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Synchronicity is what the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung describes as inner readiness intersecting with outer opportunities. It’s the curious way in which a person’s external reality suddenly clicks into alignment with what’s taking place in her inner world. Think about the timing when certain things fell apart or when others things came together in your life. Had you been in your mid-20’s instead of being in your late 30’s when you discovered that your last partner couldn’t make a commitment to you, you may have lingered in the relationship longer, hoping, wishing, thinking something was wrong with you, trying to make that person feel something he or she didn’t feel. But you were older, you knew better, and you knew you deserved better. A few years back you may have been too frightened to step out and start your own business, but after 20 years of making lots of money for someone else you know you have what it takes to make money under your own logo. A decade ago you would not have picked up a book on spiritual readiness. But today you can’t read enough about reinventing yourself. Some of the worst mistakes I’ve made in the past were those that were the result of my trying to force things to happen that weren’t ready to take place.

Only when you’re at that critical juncture, when all systems within are at alert, are you likely to embrace the teacher who comes along to introduce you to new ways of thinking and seeing the world. “When the teacher is ready, the student will come” is the way Eastern mystics describe this intersection of inner readiness and divine opportunity.

Is it possible to miss opportunities that come our way? Of course it is. But it’s also possible that the reason we miss them is because we’re not ready within. Some opportunities come around once in a lifetime, but God repeatedly holds off to us the chance to start over, begin anew, go to the next level. God is not like us. God gives us repeated chances to get it right. “Behold I stand at the door and knock,” says the Holy One. Aren’t you glad that God knocks repeatedly.

What opportunities have you had in life whose timing was just right? Which ones came along at the wrong time? Think back on an experience in which you tried to help things along, force it to take place, and the timing was all wrong.

–Renita Weems

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