Ever look back over your life and see a reoccurring lesson?
I’ve had my lesson come in many forms – from the 2×4 method of awakening to gentle, fleeting “Argh! Why didn’t I listen?” to heart-wrenching, tears-streaming, head-banging maybe I’ll remember next time because I certainly don’t want to feel this way again.
The lesson? It’s one that so many of us women wrestle with: learning to listen to our intuition.
Intuition is a persnickety little critter. Ferret-like in it’s ability to dart, slink, pop up, then, whoops, disappear – making you wonder if the damn thing was there in the first place.
For me intuition usually comes as “something doesn’t feel quite right.” It can be a flash, or a lingering sensation. Sometimes a vision, dream, or inner knowing.
I struggle with listening to my intuition because it means that I have to trust myself. I have to trust a slippery often illogical feeling more than what my logical mind has to say, more than what others around me claim, and more than the outer world.
Tall order when most of us have been trained to put our faith in our minds and subvert to others/the outer world over being guided by our internal whims.
My 2×4 awakening happened when I was in my mid-twenties. I was dating Mexican Man who was tall, dark, handsome and exceeding charming. He only spoke Spanish and I spoke English with a smattering of Spanish that my bilingual 5th graders taught me.
I dove head first into love – okay lust, and his culture and language. My intuition said this guy isn’t who he says he is. But our relationship was a heady, volatile mix of constantly doubting if I understood what the heck was being said and if our confusions were a result of our cultural differences, offset by novelty and exhilaration at stepping outside my comfort zone. Intuition be damned. And squashed. Repeatedly.
There were hilarious misunderstandings – one doozy about misusing the word embarazada, which I thought meant “embarrassed.” The results were no less than him thinking I was pregnant (the correct translation but not at all true) with a venereal disease (incorrect!!). He temporarily fled the country. Long, convoluted story…
But I digress. My intuition told me that tons of tiny “something’s not right’s” were happening on an alarming basis. But his constant reassurances that everything was fine, coupled with the convenient, rational excuse that it was a language/cultural problem kept me from trusting my intuition.
So the 2×4 whacked me pretty hard when I finally discovered that he not only had another girlfriend who he was living with – but he also had a wife and children in Mexico. Ouch. Major wake-up call. It took years before I could be so, so grateful for him and the lesson.
Where I come from – and I’m not sure if it’s another planet – your words and actions align as much as your awareness allows. So if I question a friend, lover, or co-worker about my intuition radar going off and they deny any problem, I tend to believe them over me. My bad. I find lying/disguising supremely confusing when the truth later reveals itself. My intuition: dead true.
And that’s the conundrum about intuition. First, you must be able to catch it. Then you need to LISTEN. Unless it registers on a conscious level, then it doesn’t serve its purpose to alert us to what’s truly happening in the world or what direction we should be going.
But our slinky friend intuition isn’t done with being a trickster.
Here’s the rub. When we have an intuition and we don’t register/listen to it, we often lose trust in ourselves. We beat ourselves up. We get mad at the other person and try to blame them.
Yet if we stop and get quiet, we can see the truth. Our intuition was working fine. We CAN trust ourselves – and it. We just are working on the listening, believing, acting accordingly part.
Fortunately there have also been times when my intuition was dead on and I listened despite every logical reason not to. Like when Shaman Guy asked me to marry him on our first date, much to most of our friends’ and family’s horror. We did two weeks later and have been blissfully married almost a decade since. Or the time I quit my job and moved cross country in spite of being $50K in debt. We now own two gorgeous homes and I do what I love.
Thankfully Mexican Man didn’t work out. Thank God he did teach me to listen to myself. It’s a lesson that I seem to learn over and over, deeper and deeper, a little more quickly and less of a butt-whack each time.
For now? I’m focusing on paying attention to the ferret-like feeling – whether it’s about when to speak or when to hold my tongue or over love or money or health. I’m slowing down enough to figure out what the “not right” feeling is saying. Letting go of all the judgment about not listening and not trusting – again, nummy. Brushing myself off and trying once more.
Must! Trust! Me Intuition.
One of these days, I’m going to master this skill.
And you? Do tell your secrets to listening to your intuition. What trouble has not listening caused you? What did you learn? Comments please below or on www.facebook.com/shamangirls.