Do you believe in coincidences, or do you think that everything happens for a reason just as it should?
I've always turned to music when I was sad. When I was a teenager, deep in a depression that wouldn't let up for many, many, years, I often turned to music to help give me some light on my sadness. The ONE song that would always get me through the really hard parts was, "No Rain" by Blind Melon. If you were a 90's teen, you probably remember the famous video with the girl in the bee suit. Those lyrics got. me. through.
"I just want someone to say to me, oh oh oh oh
I'll always be there when you wake, yeah yeah
Ya know I'd like to keep my cheeks dry today, hey
So stay with me and I'll have it made"
I didn't want to be alone in my pain, and here was this man singing about his cheeks being wet. Just. Like. Me. (sometimes in a very high key, way before Adam Levine and dare I say, better.) I would sing that song loud and proud, and by the end, I'd always. ALWAYS feel better.
Shannon Hoon, the lead singer of Blind Melon, died of a drug overdose when I was in high school. I remember the morning the news broke. I went to school feeling SO sad for him. He had lost his battle. What did that say for me? Thankfully, I won that round of depression. But every single round since? I play that song. My husband even knows this to be true. If I play "No Rain" and the sister song "Change" he knows I'm depressed. Occasionally though, I'll come back to Blind Melon even when I'm not depressed, if only to think back about how far I have come.
Years later, as I sat laboring my still-born daughter, I wasn't thinking of the music, but I got an idea for a tattoo. It would be the only one I would have in color- in honor of the baby I was loosing. A few days after I gave birth to her lifeless body and deep in my depression, I randomly found a tattoo artist and made an appointment. I remember going in, my belly still inflated, my cheeks stained with tears. I was emptier than I had been in my entire life. The tattoo artist started to work, and as when you're sitting not able to move, you chat. I saw framed pictures on the wall of all of the famous people he had tattooed. I stopped when I saw a photo of Shannon Hoon from Blind Melon. "Did you ever tattoo him?" I casually asked. "Sure! I was HIS tattoo artist. I did about 15 pieces on his body." the artist responded back. I swear I felt my breath catch in my throat. The tattoo artist started to talk about Shannon, sharing some personal details of the musician and his downfall that ended in his overdose.
There I was, at the darkest point in my life, getting a tattoo to honor the daughter I had lost. I had randomly picked the tattoo artist, only to find he had tattooed the man that had written THE lyrics that got me through every serious bout of depression I had ever had. It was so clearly God. There was no other explanation for how the Universe had worked in such a way. I like to think God was telling me that I would go on, as I had done all those years ago singing those soulful lyrics. How else could that have happened? How many coincidences did it take to put me there, with that particular artist, in that particular city? It's unheard of, statistically.
I remember the tattoo artist saying was he was honored to be the one to tattoo the beautiful butterfly that has now graced by shoulder for five in a half years. I remember feeling his light shine on me as he put ink down. It was cathartic, and started the healing process that will continue my entire life. I've never forgotten him, nor the couple hours we spent together. I also will never deny how much God was working in my life that day.
We can call coincidences just that. It's a "random occurrence"
We can give credit and honor to what really is going on: God, the Universe, all at work together, creating this beautiful web that links us all together in some inexplicable way.
I can't explain the number of coincidences in my life nor how every single one has gotten me right here, right now.
I think we all have a choice in choosing to notice it or not. It's okay to not notice. It won't send you to the "Bad Place" if you choose to simply live life as you see it every day. By opening up your eyes to the possibly of more, it can enhance your joy and happiness. It does no harm for me to believe that God put me in that tattoo artist's hands that day. It does you no harm to believe that someone is helping you, or even leading you to read this blog.
If we can let go of what we think we know, and accept there is a hell of a lot we don't, it can completely change our mind of what is possible in our lives. If I say to myself, "that was God at work" then I am acknowledging a faith in a higher power and a lack of my own control. That in turn allows the Universe to continue to work in my life simply because I acknowledge that it is. Being closed off to possibilities does nothing to further lead us anywhere except right where we've been. There is no growth unless we allow ourselves to think of the possibilities of something larger at play.
Think about the coincidences and what part they have played in your life. Think of the class you happened to attend only to meet one of your dearest friends, or the phone call you decided to make to make amends at the last minute. Think of the times you almost didn't do something but then decided to. I know in my own life, every single big jump I have made has not been made without the coincidences than lined me up to make sure I landed softly.
I never would have met my husband and my children would not have been born had I not coincidentally met someone from Seattle who allowed me to move in with him while I found a job. That stemmed from another coincidence, a friend who HAD a friend in Seattle who she thought I'd get along with. Coincidence after coincidence after coincidence.
Take some time today to think of those coincidences. Are you a believer in fate? In God? What role have coincidences played in your life?
The sun is shining in New England today, and the ice is slowly melting away. Spring is 28 days away. I hope wherever you are, whatever you are doing, you feel the light of the sun and the love of the Universe around you, hard at work to produce the next coincidence.