Well there’s a concept sandwich you never thought you’d put together.
Déjà vu. You know that feeling. You’re jolted into a visceral present moment that almost takes you by the shoulders, rattles you and whispers insidiously in your ear: “You’ve been here, right here, right in this exact moment, before. BOO!” And then it vaporises into a proverbial poof of smoke and leaves you there with an uncomfortable lump in your throat.
There are many theories as to what it means, where it stems from, but to me it’s still a spiritual mystery. I read some logical scientific explanation somewhere once, something to do with triggered memories, but I don’t believe this. I think it’s an indication of your future, if anything, not your past.
Generally, I’m really not one to believe in mysterious, paranormal rubbish, but I do like to think that we humans have a purpose on this planet than to merely reproduce and be on our way. I do like to think that this planet is guided by some kind of stronger spirit or entity we can’t see, that makes us human. There’s gotta be something more, otherwise this whole life thing may as well just be a simulation. We don’t know what ’it’ is, but it certainly isn’t some big old white man with a beard that I was taught to believe was God. But anyway. It’s too early in the day for that discussion [current time of writing, 6:52AM GMT].
Recently, I had an episode of déjà vu that lasted about 30 seconds – which felt like the longest 30 seconds of my life. I remember saying to my mum:
“Oh. Nope. Hang on. Not finished, it’s still going. Nope. Is this my life forever, now? It’s still going???”
Until it stopped and I was kindly plopped back into the world by whoever was messing with me. But sometimes I’ll get flashes – as other people will, too – out of nowhere, in the supermarket, on the local trail, anywhere.
To cut the story short, I think déjà vu is the universe’s (or whatever’s) way of telling you you are exactly where you need to be. Whatever you’re reminded of in that flash feels as if you’ve been there before, right? Well, what if that means that everything that’s happening right now is exactly how it should be, because it has potentially already happened? (I know it hasn’t but stick with me). It’s difficult to grapple with this idea, that everything happening is ‘meant to be’, when the world is on its arse and things are bleak and the future looks grim and life feels like a despair buffet. But I think we could all take some comfort in this, in knowing that all of this shite we’re collectively going through – and arguably, any general shite anyone goes through – is actually serving a purpose.
To strengthen this whimsical theory somewhat, doesn’t ‘déjà vu’ literally translate to ‘already seen’? MinDbLoWn. So basically, stripping back the semantics: You’ve been here before, you’ve seen this before. Therefore, you are more than equipped to deal with whatever the world throws at you. That is your purpose.
I know, I KNOW – this is the last thing you want to hear right now: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Please be comforted by the fact that this is not what I’m saying. Personally, I think that toxically positive phrase can go and kindly cover itself in peanut butter and make itself at home outside a grizzly bear’s den. What I’m ultimately saying is, and what we all really need to remember right now, when things are so uncertain and crap:
Whatever happens, you can handle it.