Is There Such a Thing as Coincidence?

The idea of coincidence is something that has fascinated people for centuries. Are random events more than mere chance? Or is there some kind of explanation that we just don’t understand yet? If you Google the words “coincidence” and “meaningful,” one of the top suggestions you’ll see is that there is no such thing as a meaningful coincidence. This isn’t actually true; coincidences can be (and often are) meaningful. The confusion probably comes from the fact that many people use the word coincidence to mean something else entirely—often as a synonym for serendipity or chance occurrence. But these concepts have little in common with our everyday understanding of coincidence. So, to answer this question, let’s dive into what it means to believe in coincidences and how they can be meaningful.

What is a Coincidence?

A coincidence is a surprising or unlikely event that is connected to something significant in your life. It’s something that happens by chance, but there’s also some kind of connection between the coincidence and the event we connected it to. Depending on how you define coincidence, they can be more common than you think. They’re also not always positive—in fact, they can be quite negative, too. A coincidence can be a sign, a symbol, or a foreshadowing of something significant in a person’s life. Some people believe these coincidences are not chance events but are rather signs sent by angels or even God. We often think coincidences of as one-time events that don’t reoccur, whereas signs are more recurring and often more expansive. Signs from God or the angels often serve as warnings or advice, whereas coincidences are more common and can be about anything.

Coincidence as a synonym for a chance occurrence

Some people use the word coincidence to mean something closer to chance occurrence. A coincidence is an unlikely event that happens purely by chance. If a friend calls you on your birthday, for example, that is a coincidence: you were not expecting them to call, and there is no special reason they did so on that day. There are many types of coincidences that are purely chance occurrences. These include numerical coincidences, like the fact that there are 365 days in a year. Other examples of pure chance coincidences include unusual weather patterns, strange geographical formations, and that two locations have the same name (although this is a bit more complicated).

Coincidence as a synonym for serendipity

Then there are people who use the word coincidence to mean serendipity—an unexpected and fortunate discovery, often involving a chance observation. If you’re writing a book and find a word that you didn’t know the meaning of but that is perfect for a scene, that is serendipity: you didn’t know the word existed until you found it in a book, but it fits exactly with what you were looking for. Serendipity is often used to describe unexpected discoveries that turn out to be beneficial. For example, you might look for a new job and find one by chance. Or you might buy a lottery ticket that turns out to win a huge jackpot. They often describe serendipitous discoveries as “lucky,” especially if they turn out well for you.

Coincidence as a synonym for synchronicity

Some people use the word coincidence to mean synchronicity — a meaningful connection between two unrelated events. If you are thinking about a friend who is in trouble and then they call you, that is synchronicity: your thoughts are unrelated to them and not really connected to their situation, but they still appear when they are helpful. For example, if you are searching for a new job and looking through job ads one day, and one ad really stands out to you, that is synchronicity. Your thoughts and the ad are unrelated, but there is some kind of connection between the two. The ad may also be helpful to you, or it might even be related to your ideal job.

Is there such a thing as meaningful coincidence?

As we’ve seen, coincidence can be a variety of things. However, that there is no such thing as a meaningful coincidence is a myth. Many coincidences are, in fact, very meaningful. That doesn’t mean they’re signs from God or anything like that—they’re just coincidences that have some kind of connection to the things in our lives that are important to us. A lot of times, statistics and probability can explain coincidences. For example, if you’re about to go on a first date, you might have butterflies in your stomach. If you have butterflies in your stomach every single time you go on a first date, that might just be because you’re nervous every time.

How can coincidences be meaningful?

Statistics and probability can explain certain types of coincidences, but many others are not so easily explained. For example, if you have a very specific dream about something that then happens to you later, that’s not something that statistics can explain. Various theories can explain some coincidences—especially those that involve a future event. One theory is that a future event is somehow embedded in our present thoughts, and that works its way into our subconscious and affects our dreams. Another theory is that these coincidences are caused by what scientists call quantum entanglement. Quantum entanglement is where two particles are connected in a way that a change to one of them affects the other.

Final Words

Coincidences are often thought of as chance occurrences, but they can also be learned and intentional, too. While they may seem random, they aren’t always just a matter of dumb luck. They’re often a result of careful preparation and anticipation. We can use coincidence to our advantage when we know how to spot them. If you see unusual numbers, or dreaming about an event before it happens, or feel like you’re being watched, it’s worth paying attention to these seemingly random events. Coincidence can be a powerful experience that connects us to each other and to the universe at large.

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The more you know, the more you grow!

Life Coach Nancy

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