What Spirit Guides Sound Like
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Separation.
“You say ‘they,’” my friend asks, “but who are ‘they’? Those are the spirit guides you refer to?”
He’s a little nervous with the idea. He’s seen things, too, but the idea of hearing voices makes him nervous. I quickly ex- plain that I don’t experience my guides quite like that. Some- times it’s like a fully formed thought that pops into my head so emphatically that it seems like someone else said the words. Sometimes it’s a sudden push of intuition. Sometimes it’s a voice I hear as I’m waking or meditating, yet no one else is there. Sometimes it’s just an idea in my head that comes out of my mouth before I know the idea is there and afterwards, I’m struck by the sudden brilliance of it because it’s something I never thought of before and can’t imagine why I’m thinking of it now or how I could possibly know this information, especially when it’s someone else’s secret.
“But how does it work?” he persists.
“It’s like listening to your inner voice,” I tell him. “And if you prefer to call it that, we’re probably talking about the same thing…only different terminology. We sense the world, sense danger, sense opportunity, sense love and longing, and we try to give it a source, especially when it feels foreign to us or doesn’t make logical sense. Whether you consider that inner voice, that intuition, to be internal or external is all in how you prefer to dress it up.”
Sometimes it’s a nagging inclination in the back of my mind to send a note to someone I’ve lost touch with and no matter how many times I try to dismiss the thought as a lost cause, it keeps coming back until I act on it.
Sometimes it’s an uneasy feeling or a sudden, unexplained urge to turn left instead of right, and I’ll discover later that I missed a traffic jam that would have made me late or an automobile accident I could have been in the middle of.
Sometimes it’s a gentle plea for me to wake up when I’ve overslept, usually something I experience as an auditory response. Other times, it’s a waking thought or one soon after I’m dozing in the morning shower that tells me to stop subsidizing certain charity projects because it’s time for them to stand on their own. These little messages in the shower are often down- right brilliant and I almost need to jot them down between soapings.
Yesterday, I kept my guides very busy, mainly because I didn’t listen to them. “They” had already given me a message as I woke, one that made a huge impact on me and on my plans for the next month.
At lunch, I got the hint that I seriously needed to take my lunch hour and get out of the office, but I kept on working. Finally, after 1:00, I decided I really needed to eat something. I got the hint again to drive off to some half-decent restaurant for a to-go order to bring back to my desk, but I dismissed that one, too. Instead, I decided to walk over to the Food Court for Chinese. Immediately, I got a strong impulse to skip lunch altogether.
On the way to the Food Court, I crossed the one-way street I cross at least half a dozen times a week. The previous day, when I’d come back from crossing the street, I’d had a sud- den, overwhelming thought that I should look right every time when I’m headed back, even if it is a one-way street. Then I felt I was being silly because it’s a one-way street far from any traffic in the opposite direction and in almost 18 years of crossing that street, I’ve never once seen a car heading down it the wrong way. I looked anyway, no one was there, and then I dismissed the idea.
So yesterday, I crossed the street on my way to the Food Court and didn’t think once about the traffic, except to note that there were absolutely no cars on the street. I was too busy thinking about my dentist appointment later in the day.
At the Food Court, the Chinese restaurant had just what I wanted but the cook insisted on making a fresh batch for me. Which was odd because there was plenty of food for me. I said no because I needed to get back to my desk. She insisted again, and again I said no.
At the drink counter, I might have waited patiently for the oblivious slow-poke in front of me, but I decided instead to get a different kind of drink even though the thought crossed my mind of how much I wanted a certain brand of soda. I didn’t want it enough to wait for it.
I saw several colleagues I might have joined or said hello to, but I ignored that impulse, too, and headed back to the office.
I reached the one-way street and looked left as usual. Odd. There must have been six or more cars coming in the double lane from the left. Almost like every car on the adjacent street had decided to converge on this street at the same time, and it wasn’t even the lunch hours anymore. Seeing so many cars to my left did make me pause for a split second. But I still had time to cross the street before the cars reached me. My mind was a million miles away, and I never looked the other way.
As I took one step into the street, a car alarm went nuts to my right and I looked up in time to see a truck screaming down the street—headed the wrong way—coming my way. I didn’t have time to cross the street. I stopped dead-still and he passed in front of me, realizing suddenly that he was facing six oncoming cars and screeching to a halt. He never saw me I almost heard the sighs of exhausted relief from my guides as I took a step backwards and waited for the truck to turn around and the other cars to pass. I realized then that I was standing exactly where I’d stood the day before when I’d heard the message loud and clear to look both ways on the one-way street, and I’d ignored it.
Too often we dismiss guidance—whether from inside or outside—because we don’t want to feel silly or make a choice that doesn’t seem intelligent. But it’s not about the ego—it’s about the intuition and listening to it. Right now, I’m thinking of all the women I’ve known who’ve gotten mugged or hurt and later said, “Something told me not to be there and I had a bad feeling about it, but I didn’t listen.”
I don’t always listen either, I’ll admit, but I’m much more inclined now than ever before.