new age spirituality

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Magical Colored Glasses

By Marissa Kristal

I don't believe in coincidences. As sure as I am that the grass is green (and even greener on the other side), I know in my heart that everything happens for a reason. I've always had a knack for philosophy, a keen desire to constantly question what is. But in the last year or so, I've unearthed a spiritual awareness deep within, and the exhumation has not only transformed me, but significantly enhanced the quality of my life. It's amazing what a little spiritual understanding can do for your sense of self and your view of the world. Suddenly, random people on the street are no longer strangers. Great pain and misfortune hold meaning and purpose. And chance happenings are no longer haphazard coincidences. There are no coincidences.

A few weeks ago I was having one of those groggy, crushing, too-early Monday mornings. The kind that make you want to permanently retreat under your covers and start paying your exorbitant rent to your inviting, cozy comforter rather than your sometimes offensive, always discourteous management company. Begrudgingly, I set out on my morning commute. And while usually an expert at the good mood fake-out, on this rotten morning I couldn't even manage the phony, uneven-lipped smile. As I was waiting in the seemingly endless line to get out of the subway station, the person behind me stepped on my heel. On a normal morning, I would've ignored it and kept moving. But on this aggravating dawn, I let out a loud, exasperated "Ughh!!" Immediately I felt bad. No, I hadn't turned around and hit her, or said something offensive such as, "you should really put a comb through that rat's nest you call hair," but I had been rude nonetheless. And my sidekick, guilt, wasn't about to let me forget it. As I continued forward up the subway stairs, a woman heading towards me dropped her sunglasses. Instantaneously I bent down and picked them up. And as I nonchalantly handed them to her and witnessed her very grateful expression, it hit me: this interaction was meant to happen. I was being given an opportunity to pay it forward; to show the kindness that just moments before I couldn't - wouldn't - muster.

Eight months ago a painful breakup left my soul defeated, my heart badly bruised and my once healthy self-confidence entirely drained and depleted. On a particularly low day, I left the apartment I'd been unendingly holding myself hostage in to get a muffin. As I walked inside the bake shop, my eyes directly met Jeff's. I didn't yet know Jeff, but the way his eyes instantly recognized mine made him familiar. As he approached me, I was certain he mistakenly thought he knew me. But all he said was, "I'm captivated by you. Who are you?" And on any other day, I would have dismissed it for a ridiculous pick-up line. But on this cheerless day, they were just the words I needed to hear. The confidence that moments before lay placid in a soiled puddle on the floor suddenly slid back through my ridges and re-nourished my dehydrated spirit.

A month or so later I was in my home state of Minnesota for a weeklong visit. I was enjoying a carefree afternoon playing princesses with my 4-year-old niece Annie, when all of a sudden a concerned and affected look colored her sweet, little-girl face as she said, "I'm glad you split." I was dumbfounded. Split? What did she mean? What had I split? Then it hit me. Up until that moment regrets regarding my break-up had been festering in my heart and my trip home was all about clearing my mind and working through afflicted emotions. And without realizing the weight of her words, wise-beyond-her-years Annie solidified my decision and put my twitching heart at ease.

These are just a few non-coincidences that have recently occurred in my world, and with each one I become increasingly aware that people and situations are placed in our path for a reason. And it's up to all of us to wake up and take notice. I now carry a non-coincidence journal with me everywhere I go so I never forget any of the incredible (or mundane, should they happen to be) encounters. And even if coincidences really do exist and there's no purpose behind this chaotic disarray we call "life," then so be it.

But I much prefer life's view from my magical colored glasses.

© Marissa Kristal 2005