A Brand New Novel
Josephine Baker, the early-20th-century African-American dancer, comic, and singer–hugely famous in Paris. Did you know that she was also a spy for the French Resistance during WWII?
Listen to your intuition! You know, that inner voice telling you when something isn’t right–and when it is? It’s not easy to do, especially at first. Like a muscle– and like the doll in the girl’s pocket in the “Women Who Run With the Wolves” story–intuition gets stronger the more we use it. I learned the hard way how to listen to mine.
Nearly six years ago, I met a man and Pow! Instant attraction. He was into me, too, which made the experience oh, so exciting. We fell in love. But something wasn’t right. Sometimes when we got together, he was fully engaged and “into” me. But many other times–at least half the time–he was detached, emotionally and physically (but not intellectually). This confused me, and was hard on my self-esteem. At last, I broke up with him. And cried every day for two months, until I met someone new. When that happened, he wanted me back. And so the ping-ponging began, with me breaking up (because my intuition told me–WARNED me–that he was all wrong for me) and us getting back together (because I didn’t like what my intuition was saying, and preferred to believe the man, who insisted that he loved me “unconditionally.”)
Now, I’m free at last–but it took a traumatic turn of events for me to finally wake up. At first, I hated him, then myself–how could I have been so blind? Survivor that I am, I soon began to search for the meaning behind the madness. And I understood, and still understand, that my contribution to my misery was failing to honor my inner Wise Woman–my intuition.
It still isn’t easy. She is an exacting master. As my heart heals (slowly) and I dip my toe in the dating pool again, I’m calling ’em as She sees ’em, and the result is a lot of “opportunities” tossed aside. The ones who want to get “serious” right away. On the other end, the commitment-phones, and those who talk “relationship” but really just want to get laid. The ones looking for a golfing buddy (but who don’t come right out and say so) or a mother for their children. The narcissists who seem charming at first but, in the end, it’s all about them. The list goes on.
All these men seem so fantastic, and are good-looking, too. Some are highly educated and successful. All have hearts. In the past, I might have ended up with any of them, seeing only their positive qualities while ignoring the doll bouncing around in my pocket saying “no, no, no.”
The same is true of friends. I’ve let a few go this year, as my intuition says, “She (or he) isn’t good for you.” The reasons are varied and specific: not trustworthy, takes but never gives, not a true friend but wants only to bask in my (perceived) ‘fame,’ and, in at least one case, only hopes to have sex with me. I’ve let these people go, and even though it’s hard to lose a friend, I feel anything but alone.
Several years ago I had a dream in which, everywhere I went, people lay dead on the sidewalks, in the parking lots, in the shopping malls. I realized that my fears around autonomy had to do with being alone–I was literally the only one standing. Today, I realize that will never happen. Fewer friends means I can go deeper with the ones I keep. And if by chance I should lose them all, I have my Wise Woman to keep me company. She is the best friend of all.
Are there people or situations in your life that trigger your inner alarms? Listen, and take heed. Don’t be afraid of your own wisdom, acquired through all your years, experiences, and lessons learned. This is my advice today. Live fearlessly, honestly, authentically.
One friend whom I shared these lessons with said, “Sometimes I don’t know whether it’s my intuition I’m hearing or my Id.” That can be tricky, I agree. The best I can do is trust myself, my intelligence, and my wisdom. Living authentically, which means being true to myself and listening to my intuition–even if I end up standing alone–beats the hell out of living a lie (that I told myself) for six wasted years.