sometimes you're going to have to tell people some uncomfortable truths, although if they love you and SEE you, you shouldn't have to explain why you're saying no to something. It should be enough that it makes you uncomfortable.
It's okay if the person doesn't get it and still pushes. You can still keep saying no. If you are remembering the stop and only love today, then that's all you have to do: stop trying to convince them, love yourself and stick to your no.
Live in the uncertainty. Accept it, embrace it, and recognize. And be okay with the fact that it's not your favorite state of being. But remember it's where serendipity and synchronicity work.