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 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.