Coincidence or Was It Meant to Be? and Other Thoughts on the Subject

There are so many debatable philosophical questionings. The one about coincidental or planned events for a higher purpose is one of the most popular. Is what happens in our lives  part of a plan we don’t completely understand,  or everything happens at random, just coincidences which we try to reason so that our lives have meaning?

Are these coincidences or cross roads,  crucial points in a larger plan,  conceptualized by ‘The Universal Power” or “God”? Are they events created by the entity we, humans, choose to refer to  by different names, depending on our religion?  Is life a series of random events or is it planned with a purpose?

Who is in control? Anyone?  Do we control or are controlled? The truth could be somewhere in the middle. What do we really know for sure?

To confuse things further, may be what happens is part of a larger plan “God” designed for each of us, but  while it happens, and we may be homeless, or hungry or in pain, we don’t understand that we are part of something larger and more important than our individual lives, therefore we should not be upset or worry.  Instead, no matter how bad we have  it we should smile and not allow negative thoughts ruin our opportunity to manifest our dreams using the power of our minds . Our human minds are limited, we don’t get it that actually, we have been flooded with negative events   because  we are unlucky, or these events come at random. oh no, it happens because God loves us. This is how we learn invaluable life lessons and  our souls are enriched.  Yes, God loves those that suffer more than he cares for the group for which life is smooth and healthy and filled with health and wealth.  Yes, God loves the sick and the poor so much that he is constantly “testing” this fortunate group.  Just as in the Biblical story of Job.

All these are theories which could be endlessly debated and pros and cons could be found in favor or against each, endlessly.

What is important for me is if these “coincidences” direct the course of our lives in one direction or another and do we have any power over our own lives, and to what extend, if any?

One of the theories is that  humans don’t completely understand the complexity of the “plan” God had for us, nor are we supposed to.  We, humans,  are not expected to know it all, but to have faith that “everything happens for a reason” and trust that even if “bad things” happen, ultimately, it would be for a higher purpose, on a personal or universal level. We may never know why we were chosen for all the bad things to happen to us, while all good things happen to people who by our Earthly laws, are unethical or evil or lazy.  But again, our faith must be blind and no matter how many bad things happen, our thinking must stay positive and unquestioning.  Furthermore, we must involve our subconscious to be positive, our mind to visualize our dream and only if  we truly involve the subcouscious then and only then the dreams will manifest by the power of our thoughts.  If they don’t manifest, we have been caught and humiliated for being unable to manage and visualize our lives the way we  would want them to  manifest. As in Cheaters, we will be caught in the act of fake positivism and shamed!

If  after all these unimaginable efforts to stay positive in spite of sickness, poverty, pain, we are still sick, poor, depressed… well, that is because the responsibility is ours alone and no one else’s!  Its our fault, because clearly if we  didn’t think positively enough on a subconscious level, the vibrations of our thoughts didn’t manifest our desires! The sick and the poor messed up again! It would have been so simple, but we just couldn’t even control our thoughts to stay positive.  I guess we really didn’t want to take those trips to Europe, eat in fancy restaurants (or just eat!) and have the perfect partner (may be decent partner?), or have whatever our thoughts failed to manifest.  Too bad the millions who are still dying from cancer, are jobless and in abusive relationships didn’t “get it” either!  Neither did the millions dying in Africa. Thank God upper middle class America  and the very rich got it and “The Secret ” continues to  sell and make millions.  Yes,  we are told, it is ALL in one’s  mind’s control and  if it didn’t happen for you it’s your fault! In addition to being sick and poor let’s add feelings of guilt, worthlessness, powerlessness. How simple it could be, but is not happening for you.  The experts of “The Secret” told you: it’s your fault, but you, you just don’t really, really want all these wonderful things to manifest in your life!

Need I say what I think about this limited and limiting theory? Is there such a saying as, “When in doubt follow the money,” or did I just invent it? How many motivational speakers, “life coaches” who call themselves “life coaches” because it does not require a state license and years of  formal education, how many books, CDs, movies have been sold on this theme?  Who makes the money? They make the money, the “industry” of positivism.  Just as my mother believed about the church, “they sell hope”, I believe about the industry of positivism. The good news for the marketers,  magical thinking is in high demand. How wonderful it would be if we truly could manifest anything with our thoughts!  Wouldn’t that “simple” act of positivism at a subconscious level solve all problems? I mean, everybody’s, not only a limited segment’s of well-off population who already has the time and the money to buy into the culture of positivism. I think the time has come to enroll missionaries of positivism and send them to remote parts of the world where people still die because they don’t have clean water, or water at all. These people don’t know “the secret” and must be shown how to manifest “their dreams” by using their positive thinking. Oh, they cannot pay for  expensive workshops, books, CDs? bacteria in their water cannot be manifested “out” and replaced with clean water? You mean to say, those people are not a “market”?

In the process of doing research  for my book, I came across a lot of information about the subject of positive thinking and also the  writings of many intellectuals, authors, journalists, scientists, who see right through the truth of this theory. One of the books which stuck with me, was  ” Bright-Sided” by Barbara Ehrenreich, the best selling author of ” Nickel and Dimed” and 16 other books.  After reading hundreds of pages of research and books on this subject, I felt less guilty for being incapable to manifest my dreams by  using the power of my thoughts. As it turned out, millions of others couldn’t either. I didn’t feel alone anymore!

However, my dilemma remains that I don’t belong in any of the other extreme movements either. I am right in the middle, which Seneca considered a healthy attitude, but this was a long time ago.

I believe in the power of positive thinking, but also understand its limitations.  No, I don’t believe everyone could manifest whatever they wish by the power of their thoughts alone, or that a bad thing happened to me because I wanted it to happen even if I didn’t “consciously” know I did!  I refuse to be send on guilt trips because I had cancer and couldn’t make it go away by the power of my thoughts!  I needed real surgery and real doctors…sorry!

I do believe, however, that laughter and exercise and friendships and  pets, and giving uncoditionally to the community  improve one’s life. In spite of a life filled with more tragedies than happy events, I continue to fight and do all in my power to make life more meaningful no matter what has been thrown at me. I believe in the saying, “God helps those who help themselves.” This very blog is the result of my having had an accident. Please don’t tell me, subconsciously, I didn’t want to go to sunny California but  would rather be alone in Steelton for the Holidays. Please don’t tell me, subconsciously, “I wanted” to fall on the sidewalk that needed repairs for  the last 18 years!

Now that I clarified my position on the subject,  I will go back on track, to that fateful summer day of 1981.

All but one of the “bad” events of that day, had life-long consequences for me.  The only one which seemed out of place, was the towing of the car, but come to think of it, it was a lesson, as I have never again parked in towing away zones. Yes, that $75.00 lesson, saved me a lot of money in a life-time.

Here is the follow up to the stolen purse:

The day after, I received a phone call.  The woman who called said her name of Gabe and she asked me upfront:

“Esti Romanca?” (Are you Romanian?)

“Da”. (Yes) I answered. “Cum ai ghicit? Cine esti?” (How did you guess? Who are you?)

“Not difficult to guess with a name like Rodica,” she continued in Romanian. ” “My husband and I own a restaurant, a luncheonette, on Walnut Street. Last night when my husband was cleaning the bathrooms he found your purse in the trash can.”

“Do you have my purse? Oh, how lucky! What does it have inside? My Green card? The driver’s license?”

“Yes, it has everything, but no cash. Did you have cash? I assume your purse was stolen?”

At lunch I went to Gabe’s restaurant to get my purse. We both marveled at the fact that of all the hundreds of restaurants, the thief dumped by purse in another Romanian’s lady’s room restaurant, and that her husband saw the purse in the trash while cleaning.

Was this a coincidence? We’d never know, but Jane, Gabe’s daughter was my kids’ favorite babysitter and in 2009 it was Gabe who accompany me to New York for a bone biopsy.

We were clearly meant to be in each other’s lives, but was it God who planed it, or was it a coincidence?

Judy, the guest-speaker from the disability company, who loaned me $20 to get home, soon became one of my best friends.  It was thanks to her that I met my second husband and she was our maid of honor. Was that a good thing? We shall see. It sure was significant.

Judy’s life intertwined with mine for many years but the conclusion of our friendship belongs in another chapter, when again, you will be asked, coincidence? or planned by a power greater than us? And why?

Finally, Cristian’s decision to divorce me and stay in Romania…was the single most traumatic event of 1981. Was it random that I was loosing my first love at the same time as loosing my country?  Would I have decided to leave Romania if I thought he will not follow me?  Did I already know on a subconscious level? Was it a coincidence that another woman manifested into his life as soon as I left or perhaps before I did?  As I looked back and examined our relationship, I recalled a woman who worked with him.  They went on business trips, outside Bucharest more and more often.  At the airport, when I was picking him up, she never came over to say hello.  She sat by the wall, in the background, and studied me.  I could feel her eyes, under the thick glasses.  They burned me like fire, but in those days I was  foolish and confident, so trusting.  When I learned this was who Cristian married after our divorce, and they had a son, I tried to remember how did she look, was she cute, was she ugly, perhaps she was smart?  How could I know?  Did it matter?  What mattered was that she was there and I wasn’t. Did she win and I lost? Was there anything to loose?

Only time could tell!

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