Hearing—and Listening— to Your Spirit Guides

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Tilt.

“I wish my angels and spirit guides were as clear in speaking to me as yours are to you.”

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

The last  thing  the  minister  says  to  me  in  our  impromptu counseling session floors me. I’m the one doing the  counseling-something   that’s   occurring   more   and more-but clergy give and give of themselves in counseling others and sometimes have no one to turn to when they themselves need a little help. That’s what this session is about…for the minister.

For me, it’s about recognizing how far I’ve come over the past two years in listening to my intuition, my guides, my angels-whatever  you choose to call it. For me, as well as for other spiritual people, there’s a  slight distinction, but the process is the same. Some people even refer to it as God or Deity, and for them, it very well may be. It’s not my place give their guidance a name.

Learning to hear “them,” as I refer to my guides or my intuition, has not come easily. Or maybe it has and I just failed to listen. I do  recall strong feelings over the years-do this, do that, don’t go there,  hurry, wait-that I ignored because logically, the feelings didn’t make sense. Every time I went against those feelings, I got pounded into the ground and wished I’d gone with what I used to call my “gut instinct.”

Often, I heard other spiritual people talk about their guides, and as clergy myself, I was jealous because I didn’t have guides to speak to me like they did. Then some of these spiritual  people began to tell me what  my guides were telling them, and I knew instinctively that these people  were right. So why were my guides talking to other people and not to me?

Then, I stopped being jealous and started feeling like a failure because they were talking to me-I just couldn’t hear them! I wanted audible  sentences  and visible signs and something  so clear that even an idiot like me would understand!

I tried listening through meditations and dreams, but the usual techniques didn’t come easily, and it really wasn’t until another year before the meditations and dream- visions strengthened  to the point that  I  could expect to receive messages from within. That part was like a muscle that needed regular exercise before becoming strong. For me, at  least, it took a lot of work and a lot of patience that most people don’t think I have.

But in the beginning of searching for my guides, I didn’t know what they sounded like or how to hear them. I found out through an unexpected tool-the Ouija Board.

There we were, sitting on the floor, cross-legged with our knees touching. My partner’s eyes were closed and I called out the letters, the whole time letting her-or what felt like her-control  the planchette. As it  moved across the letters, I would hear the words and phrases pop into my head-or just “know”—before I realized what was being spelled  out,  sometimes  before  the  first  letter  was crossed. After a while, I learned what my inner guidance sounded like and not to ignore it. But it took practice and confidence in what I was feeling and hearing and a check against my old familiar and much ignored “gut instinct.”

Several very gifted  friends became  exasperated  with me.  They  had been  talking  to angels  and  spirit  guides since their childhood. Some teased. Some ridiculed. Some just simply didn’t understand because the board was too remedial for them, too slow, too cumbersome. They all told me I didn’t need it-just listen. But I had been listening and didn’t know what to listen for until I found a tool that helped me recognize what it was they seemed to hear without any trouble at all. As a teacher,  I  know-utterly know-that different things work for different people, and the  student’s  self-esteem  is easily  crushed when  tossed into the  one-size-fits-all  expected learning. The point is, this particular student needed a different tool to make the same connection they had.

And I did make the connection. Strongly. Not that my guides tell  me everything  I want  to  know,  darn  them. There are still plenty of choices and forks in the road, but life flows more easily when I listen to what my  choices are, now that I know what I’m hearing. As a result, I’ve touched the board maybe twice in the past ten months. I haven’t needed the tools.  I’ve been able to go direct to my guidance.

My friends didn’t realize that, though. That I’d started listening to my guides without tools, translators, or interpreters. And that’s where I’ve really come a long way. In who and what I listen to.

“Stop  using the board and just  listen  to  your guides,” one woman   admonished me recently   when I made a decision she disagreed with. A decision about my life that she had no say in and about a situation she knew nothing about.

She refused to hear that I had relied on my direct connection with guidance rather than a tool. Instead, she suggested that my decision was based on a misuse of the tool or that maybe I was picking up a “random dark energy” from the board, even when I mentioned I hadn’t touched it in six  months. She refused to believe me because she disagreed with my  decision.  She proceeded  to give me unsolicited advice on the choice I should make, a choice that felt wrong, wrong, wrong.

I think it would have been a good choice for her to make in her own life, a choice she hadn’t been willing to step up to and give serious credence, but for me, the decision was very clear and I felt good about it. She warned me a second and then a third time that I was  making a mistake in my decision and that I’d better listen to my guides  and  to  my  own  intuition  instead  of  relying  on someone or something else. Why? Because she didn’t feel my decision was a good one based  on  what she knew about me. My decision has turned out to be the right one, in every way, shape, and form, and especially in regard to some things she didn’t know about me or about my situation.

So that’s the other side of the “listen to your guides” coin.

I’ve heard  that  advice  constantly  for  the  past  few years, and  now  that I do hear them and I do recognize what they sound like and I do follow my inner guidance, most (by no means all) of the same advisors of “listen to your guides”  pick apart my decisions  because  they disagree.

It’s not what they would do. Somehow they seem to think that my guides should share their opinions on how to live my life.

And that’s the big test for me. Not just finally hearing my inner guidance but listening to it-and not listening to all those people I’ve always revered as so much wiser, so much smarter, so much more gifted.