I'd like to tell you a story about intuition. My intuition. But as you read it, think about your own intuition and the times you've listened to it. Think about those times when you haven't listened to it as well.
But the day was unfolding in a way that was frustrating. It was one of those days where the energy was just off, when something is being forced and you know it. Have you ever had one of those days like that? It was a day when the cookies burned, the girls just wouldn't get along, our schedule got compromised in preparation of this event and some much needed groceries got put on the back burner. Clothes got mussed and had to be changed before leaving. And on and on. I could feel it and even think it. I was in conflict with myself, but my intuition was driving me to go, to attend, even when the energy of the situation wasn't right. I knew and could see how this would end: it wouldn't be quite as family friendly as was described, the girls wouldn't be able to sit through the ceremony, it would be too long, too late, we'd be too hungry waiting on that feast. But there we were, patching ourselves together and arriving for this Harvest event.
When we got there, the girls were in a familiar place and set to playing in the nursery. Within a couple minutes of being there I found out that this 7pm event wouldn't even start until 8pm! Strike one! When I finally had a chance to talk with the hostess about things, I found out the ceremony was supposed to take up to an hour and a half! Strike two. And that we wouldn't be eating the Harvest dinner until after that. Strike three. This was definitely not our night. The girls were hungry. I'd made them wait in anticipation of sharing in the harvest meal with others.
As the rain poured down outside, I gathered up the kids and made my way out of the church, leaving all the grown-ups behind me. I was soaked as I buckled each child into her carseat and more than a little frustrated that there wasn't better communication about the nature of the event. We drove away hungry, and we didn't even have our burned cookies. Remember, I'd put off grocery shopping so we could fit preparation of this community event into our day. We headed to the nearest drive thru.
We sat in the parking lot of a burger joint, rain everywhere. I wasn't sure if I wanted to stay frustrated, maybe even a little angry, at the way things had turned out, or if I wanted to sink into a bit of a pity party. Stay-at-home-mom that I am, this was a big emotional risk for me. Dragging kids along isn't always popular, but I'd done it anway because I really needed some community. I really needed those connections.
Water covered our windshield, but my lights were on. So when a lone figure ran past on the road, we saw him. That sent a surge of awareness in me. As a mom out with kids, odd things like that open my senses, even when it's nothing to worry about. I watched. He ran by and then, right there on the side of the road, rain drenching him, dropped into push-ups. Relief relaxed me, but curiosity send my mind into a story about what brought this person out on a Friday night like this, weather what it was, to get a good workout.
I felt a little silly for being so upset over the event after that, but seeing this workout warrior was more than about perspective. It had undertones of a message. There was purpose to being where I was and I just wasn't seeing it.
We finished our evening with the usual: jammies, bedtime stories galore, songs, and drifting off to sleep. I lay between the girls, an arm around each of them, and let my mind wander over the day.
Then I remembered it. The conversation I'd had with a church member who'd been leaving as we arrived. It was brief, but meaningful. She is the Religious Education leader and the conversation had revealed that she, too, was homeschooling. She'd shared a ton of information about what would be going on at the church for the kids and I'd shared several homeschool connections that were open-minded and didn't require a faith-statement.
That was why we'd needed to be there. I could feel the potential for where that conversation might lead us. It might not lead us anywhere more than what had been said, but it had opened up a doorway and validated why I'd sought out the church community. I was so focused on being disappointed about the harvest celebration that this conversation was off my radar.
And that guy running in the rain and the dark? I think he was just out doing his thing, and I needed the reminder that there are harder things than buckling kids into their carseats in the rain. I needed the reminder to look a little closer.
But the lesson I'm taking from this is to trust myself. I knew we needed to be there even when I knew it wasn't for what we were planning. I could see myself standing there in the rain, leaving before things got started, and still, I was compelled to go. While I didn't understand it, I conceded and let myself be shoved out the door by the forces that be.
Listening to the inner voice isn't a new message. We've been taught that by a ton of sources. But actually implementing it, actually extending that trust even when it goes against reason, is another matter.
Think about times when you have trusted your intuition, when you have been compelled to do something when it made no sense. What was the end result of those moments?
Find those times in your own past and let them prop you up, let them build your trust for your own intuition so that when the time comes again you can hear the message even more loudly.
If you have a time when something like this has happened, I'd love for you to share it!