“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” – Carl Jung
“Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see.”- Carl Jung
Have you ever noticed that you sometimes live your life pursuing a goal that has been inherited by virtue of your relationship to a parent, a teacher, an elder or someone else in authority over you? Too often, to appease them and to win their approval, we end up chasing after things only to end up reaping the wind (Ecclesiastes 2:11). Analytical psychologist Carl Jung dared to explore the paranormal through psychology and concluded of our wanderings that, “Because the eye gazes but can catch no glimpse of it, It is called elusive. Because the ear listens but cannot hear it, It is called the rarefied. Because the hand feels for it but cannot find it, It is called the infinitesimal. … These are called the shapeless shapes, Forms without form, Vague semblances. Go towards them, and you can see no front; Go after them, and you see no rear” (Carl Jung). But there is nothing without meaning. There is nothing without significance. The task for us is to unearth the meaning in the event that is beneficial to us (See Viktor Frankl). Synchronicity is simply, “A meaningful coincidence of two or more events where something other than the probability of chance is involved” (Carl Jung).
At times when we have chosen a path, we can become disoriented by the experiences that we seem to be experiencing. The actors may be different than we had anticipated, the roles may have varied from our imaginary script, and the backdrop for each scene has changed from the serenity of the seashore to the chaotic disaster of a hurricane. However, answers can be revealed in moments of stillness and reflection (See Psalm 46: 10). In the quiet rest, something else appears to be calling to us as we travel the previously set path. There seems to be a parallel option emerging that reveals itself through people that you keep encountering, by research that you are conducting because you are being asked to use your skills to improve the quality of life for a disenfranchised group of people. Bridges begin to emerge through conversations and introductions to people and places that you never knew existed. Then without explanation, resources begin to get added to you so that you can walk across the bridge. Somehow, where you previously struggled to get resources on your own to accomplish the inherited tasks, you now receive a steady supply to accomplish what you have been invited to do.
Synchronicity, through attempting to explain “the acausal connection of two or more psychic and physical phenomena” (Carl Jung Resources, 2017) can be useful in our understanding of the process of transitioning from an adolescent to an adult, from a student to a teacher, from an employer to an entrepreneur. For example, just as I was about to dial my longtime associate’s number to see if they can accommodate me this week as we have not been able to keep a date in previous months, I get a call or a text message from someone who is fervently seeking a meeting with me. Not only do they want to meet, they have already acknowledged that they have resources to help me accomplish what I was seeking an appointment with my longtime associate to obtain. Also, you may have experienced this situation. You dreamt about someone last night who had exercised mal-intent towards you then the following day you hear that some kind of trouble has befallen that individual. You caused none of these good or bad things to happen, however they happen in perfect synchrony with the events that you personally experienced. Jung offers an explanation by suggesting that “We often dream about people from whom we receive a letter by the next post. I have ascertained on several occasions that at the moment when the dream occurred the letter was already lying in the post-office of the addressee” (Carl Jung).
Synchronicity offers me an explanation for some of the new experiences that I find myself having in America. I left my home country seeking rest first, and then proposed to build a network of professional colleagues who would be interested in moving my project ideas forward. I tried to set appointments that kept being delayed for one reason or another. The only thing that remained constant was that I was received into a network of fellow nationals, of professional black women, and later a company of wives and mothers. As I tried to keep my professional pursuits going, the distance between my original intentions and the opportunities for collaboration and the resources for success seemed to increase. However, I worked with others in areas where I believed I would engage my skills as a professional and also meet people from the community. As I assisted others, like the Caribbean and African Faith Based Leadership Conference (CAFBLC), with accomplishing their goals of celebrating excellence in humanitarian services, philanthropy and wealth creation, I ran into others who invited me to share in the wealth creation process for their people.
I leaned forward each time the conversation was changed. I chose to reflect the posture of the ones with the ideas and the resources to make it happen who had invited me to their tables. As I leaned forward, I received more invitations to meetings, to speak on expert panels, to do live radio shows, and to celebrate one of my private passions publicly. For years I have worked with teen girls answering their questions about life and helping to guide them through career selection, individuating from their parents, and charting a course for a successful life. Now, I am being invited to work with women and girls of African descent in ways that will help the men around us to understand us and to love us. Along with the economic enterprise, my world is expanding and it includes all the necessary elements of acceptance, validation and appreciation that are necessary to sustain it for long-term rewards. Along with the personal goals of success and promoting my brand, came the vindication of chasing an invisible dream, the affirmation of the gifts that I bring into the world, and the place of inheritance. Through synchronistic moments I am following an adjusted path where the people who have invited me listen when I speak.
As you keep walking, listen for synchronistic moments. It happened again for me at a graduation that I attended recently. Spiritual doctors shared at the graduation ceremony for Chaplains of GODSU. From the podium, Dr. Michael Roberts, a man of profound wisdom, strength of character and tremendous wealth said that “riches scream but wealth whispers.” It struck a synchronistic chord in me. In the same ceremony, Dr. Amal Daraghmeh Masri, who had travelled from the Middle East, told the audience of dreamers that the “secret to success lies in your roots.” She demonstrated this by sharing the story of her grandmother who gave her an olive green scarf which represented their agricultural heritage. At a time when all Middle Eastern grandmothers were encouraging their granddaughters to stay home, marry and have a family, her grandmother was encouraging her to go to France and elsewhere to conquer a bigger world. It did not work out in exactly that way, but as Dr. Masri opened herself up to the opportunities that came her way, she took a mail order course from a foreign country as she cared for her husband and her daughters. Then she built a business, and she kept taking advantage of other opportunities until the GODSU opportunity was presented to her. It was on the GODSU stage that I heard Dr. Masri speak.
Talk about strange. GODSU was not directly related to my trip to America, but because I served at CAFBLC, I met the chancellor, Dr. Diane Moore-Eubanks, who invited me to come and speak on a panel. Parallel conversations? Bridge-building? People-building? Nation-building? It is from the GODSU stage that I heard “riches scream but wealth whispers.” And, it is from the GODSU stage that I first spoke about the definition of beauty and the message that brought me to America again, the Dear Little Sister… and the Dear Little Brother Project which aims to provide informed answers for adolescent girls 11-19 years old. Since that event, the invitations have continued to be received. Not only am I invited, but whatever I need to accomplish that task is provided for me in short order. Synchronicity? Acausal relationships that have significant meaning? When you let your dreams rest and work in the garden that you find, another more beautiful reality can emerge that you never planned for, that you never knew existed, and where your struggle for resources disappears.
As you go along your journey remember, “One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child” (Carl Jung). So be careful to teach someone else’s child as if they were your child and you wished the very best for them.