Syncronicity, blogging and first grandchild

There’s an expression in Yiddish: Man plans and God laughs (Mann traoch, Gott Lauch).

Here I am, writing a blog about worrying and finding serenity , while going about life cheerfully, and all of a sudden everything changed, and the line from Jaws came to my mind:  “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…,”

I cannot define myself as Jungian, but if I do believe in something in that vein – it’s synchronicity.

Let me set the stage:

One may argue quite logically, that everything that happened in the last three days is pure coincidence, however…

Not even hours after posting my last blog about life’s dangers – and my having come to peace (OK, maybe a truce) with the fates, I was told that my new and very pregnant daughter-in-law was in the hospital because of a fetal heart-rate issue.  Fortunately, shortly after, she delivered a beautiful baby girl by a previously unscheduled C-section.

I thought to myself, should I believe in the “evil eye” (עין הרע‎)?  But no, I’m not superstitious. Everything will be fine.

After a quick delivery we were told that the baby had problems breathing by herself and would be going to be in the NICU on a ventilator. I’m sure that I don’t need to elaborate on the level of distress this caused me and my family.

Later, in the waiting area, I was listening to someone speaking Spanish, and my mind wandered to “mal de ojo”, but, no – I’m not superstitious.

The following night, driving to the hospital on the 405 freeway – the car in front of me switched lanes with much-too-quick acrobatic elegance, only to expose me to a huge fender laying in the road directly in front my car.

I had maybe 1 second to consider my choices and chances. Should I slam on my brakes and get hit by the car behind me, or brake more slowly – and if unsuccessful, have four flat tires? I decided on something in-between and managed to avoid both catastrophes.

But, now stuck – inches away from the threatening piece of metal; at a dead stop; in the dead of night; on the 405 – I had then to wonder about how to manage switching lanes while the cars in the next lane are speeding past me inches away …

I truly consider most LA drivers kind and considerate. Ultimately, a kind driver with good situational awareness, let me merge and I continued driving, feeling that my blood pressure was sky rocketing, as if I’d just survived a rocket attack from Gaza.

I couldn’t not think about my previous blog.  No, these are not Pharaoh’s Ten Plagues, but Rachel’s 10 Plagues were piling up right in front of me:

I almost avoided a serious accident on the infamous 405 (Plague #1)

My family is extremely distressed and upset about the new baby. (Plague #4)

My first and new granddaughter is on a ventilator. (Plague #2)

Hamas was attacking Northern Israel (Plague #6)

And to make matters even worse, I had a painful encounter with a friend (Plague #8)

So if I’m not really superstitious, and yet things coalesce in a strange and inexplicable way right after one (that’s me, actually) writes a blog about life dangers … um, shouldn’t I take the concept of synchronicity seriously?

Or is this, just life?


About rachel bar

Psychotherapist and supervisor.
This entry was posted in synchronicity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Syncronicity, blogging and first grandchild

  1. Maurice Labi says:

    The advantage to living on the other side of the world (Israel), and 10 hours ahead, allows me to synchronize my thoughts with yours hours before the Americans stir in bed. As much as I insist I’m not superstitious, I turn over an upside shoe, spit with I see a black cat, blink three times when told my girls are beautiful. It may not help, but it doesn’t hurt.

  2. Barbara Cooper says:

    First of all, Mazel Tov again on the birth of your granddaughter! I will keep her in my prayers that she will soon be off the ventilator and doing just fine.
    Now onto your blog…I really enjoy reading (and obviously responding) to them! You make me think and you give me perspective on my own thought processes by my reactions to them. I am getting to know you better as well as myself as I clarify what goes through my mind as I read what you write.
    I have often used the term “synchronicity” but to me, it has always been in a positive sense. I have never before heard it used negatively by anyone. What I thought as I read was, what you put your attention to appears in your life. Your thoughts create what you experience because everything begins with a thought. You saw the experience on the 405 as a negative one. I see it as positive one because you didn’t have an accident (thank God), what you had was a temporary road block that could have been horrific but wasn’t. I look at things like that as a message from above to ‘slow down’! And I’m not just talking speed here, I’m saying, “Slow down with your thoughts which are not going in the right direction” (worry) The reality is most drivers on the 405 are not kind, they are obsessed with their own lives and getting to where they want to be without thoughts to others sharing the road with them, but there appeared for you a kind one who got you away from your road block, a miracle in itself.
    You and I have often discussed our differing beliefs. I believe in God (good) and you are an Agnostic. You won’t allow yourself to believe in a higher power, but you do believe in the evil eye. Why do you accept the negative so readily and debate the positive? Do you somehow on some level feel undeserving? Because Rachel, you are a beautiful human being who spends her life helping others through your profession, and even if you didn’t, you are deserving of all the good life has to offer. So why not start expecting good? Trusting that everything happens for a reason, most times unknown to us, and most worries end up okay in the end. When you feel your “blood pressure soaring” take a minute and just stop and breathe. Relax the racing heart and the racing thoughts and trust that it will all be okay. Whatever it is, it is a temporary situation which you cannot control, so let it be, and trust that synchronicity is always at work bringing to the situation exactly what and who is needed to help.

    • rachel bar says:

      An interesting response, as most people who know me well think that I consider myself quite deserving, and maybe even too much at times, but maybe you know me better.
      Regrettably, I don’t believe in the power of the thought to the extent you do Barbara. I don’t diminish the energy behind the thought, but at the same time I don’t endow it with the same powers you do.
      I’m not sure that you understood the spirit in which the blog was written. I’m not superstitious, but I do pause to think of what the message is, when things pile up. For instance, if I have a number of dreams with the same theme, I stop and think about what my unconscious is trying to tell me. That’s basically what I meant by synchronicity.

  3. dan4kent says:

    Rachel — Synchoronicity? Who knew. I’m guessing you caught the “got code?” post…spooky, eh? Your Like and Follow led me to you. Like it. Let me return the courtesy…looking forward to reading you in the future. Well done. Dan

  4. Jim Palmer Palmer says:

    And this too shall pass !!…..That is always what i would tell myself when a series of unpleasant and unrelated events happen that defy causality…..I am a hard core pragmatist so I don’t bow to superstition,, It does seem funny that bad events happen in three’s though….. At least that has been my experience.

    • Barbara Cooper says:

      Jim, you don’t know how close I came to quoting, “This, too, shall pass”. It’s not bad events that happen in 3’s- it’s death of famous people that come in 3’s!

    • rachel bar says:

      It seems like both you and Barbara don’t get my sense of humor. No, I do not believe in the evil eye, but I believe in the concept of synchronicity, which I declared at the beginning of my blog.

      • Jim Palmer Palmer says:

        LOL…. You are right Rachel, i missed the humor, I didn’t expect humor from you, given the fact you beat me over the head when i try to inject a little humor into your blog. Or tweak one of your friends nose just a little bit.

      • rachel bar says:

        I never beat you over the head when you inject humor. I only beat you over the head when you call one of my friends stupid, and you think it’s funny.

      • Jim Palmer Palmer says:

        I never call anyone stupid……. I may imply that they are intellectually challenged, or intellectually stagnant, but never STUPID…..Anyway….I share your concerns about your Grandchild, as i have personal experience . i lost a grand daughter a few years back, i still think about her as she had so much potential.

  5. Sue Cox says:

    First of all, I’m holding your precious little granddaughter in my thoughts and prayers, and the family, too. I went through an NICU experience with my first grandchild and I know the stress of it very well.

    As to the “synchronicity” of the events you list, it’s my understanding of Jung that he would be looking for the meaning in these events you see as connected, as in What is the unconscious trying to show you or make you aware of in support of your own growth and individuation process?

    I say Yes …. take the synchronicity seriously. See what’s there, at least in the context of your last two blogs regarding life’s dangers and the 8 plagues that followed.

    Best, Sue

    • rachel bar says:

      Thanks Sue for your words re granddaughter, I truly appreciate it. I really thought I’m kind of done worrying about my children, not that you ever can, but you know what I mean.
      As far as synchronicity, this is exactly where I take it: What’s the message and what am I overlooking. Most of the time when I stop and do self inquiry I learn more about myself. BTW I think that in the U.S. individuation is an exaggerated goal, to the detriment of the community and even leading to heightened narcissism. And by that I don’t mean that we should stop working on individuation, but that we should be aware of the times when it becomes the end of goal, and consider the gains and the losses.

  6. mim collins says:

    Oh Rachel, I am so sorry to hear about your granddaughter’s difficulties, and pray that she comes through it fine and quickly. My heart goes out to you…about syncronicity, who knows..?But bless you for wondering and sharing your wonderment. Mim

  7. rachel bar says:

    Thanks Mim. I truly appreciate your kind words, and I actually believe there was a message and a lesson there, which was revealed to me the other day.

  8. Elise says:

    Hope that plagues pass soon and your
    granddaughter will be fine. Think of all
    the positive energy flowing her way from
    all your friends and unknown followers.

  9. ShimonZ says:

    First of all, congratulations on the new granddaughter. So sorry that it comes with a lot of worry and anxiety. I read the other blog, and didn’t comment that which was going through my mind at the time, because I thought you might not want to hear it. The image of god as a father or mother up there in the heaven, is a very primitive way of looking at religion… There is another type of faith, it is the alignment of a person with what goes on in this life. His or her ability to be in tune with what life has to offer and with the tests too. I assume that since you studied our tradition in your youth, you know about the going down for the sake of going up. That too is the way of faith. On a boat, one feels the pull from side to side, and the ups and downs… and a person who steels himself against the movement, becomes seasick. And a person who allows himself to move with the boat, is able to enjoy the ride. Of course, life is full of tests and upheavals… one can’t avoid them. They can be expected, but going along with whatever happens, allows one to enjoy the experience… and gives us the strength to survive the many tests.

    • rachel bar says:

      Shimon, I always want to hear what you have to say, and especially when you think I may not want to hear it.
      I’m confused though about where you see me relate to god as a father or a mother image? Are you referring to the Yiddish idiom? I’m not so grandiose to believe that he takes special interest in me, for good or bad. I’m not sure where god enters the picture. Please explain. I assume you did not think that I’m implying that synchronicity is god? If so, I must have not explained myself very well.
      I actually try and adopt the flexibility you imply in your boat analogy. I use Karate as a metaphor. If you make yourself rigid meeting a blow, the pain is more intense. On the other hand, if you relax you body and let it flow with the blow, it’s less painful, and the response comes more readily.

      • ShimonZ says:

        Thank you, Rachel. I am touched by your desire to hear what I think you may not want to hear. That is a very good start towards true communication. When a person declares that he is an atheist, or that he doesn’t believe in god, I walk on tiptoes. To me, it’s a sign that he has either been abused or has deep prejudices. To those who believe, god is a very abstract concept. Even in idolatry, the true believers did not believe that the statue that they worshiped was going to fulfill their wishes. In most cases, the ‘object’ of worship represented certain forces greater than man. When I said that the image of god as a father or mother up there in the heaven, is a very primitive way of looking at religion, it wasn’t because I thought that you believed in such a thing. On the contrary, I thought that you were rejecting religion because you thought other people believed it. Your comments on religion give me the impression that you don’t understand it very well at all (despite your studies at HU). When I read the prayers (both in my religion, and in the religions of others), I am reminded of a love letter by an adoring lover. If a lover tells his sweetheart that she is the most beautiful woman on earth, should we start arguing with him, that there are a lot of beautiful women around, and that she has a mole on her cheek that detracts somewhat from her beauty? You see what I mean? You seem a little too much on your guard when it comes to faith. But in my eyes, faith is a way of relating to life. Your metaphor about Karate is just as good as what I said in the boat analogy. And what I was trying to tell you was that is something much more basic to faith than kissing the mezuzah.

      • rachel bar says:

        Please feel free to make any comment, approving or critical. Fortunately for me I have not been abused nor can I say that I have deep prejudices. I simply never believed in god or the concept of god. The reasons and my criticism of many religious rituals are too many and maybe we can continue the conversation via email. Even though the analogy to a lover praising his beloved is a nice one, this is really not what’s happening when most people pray. Some pray out of fear and otheres because they have a request, while others are simply used to it. Very very few pray with KAVANAH, and that’s a whole different story. I may not understand how you conceptualize religion, but I can assure you that I’ve been around and I’ve seen many different ways and religious practices that were based in ignorance, intolerance and rigidity. If the son of my friend who’s CHOZER BITSHUVA tells his mom that if his sister will date a non Jew he’ll never speak to her again in his life, then I don’t necessarily appreciate his Rabbi, who is very learned indeed, but is another face of the fanatics that surround us.

  10. Dvora Weil says:

    What a synchronicity. I learned about your last days’ where about through your blog, which I decided to read today.
    Yes, things happens for a reason that we don’t always (or usually) know the divine rational behind them.
    But when going through such hectic, anxious and rough times, it helps to know that there is a plan and that events around us are massages to get our attentions that there is a plan. It gives our life a sense of proportion. Believing in synchronicity, keeps me composed and sane when the ground under my feet shakes. Thank G-D for that. Enjoy your granddaughter.
    Warmly yours,

    • rachel bar says:

      For me the message behind synchronicity is not about the plan but about the message. After all, I’m the one who pays attention to the events, and I could have paid attention to other events. We are the creators of our synchronicity, because after all, I could have zeroed in on other events! And, I’m glad to say that I already figured out what the message was.
      Thanks for your comment, MOTEK, and I hope you continue to feel composed.

  11. ermigal says:

    Hi again, Rachel, sending good wishes across the miles to you and your family on the new baby.Hope all is well soon.

  12. I’m on the fence about all of this. First of all, I had no idea Jade’s arrival was so perilous. You must have been a wreck. As far as all those related events, I don’t know. Sometimes I think, yeah there are no accidents, other times I feel it’s all a bunch of hooey: signs, coincidences…I’m glad that mother and daughter are both well. Your writing had really taken off by the way. I don’t say that often.

  13. Leon Moss says:

    Hi Rachel,
    Thanks for visiting me at Exceedingly Senior. I too speak Hebrew here in Even Yehuda.

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