“I’d Rather Hate your Guts than Believe my Intuition”
Photo credit by bloody marty mix; creative commons license.
Intuition is a funny thing. Most people never trust theirs. Sure, later–after they’ve been mugged–they talk about the icky feeling they ignored because they didn’t want anyone to think they were silly or illogical. I’ve heard the same sooooooo many times from women who were certain their spouses were cheating, but they convinced themselves they were being crazy or paranoid or insecure–only to discover after they were alone with no money and a couple of kids that their intuition was a lot more trustworthy than a ton of charming reassurances from the hubby. I rarely see anyone under 40 follow his or her intuition without fail–even famous spiritual teachers I consider to be extremely wise–and not exactly crowds of people over 40 who do either, though the numbers are still significantly more. Maybe that’s because most people need decades of data to know to follow their own internal guidance.
If there’s but one good thing I hope to pass on to my children, it’s to trust their intuition, regardless. If you have a bad feeling about a date, don’t go. If you have a bad feeling about your mate, know something’s amiss. If you have a bad feeling about walking through a dark parking garage, make other arrangements. As I was told once, your intuition isn’t a crazy little voice in your head talking to you–it’s God talking to you. Every time I have ignored my intuition, I’ve been burned, whether in my professional or personal life.
I went through years of not trusting my intuition. After my divorce, I didn’t feel I could trust it because I felt I’d been fooled so badly. But as my teenage daughter pointed out to me then, it wasn’t that my intuition was bad; I just refused to listen to it and follow it.
I’ve had several recent opportunities to see the matter of trusting intuition from the other side of the story, and I’m seeing my own past a little differently. I have walked away from a couple of situations where there is nothing I can say. Nothing. I’ve been asked repeatedly for the truth, and I’ve given it repeatedly, but not what they want to hear and certainly not what they want to believe. Deep down, I know that deep down they know the truth. Otherwise, they wouldn’t keep asking. They keep hoping my answer will be different, but it doesn’t change facts. So I’ve stopped answering the questions. At some point, they’ll come to terms with the truth, and when that happens, I’ll probably be the last person to know it.
I’ve been there myself, most notably with a woman who kept telling me the truth as she perceived it. Deep down, I knew she was right but I didn’t want to admit it. I argued with her about it all the time. My own intuition told me she was right but it was easier to dislike her than to admit that not only was she right but so was the intuition I was ignoring. I was furious at her because she just wouldn’t shut up about it, and it made me feel that I had to defend my decision to believe something I really didn’t believe. My whole focus on proving that she was wrong took me away from dealing with the hurt over a situation that had nothing to do with her, and it took me much longer to work through it and ditch a bad situation that was causing me grief. I wasn’t able to see that and work through it until she and I stopped associating with each other. Our break was largely because of her comments on her own intuition on my situation, which provided me with a good excuse to get her far away from me. In hindsight, there were many other valid reasons not to have this person around me, but years and years later, I can see clearly that our semi-friendship came to a head over my unwillingness to trust my own intuition and she just happened to be the mouthpiece for it every time I squelched what my gut said.