What Gets in the Way of Intuition
If intuition is “the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning,” let’s talk about what gets in its way.
Why is it so many of us don’t seem to have intuition or don’t rely on it?
First, inattention. We live in a culture profoundly disconnected from natural cycles and linked instead to devices of all kinds. We’re exposed to marketing that appeals to our simplest, often unattainable desires. And, we’re busy. We struggle to pay bills, parent children, work, and plan for 2 weeks of vacation per year. We rarely take the time to listen to those small voices and snatches of direction that come from a very quiet place within. Disconnection from our inner selves, our spirit, robs us from an ever-deepening relationship with life itself. But, without effort, it’s the usual these days.
I think perhaps no one told us intuition is important, too. That it’s a valid way of interpreting the world and a much-needed tool for decision-making. Maybe we just don’t recognize it as essential.
Our logical minds get in the way, too. Simply, we want certainty. Rather than recognizing that weird feeling as a sure sign that something is wrong, we look for certainty that something is wrong. It’s the difference between 1. He’s cancelling a planned weekend with me at the last moment to show his new employee’s family around town. That’s weird. But, I don’t have any proof that anything is wrong. And 2. He’s cancelling a planned weekend with me at the last moment to show his new employee’s family around town. His new female employee who acts strangely around me. Something is wrong and I know it.
Impairment by substances or medications. Anything that, excuse my nontechnical description here, fogs the brain and changes its chemistry, can block intuition. It’s my personal opinion that drugs, natural or otherwise, can act as a kind of blockade for people- keeping some things in, keeping others out. Self medication, social lubrication, experimentation – whatever you call it, when it becomes your daily way of life, there’s less of a chance to hear your true intuition.
Dishonesty. If someone is deliberately dishonest with you. Manipulation affects your ability to see, understand and trust your own perception. If someone repeatedly tells you with enough gusto that what you’re seeing is green, when really it’s blue, you stop trusting your own instincts.
Stress, anxiety, and strong emotions. If you’re heavily invested in a certain outcome, i.e. he has to be telling me the truth because he’s my brother and he would never steal my money, then understanding intuition gets harder.
Fear. Such a small word with so much power. Fear about where the intuitive hit will lead. Fear about what this means for your future. Fear about what this means for your past. For your children. For your reputation. For your bank account. You name it. Fear.
Here’s the strange thing. Hearing and heeding your intuition doesn’t give you a free pass to safety. This doesn’t seem fair at all. It seems like following intuition ought to keep you safe from all harm and pain. But, following your intuition leads to expansion, and expansion doesn’t heed preferences. Expansion requires transformation, development, growing beyond, and that isn’t always comfortable.
Someone, somewhere said that for intuition to lead to the miraculous, you have to first notice it and then step out of fear to follow it. You have to stop being afraid. Or you have to be afraid and do it anyway. That’s more like it. It’s that moment in Game of Thrones when Jon Snow has ridden onto the battlefield, alone, and is standing against a huge line of soldiers on horseback riding straight for him, full tilt. He must feel outnumbered. Out manned. 1 small man against huge odds.
Following intuition can feel like that.
No wonder so much gets in the way.