Trust fall with your in­tu­ition

GA Voice - - Georgianews -

“The power of in­tu­itive un­der­stand­ing will pro­tect you from harm un­til the end of your days.” – Lao Tzu

One of the great­est things about get­ting older is also be­com­ing wiser. Even the dullest among us hardly makes it to midlife with­out learn­ing a few lessons from the hard knocks that life seems to be so adept at dish­ing out. I like to think we are all souls hav­ing a “hu­man ex­pe­ri­ence” for the pur­pose of learn­ing lessons that make us bet­ter souls.

Sev­eral years ago, I started go­ing to ther­apy to help me deal with my fa­ther’s ter­mi­nal ill­ness. I be­gan a jour­ney of learn­ing about the tools I have to not only cope with grief, but also to grow: to learn from ex­pe­ri­ences that I per­ceive as “neg­a­tive” and to guard my peace from peo­ple who would dis­turb it.

Each of those tools and how I’ve learned to use them could be their own col­umn be­cause my ex­pe­ri­ences have been rich. But, the tool that has been on my mind lately is that of our in­tu­ition.

As I re­flect on the mis­takes and bad de­ci­sions I have made in the past, I can see a pat­tern of me see­ing my in­tu­ition as a bar­rier, not a helper. Be­cause of my back­ground in a fun­da­men­tal evan­gel­i­cal church, I mis­took my in­tu­ition for some­thing like be­ing sin­fully judg­men­tal.

When my in­tu­ition made me feel a cer­tain way about some­one based on the things that they were say­ing or do­ing, I would almost in­stantly feel guilty about it be­cause I was “judg­ing” them, or per­haps I was “pro­ject­ing” from a past ex­pe­ri­ence and not giv­ing the per­son the ben­e­fit of a doubt.

When you have had to over­come your past and you felt the warmth and love from peo­ple who didn’t judge you, you be­come much more of a grace-giver to oth­ers. So, when new peo­ple in my life would tell me about the things they’ve done in their past, I wanted to give them the gift of my un­con­di­tional love and ac­cep­tance. I set my judg­ments aside and let them have a fresh start with me.

Doesn’t that sound won­der­ful and benev­o­lent of me? It wasn’t. In fact, it was the suck! I ended up invit­ing ev­ery type of dra­mafilled sce­nario into my life. My peace was non-ex­is­tent and I was un­able to see that the com­mon thread in all of the friend­ships and re­la­tion­ships I had with peo­ple who were de­stroy­ing my peace was that I had ig­nored my in­tu­ition about them.

I could ac­tu­ally go back to spe­cific con­ver­sa­tions with peo­ple and re­call things that they said to me that re­vealed the thing about them­selves that I re­ally needed to know to pro­tect my­self, yet I chose to ig­nore it. In do­ing so, my life be­came a whirl­wind of drama, liars, ad­dicts, al­co­holics, cheaters and all of the bad junk those peo­ple were at­tached to.

Last year, I made a de­ci­sion that I was go­ing to change this one thing about how I make de­ci­sions re­gard­ing who gets my time and en­ergy. Although I still strug­gle with some guilt about not know­ing “for cer­tain” if some­one is re­ally good or bad for me, I’m get­ting much more com­fort­able with trust­ing my gut. I now ex­pe­ri­ence the peace of know­ing that I have a badass tool, that I’ve be­come skilled at us­ing it and now see re­sults.

“When you have had to over­come your past and you felt the warmth and love from peo­ple who didn’t judge you, you be­come much more of a grace-giver to oth­ers.”

Shan­non Hames is a mom, writer, real­tor, vol­un­teer, rocker chick, world trav­eler and ’80s hair band afi­cionado. She loves ba­bies, ob­serv­ing peo­ple, read­ing great books and tak­ing hot baths. She has been writ­ing for Ge­or­gia Voice since 2010.

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