“Trust your hunches. They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level” – Dr. Joyce Brothers
There are signs all around us. Do you see them all? Sometimes, even though we may be fully engaged and aware, we still miss the signs.
Perhaps the most common signs we come across are traffic signs. We come across these signs every single day (or at least every day that we drive) and sometimes we see them, and sometimes we do not. It is easy to get distracted while driving – there is the cell phone, the radio, the child crying in the back seat, your inability to remember whether you turned your hair straightener off before leaving the house, etc. Signs are also open to interpretation. Sometimes, the big red “stop sign” is actually interpreted as a stop sign, and we stop for the full recommended three seconds, look both ways, and proceed with caution. Other times, it serves as a mere “slowdown sign” – we brake, almost come to a complete stop, but then continue to roll past the sign. Of course, there is always that one person that will never fully come to a complete stop unless there is a police officer nearby. To these people the “stop sign” seems to always be interpreted as a “pretty red sign that does not require attention unless one sees a car with flashing red and blue lights attached to it.”
Traffic signs are very much like the signs we see in relationships. Although we come across them every single day, sometimes we see them and sometimes we do not. And, if we are being honest, sometimes we see the signs, recognize their meaning and significance, and nevertheless still choose to ignore them. Some signs are subtle – they are easily overlooked or explained away. But, other signs are blatant and painfully obvious. Still, no matter how apparent the sign, it is sometimes just easier to pretend that we do not see it. We ignore the sinking feeling in our gut, the lump forming in our throat, the increase in our heart rate, and that nagging voice in the back of our mind telling us that “something does not feel right.”
Have you ever seen these blatant signs, chose to ignore them, and then completely lose yourself in your relationship? Have you ever done something knowing full well that it was not right? I have. I have chosen to ignore my intuition at times. Of course, I am not alone in this! Some of us ignore our intuition when it comes to choosing a life partner; others ignore their intuition about accepting a job or relocating, or even ignore their intuition about their own wellbeing or the wellbeing of those that they love.
Most people try their best to ignore their inner voices – especially when it comes to their relationships. No matter how bold or clear the signs, it is always easy to ignore them. We throw ourselves into our work or studies, place all of our attention on our family, children, or friends, sit in front of the T.V and binge on Netflix, etc. It is truly amazing how many things we can find in order to busy ourselves when we do not want to listen to, or deal with, our inner voice.
Unfortunately, ignoring our inner voice does not make it go away! If I have learned anything from my own experiences, it is that our inner voice is not something to be shut out. It is not only our brain’s way of telling us that something is wrong (a type of instinct), but it is also the key to finding happiness. When we suppress our inner voice, we are actually suppressing our inner peace, our happiness, and our inner strength. Ignoring our inner voice may lend to temporary happiness and comfort – but that is all it is – temporary. Eventually, we all have to acknowledge the signs – face our fears and listen to that little nagging voice inside of our heads.
Life truly does begin on the other side of fear. Listening to your intuition may save you years of unhappiness, disappointment, loneliness, and regret. So, what do you have to lose? Take a moment, breathe, and listen. When you listen – when you truly listen – you will find that you already know the answer to the question that you are afraid to ask. Everything you need is already inside of you – it is just a matter of finding the courage to move beyond fear and to trust in yourself!