My Sojourn through Bipolar Illness – Coincidences and Mania, Coincidences and God

When I first started out my faith journey, coincidences had the capacity to overwhelm me and send me into episodes of mania.  It was as if I were first tasked with perceiving events that seemed highly significant and then making sense of those events without any help from friends, therapists, doctors or the Divine.  For example, the fact that I went to Ivy College and later lived on a dead end street called Ivy Place might be one example of such coincidence.  That I worked on a software program while with a state funding agency called CT and after worked on a software program at an engineering company called BCT and eventually worked for a company whose acronym was BCT at times seemed all powerful and too much to comprehend and process.  Once again, there was this notion of patterns and pattern recognition. 

As my illness matured, these coincidences and patterns seemed to migrate out of the paranoia realm and generally into the context of the Divine.  The existence of patterns and patterning data at one time were enough to land me in the hospital overwhelmed by the level of coincidence I was experiencing.  With a more informed sense of my Creator, I came to understand that while the patterns and coincidences still existed, they were not to be feared.  God was the author of the coincidences and patterns.  There was nothing to be fearful of as this was God’s domain and God was in control.  The coincidences that at one time could send me into the hospital later became a sign that perhaps God is near and God is in control.  Then as now, there is no longer cause for needing interpretation and logical understanding as these coincidences are in God’s hands.   And now I can perceive of them in the hands of God.

Today, I continue to experience coincidences large and small and largely experience them in the hands of God.  The connections between things, the names that seem to repeat, the patterns of colors or numbers or shapes no longer are a source of consternation for me.  If anything, the coincidences now serve to remind me that I am not the author of my own reality.  God is.  In any case the coincidences that crop up in my life today do not necessarily occur more frequently than before, earlier in the life cycle of my illness.  It is just that I am attuned to these coincidences should they occur as occurring within the purview of God.

This brings me to a critical juncture.  My spiritual and emotional intelligence has grown since my first days of perceiving coincidences as overwhelming.  One lingering question is how does that person who is largely comfortable with coincidences in life today interact with that child within of six or that child within of ten?  This is largely unexplored territory and may be the topic of future work and/or writing particularly if the likelihood of abuse at age six continues to present itself.

Question – do others have experiences surrounding coincidence and coincidences? If so, what is helpful for you in that regard? Does a spiritual approach help work for you in managing these perceptions?

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