Do You Hear Anything?

The other morning I looked out the kitchen window and discovered that our little family of goats was out of the pasture. I headed out the door, still in my pajamas, to round them up and hopefully get them back to where they were supposed to be without too much drama.

When they saw me walking towards them they leaped up into the air like a herd of deer and high-tailed it back to the barn. They were soon peering at me through the fence acting like they had been there all along and wondering what I was doing out there in my pajamas!

They acted so guilty when they saw me coming. How did they know they were doing something they weren’t supposed to? They reminded me of when my children were little and got caught in the act of something forbidden—like unwrapping the Christmas presents early! It’s a funny thing—but even if we’ve not been told, there is something inside of us that usually sounds a warning bell when we are about to go off of the track.

You hear stories all of the time of people saying that they “saw a red flag” when they were about to do something. Or that they had a hunch they were headed the wrong direction. Sometimes sirens and bells go off in your head, but you press forward anyway. When I look back at things that should have been a good indicator that I was about to go out of bounds, I wonder why I didn’t listen to that little voice of reason and warning.

Maybe our curiosity gets the best of us. Maybe we are sure that we know better. Whatever the reason, you can be certain that when you charge forward and ignore your inner voice that you are headed towards a major life lesson. We always have the option to learn things the easy way or the hard way. Why do we so often pick the expensive route? Perhaps it is because we have not learned to value and listen to that very quiet voice within.

I know that my instincts have told me many times something that I didn’t yet have evidence for and shouldn’t know but that at a deep inner knowing level I did. Frequently, I have discounted that voice and proceeded anyway, wanting to give people the benefit of the doubt. I have had to prove to myself the truth of what I knew instantly. It is a costly way to learn. But when you don’t value intuitive messages, they cannot really help you. I have learned through ignoring them that maybe they have something worthwhile to teach me and that maybe I should listen to my intuition and proceed with a little more caution.

Part of growing is learning to hear and value your own voice. It is not uncommon for us to have wounded instincts. Intuition is not generally valued in our culture. Add to that an inordinate desire to please others and you have a formula for learning things the hard way.

Although women often have a strong intuitive sense, they frequently have been socialized to be pleasers and so ignore their own inner warning system. Speak to a woman in an abusive relationship and ask her if she had any red flags before going into the relationship. Generally there was something that made her think twice, but she ignored her own inner wisdom.

Of course, women don’t have the corner on this particular behavior. Men often suffer from being tuned out to their own sense of knowing. Honoring what we feel, paying attention to our “gut”, listening to that little voice is an important part of opening up to the work of the Spirit in our lives. The Spirit also speaks to us in a still, small voice. Unless we learn to tune in and listen for the quiet voice of Spirit, we will miss out on important lessons and promptings.

Meditation teaches us a “quiet mind”. One of its many benefits is an increased ability to hear your inner voice. Asking to be filled with God’s Spirit and taking time to listen also increases our abilities to hear and to submit to Divine will. Developing one's intuition is an important part of gnosis because it gives us access to a higher kind of knowledge or knowing. Next time you are tempted to shut out that inner voice, stop and listen. Consider that it might have something of value to share with you.