To Trust Your Intuition – Or Other People?

standing

 

To trust, or not to trust – that is the question.

You see, we live in a world that undervalues intuition, a world where, in most people, the inner compass that senses what feels “good” and what “feels” wrong has been dampened under so many layers of cultural, social and psychological imperatives that is has turned stiff and unmoving. Even when the needle quivers a little, here and there, its signals are ignored.

Thus a society has been created where money is valued more than people; where people work at jobs which corrode away at their soul and spend remarkable amounts of time around people they deep down do not really like, parroting the same things other people say, without developing their own minds or identity; and where following the Man, rather than listening to the smaller fellow inside you, is the path to traditional success. Freedom of speech is nothing without the freedom to be who you are – unapologetically, and without obstruction – and society is set up to drag you down when you express parts of yourself not in alignment with what is socially or culturally “correct”. To walk among any city today is to walk amongst the asleep, the unthinking, the unquestioning.

For those who are not asleep, or have awakened, or never fell asleep in the first place – and there are more of us than we think – the sense of alienation cuts to the bone, for it is be a lone woman or man, walking amongst the drugged and the dreaming. You see things no-one else seems to notice, much less care about. But most of all, you sense things, intuitively, about places, systems, society, people, that others do not, and in a world run by the mind than the heart, the “wrongness” of everything assaults you like a slap on an everyday basis. And whenever this happens, whenever you notice anything wrong, or out of place, anything that just doesn’t feel good, you always have a choice: to either trust your intuition, or flow along with the masses, in the opposite direction, against the beat of your heart and the stream of your blood.

The fact that intuition is a elusive and fickle creature doesn’t make this choice any easier. For me, there are no words that can describe intuition in action; the best I can come up with is that it is a gentle – or sometimes sharp – twist or tilt in your heart, telling you what feels good, and what feels wrong. Unfortunately, this stirring in one’s breast can be confused with all manner of other sensations. For example, I have anxiety, and there are many situations where I am not sure whether I am anxious because of my anxiety, or because there is something “wrong”, either with the situation itself, or the people involved. After all, intuition, when the little antennae picks up on a negative signal, manifests a reaction in the body remarkably similar to anxiety. So when I pick up a phone and have to call someone other than my family, I am occasionally unsure whether my reluctance to call that person is because I have a “feeling” this person is someone who isn’t right for my life, and doesn’t mean well, or because talking on the phone makes me nervous.

In addition, intuition can be used as a crutch for anything that makes you feel scared or uncomfortable. Writing, for instance, makes me uncomfortable, in that, enjoyable as it is, I often know before starting I won’t like what I write, and therefore put it off. Blaming your procrastination on intuition when it is simply your reluctance to work is absurd. Intuition, when it picks up on something bad, isn’t just nervousness, fear, or uncomfortableness – it is more a deep-seated aversion, a enormous sense of “wrongness”.

The choice to trust your intuition is also not an easy one simply because what other people believe and hold to be right and good, is sometimes, since it is believed and upheld by such a great number of minds, stronger than the little voice piping up inside your chest. Basically, when you see things others do not, you are the one made to feel crazy, bonkers, delusional – not everyone else. And so the force of the majority causes you to doubt your intuition, your gut feeling. They are so big, so strong, and you are just one person, sometimes very young, very naïve, and wracked with low self-esteem and uncertainty. Perhaps the ghosts you see were indeed, as they keep on reminding you, conjured up by your imagination; perhaps it is better to walk on and pretend you can’t see them.

There have been times when I have encountered, spoken to, or come in contact with, some of them even relatives, people who don’t feel “good”. Outwardly, they are all smiles and politeness, and even the most astute observer would see them as an ordinary and kind person. Yet, when I am around them, no matter how caring, obliging, or nice they seem, they make me silently and excruciatingly uncomfortable, somewhere in my heart. Intuitively, I sense their thoughts and intentions are not pure, even as everyone who knows them only touts their praise. I just feel it. Usually it is impossible to confirm whether these “hunches” are true, but because they are so strong and overwhelming, I can’t help but feel as though they are right.

Then there have been other times when, say, before, stepping into a new clinic, or visiting a relative’s house, my heart has risen up, and told me not to go in. And you know what? Young as I was then, I ignored my intuition, and the experiences invariably ended up being invalidating, deeply hurtful, or went against the grain of my soul, which feels as though my very essence is like a cat’s fur being stroked the in the wrong direction. It’s is horrifically painful, horrifically uncomfortable.

Intuition can be, at times a liability. Having too strong an intuition is similar to the curse of too much knowledge – you see too much, know too much, and much of it is negative. Just by being around a person you can see into their soul, their very being, and if it is dark, cruel, evil, their presence burns you. Experiences such as visiting a shopping centre, disregarding my sensory difficulties, are also excruciating, because such places epitomize all that is wrong with modern society: blitz, overconsumption, the economic system, chasing away one’s pain, one’s thoughts, one’s heart, through credit card swipes and new clothes. Two times I’ve visited a large shopping centre in the last six years, and each time the experience battered my heart, my very essence quaking, rebelling, squirming.

Being intuitive extends to more than people or situations. It can make ordinary choices difficult. Upon placing an artificially coloured and manufactured sweet in my mouth, I have to spit it out, my body rebelling against its synthetic taste and origin. On the rare occasions I have to step outside, assaulted by the whiff of road pollution, my body squirms against the poison others strolling along seem to breathe in without complaint, without even noticing.

And sometimes, well, it is hard not to think you are crazy; being intuitive is almost like having an extra sensory organ that picks up on signals most people are able to ignore, so it’s like seeing ghosts, like seeing electromagnetic signals. Just as with many psychological disorders, or differences, you experience the world differently – and often, more painfully. So it’s easier, sometimes, to pretend you do not notice, do not see, to clamp down or stifle your intuition they way other people seem able to do.

But you can’t. You can’t. The truth is, your intuition tells you that your intuitive feelings are to be trusted – and your intuition, if listened to properly, with respect and attentiveness, can grow loud enough to drown out the voices of everyone around you.

To me, intuition is the compass guiding in your life towards what is good for you, and what is not. If something “feels” good, makes you happy and excited, down to your core, then you should go for it, chase it, walk down that path. However, if anything “feels” bad (not just simply discomfort brought about by any mental illnesses, such as paranoia, or anxiety), not in alignment with your soul, whereby doing it or saying it or being around it incites a deep, inexplicable aversion within you, then following through with it will only lead to pain and suffering, and you will have walked off the path of what your soul is trying to express and become in this lifetime.

It is alienating, being highly intuitive. But it is also, if used well, a tool and a gift, able to help you create and build a life true to your heart, for it is the wisdom of your soul, gently speaking to you, and perhaps, therefore, the universe itself nudging you along onto the right path.  

What have been your experiences where your intuition picked up on something others seemed not to sense? Do you agree with the way I see intuition, as the key to unlocking your soul’s path – or is it nothing more than a primitive mechanism passed down from our ancestors when they needed to determine whether a person was a friend or foe in less than a second?

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