Why Do We Ignore Our Intuition?
I'm sure most of us have ignored the still, small voice, even when it was yelling at us, and later regretted it. When I talk to people about their intuition, usually some guilt or regret come up about not listening, especially in the realm of romantic relationships.
I might hear: "A part of me knew it was time to leave but I stayed." Or "I knew he would be bad for me but I went ahead and got involved anyway." Now this is often years down the road, after lots and lots of heart ache, perhaps a divorce and financial problems, too. "Why didn't I listen to that still, small voice?"
You're not the only one who's asked that question. For four years, I ignored my intuition telling me a guy was wrong for me. I mistook the voice of wisdom for the voice of fear. "You're just afraid it won't work out like most relationships you've had," I'd say to myself. "Hang in there. He's got a lot of the qualities you've wanted."
But then after I was all in, he started getting angry at stupid, little things. I stood up for myself but knew I didn't want to live with someone who was constantly sweating the small stuff. My intuition chimed in in it's subtle, reasonable way: yes, you don't want to live on pins and needles with someone who has anger issues.
Then I'd talk myself back into the relationship: But I'm a journalist and he's a publisher, what a great opportunity this is! What a great team we will make. The mind and the heart battled on like this on a daily basis. The back and forth, the indecision was draining, depressing and disempowering. We lived together, too, which made it even harder to leave. I didn't want to fail in yet another relationship! Can you relate?
But one night I had the most eye-opening, magnificent, yet disturbing dream. My father, who I loved dearly and who died when I was 11, appeared as a ghost, floating above me, gliding along every ceiling of every room in the house. "You must get out of this house," he chanted over and over again in a haunting voice..
Was that a wake-up call or what? That's when I learned that when I'm not listening to wisdom, I might be lucky enough to have a dream that makes me listen. The next day I went to my job as a writer for a computer company and started planning my escape. That evening, I even took a bottle of wine to my mother's house and drank a glass or two with her. I knew she didn't like him and she would be glad to celebrate with me. And that same night I told him the relationship wasn't working, threw all my clothes into my convertible Triumph Spitfire and drove to a hotel, where I stayed for about a month. Heartbreak Hotel, alright.
I soon realized one of the underlying reasons I stayed. And this is why it is so tricky sometimes to get out of relationships. That relationship was distracting me from some deep traumatic pain I had been running from for years. But leaving the relationship was also the beginning to healing, lots of personal growth and a new life.
So we stay in relationships because we're afraid of change, of failure, of loneliness, of things getting worse. We don't want to listen to that voice of wisdom when it is bound to bring pain into our lives, when it's telling us to do the scariest thing when we want to do what's safest. But what happens if we don't listen to it? Even more pain? Sometimes... But let's not feel guilty about it. We learn when we are meant to learn and we do the best by the light we see at the time. God bless us all.
I welcome comments and questions. In the meantime, keep practicing tuning in to your Self. Love, Megan
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