““Our bodies have five senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing. But not to be overlooked are the senses of our souls: intuition, peace, foresight, trust, empathy. The differences between people lie in their use of these senses; most people don’t know anything about the inner senses while a few people rely on them just as they rely on their physical senses, and in fact probably even more.”
~ C. JoyBell C.
Many of the people I work with today come in with knowledge and experience just simply unknown even ten years ago.
They have read multiple books, watched endless hours of media offerings, subscribed to every relationship expert they have been referred to, and shared their stories of hope and loss with dozens of others in the same boat.
From these fountains of potential “get-better-at-finding-the-one,” they have worked on themselves, formed supposedly successful approach styles, learned better how to discern a potential relationship earlier, and how to overcome unexpected barriers.
Sadly, throughout these sincere and highly committed endeavors, many earnest and well-prepared relationship seekers have ceased to trust one of the most important variables in the equation; their trust in their own intuition, independent of what they’ve been taught to seek.
Any emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual capability withers if it is not utilized. We get better at what we practice every day, even if it is not what we need. So many of my patients are so informed that they could almost run their own talk show on relationships, yet have not been successful in creating one that grows and lasts. They are incredibly well-practiced in what they have learned, but often at the expense of what their inner hearts already knew.
It’s not that what they’ve learned isn’t remarkably valuable, and not to be dismissed, either in their hard work or in their mastery. The problem is that it’s now filling their life-screen, drowning out what they need to reclaim.
Because relationships have not worked, they’ve relegated their intuition as a bad source of data, formed by bad experiences that are bearing the burden for their lack of success.
Though it is absolutely true that negative childhood experiences and subsequent relationship failures are often related, they are only a part of the person one has become because of them.
The mixtures of core intuitive reactions that are potentially relationship-dooming with those that are self-affirming are often hard to separate out. When people ignore or suppress them, they veritably “throw out the baby with the bath water.”
Reclaiming intuition about how love should feel must happen in order for any kind of learned relationship knowledge to be effective for anyone.
Trying to suppress gut reactions that are core to self-understanding will only result in a stilted presentation that cannot be fully authentic or sustainable in the long-term.
Six Steps to Reclaiming Your Healthy Intuition About Love
- Go back through all of your intimate relationship. Ask yourself what you really felt at the beginning that you talked yourself out of because you were attracted to other things in the relationship and didn’t want to give up.
- Is there a pattern to those thoughts and feelings that you have routinely pushed away?
- Are those intuitive, suppressed thoughts and feelings something you were taught to ignore from your caretakers when you were a child?
- Are you afraid to share what you intuit early in relationships for fear that it will alienate a potential partner? Has that happened in the past and made you less willing to risk?
- When and where have you followed your intuition and it worked out right for you? In which relationships has that been more likely to happen?
- What part of your intuition doesn’t fit with what you’ve been told “works?” If there is a discrepancy, why have you suppressed your own voice?
The goal when you delve deeply into these answers is to rediscover where your intuition has been helpful to you and where it has not.
As you do, you will be able to recalibrate how and when to use it successfully. In order to do that, you must always listen to that inner voice, incorporate what is healthy about it into your knowledge and presentation of yourself, and hold to it with pride and confidence.
The earlier you are willing to do that in a relationship, the more you will be able to differentiate a true love relationship from one that seems promising but will not work out.
Dr. Randi Gunther – www.randigunther.com
The truth is that there aren’t any rules – in relationships or in following intuition.
No one really knows what they’re doing, and all of us have been hurt and done or said the exact wrong thing at any given moment. You can listen to your intuition and get it all wrong and listen to your friends who are sending you in the opposite direction and still get it wrong.
Intuition isn’t magic, and it isn’t always right; it’s simply more information that can influence your decisions.
People who follow their intuition are taking risks that don’t always make a lot of logical sense in the moment but feel right to them at the time. Learning to pay attention to your intuition is a leap of faith that there is some other knowledge you can tap into that isn’t necessarily related to your brain or your feelings.
I think of intuition as the small voice you hear inside of you when everything else is still and quiet or as something you can feel in your gut (or throughout your body) that gently nudges you to make a decision you might not have considered before now.
And if you want to get good at using it, you will have to develop some very good listening skills.
You may want to start with small things that don’t make much of a difference before you tap your intuition for things with bigger stakes. You will also have to get better at taking risks and doing things you wouldn’t normally consider but feel right anyway.
There’s always a possibility that things won’t work out the way you expected, so you may want to change your goal to making small steps along the way instead of a grand ultimate outcome.
Getting support from people you know who trust their intuition is also a great idea.
They can guide you and help you understand how to learn to trust yourself. And you may also have to get used to the reality that you will get hurt – there’s no way to get around that.
There is no right way to listen to or follow your intuition, just have fun with it and see what happens.
Becky Bringewatt, MA, LPC, NCC – www.mantiscounselingandcoaching.com
A woman’s intuition is her secret power.
We use our intuition to raise our children, or to know if someone is trustworthy or not. We use it to navigate our lives in a thousand ways every day. And, we use it for finding a relationship.
Intuition is a deep inner listening. We all have this ability, and women especially.
Intuition is a faculty of higher mind. It is a kind of extra sensory perception, as it were. Intuition allows us to discern between the billions of information bits that we are thinking, to discover by filtering through all of that sensory data, the common denominator which is this: the truth of something or someone.
There is often so much mental clutter around certain subjects, especially ones that are important to us, that we sometimes cannot cognize what we think.
That’s because we are thinking everything at the same time!
When we’re afraid, and especially when we think our lives depend on it, we might be thinking thousands of thoughts simultaneously with no conscious prioritization. This can put us into utter chaos – because of our fear!
But just behind the veil of the pros-and-cons list of our life, and all the myriad information that we pick up along the way – behind all that data – waiting patiently for us, is our personal inner-knowing.
Not what the world would say, and not what someone else thinks about a subject, but our very own precious knowing.
This super power of intuition helps us sense our way through life’s problems. We can sense when to move and when not to move. We can feel the intentions of another. We can intuit if something is right for us or not – including a man.
Your intuition is the most accurate gauge of someone’s intention and heart. By heeding this deep inner listening, the truth can shine through.
Because we really do know, or I should say, we can know. We just need to stop and consciously ask ourselves…
…and then, listen.
So, how do you listen to your heart?
Learn to listen with your body. Your body knows. The brain can get fooled by the external information of things. We can be overloaded and overwhelmed by the sheer density of our thought.
How much money he has or doesn’t have, his job or his lack of job, his charisma or his shyness. He may look great on paper but still not be your guy. We could miss something essential because he doesn’t have a job at all right now, the same as we can miss it because he has a great one!
Here’s the thing. If you are listening with your heart, you will know.
Become quiet inside yourself. This is very like a little mini-meditation. Sit perfectly still and empty your mind. When you think of this person, what do you intuit? (Not, what do you think.) For the moment, put aside your opinions and judgments or preconceived ideas. What does your heart know?
Really, deeply listen.
Does your inner-self give you a thumbs up or a thumbs down? Is there an internal nod of YES, or a squeezing closed feeling of NO? You will feel it. It is very definite.
As you are gathering impressions, don’t be tempted to manufacture reasons to support these impressions.
Just trust your intuition. Don’t try to justify your intuition.
If you need to “figure out” or “prove” what or why your intuition is telling you something, you are already out of the intuitive state and back into the brain’s limited logic.
This is why intuition is intuition, not deduction or analysis. It’s a whole different faculty of mind.
After a while you’ll see it’s easy to listen to your intuition. What is difficult is trusting it. And what is even more difficult is acting on it – but that’s another article!
There is no greater insight than what your intuition senses and bestows – if you’ll listen. It is how Einstein was able to conceive E=mc2. He intuited it first; then he proved it.
Your intuition is a powerful tool. It is truly your super power, and in time, and with practice, you will learn to trust it more and more. It will guide you seamlessly through life. It will nudge you left when left is exactly the next move.
As you become more adept in listening to your intuition you will find yourself navigating your life more and more deftly, decision by decision, choice by choice, breath by breath, moment by moment.
And, what is extraordinary about this inner-knowing, this intuition, this super power, is that it is adaptable and ever-responding to the ever-changing circumstance of our ever-changing reality!
And that’s how you can KNOW who is right for you, or anything at all, for that matter!
Diana Lang, Counselor and Spiritual Teacher – www.dianalang.com
Life is a giant classroom where you learn the many lessons you need to create your best life with a wonderful partner.
Life teaches you that your choices can either open up doors of infinite opportunity or close them tight with feelings of pity, remorse or shame.
While life is the training ground for all your choices, you get little preparation in how to make your best decisions.
That is where your intuition comes in. Learning to trust your gut messages takes practice, but you just have to notice and be aware of the feelings you experience.
Here are some things to consider, so your greatest lessons can continue to direct you.
1. Since life is a classroom, begin to trust that everything that happens is a lesson to be learned.
All your dating experiences, both good or bad are not happening by chance. Nothing happens by chance. Instead, understand that these experiences are teaching you what you like and don’t like and bringing you closer to what you truly want in a relationship.
2. The greatest lessons you learn come from your failures – but only if you view it that way.
In other words, you need to open your eyes so you can take in the experience, examine it thoroughly and then find the significance in it. In this way, you don’t repeat the same mistakes twice.
3. Live your life with meaning and compassion and make your life as positive as you can.
With a meaningful direction to your life, you grow into a well-defined individual who becomes more attractive to others who are also looking for a life partner.
Stop chasing the wrong things.
Sure, wealth and comfort are extremely important, but a loving partner and other significant relationships are what you should be chasing. With this understanding and awareness you can bring into your life a wonderful and joyous relationship. Continue striving to reach your full potential, by following your life’s lessons and your gut messages and and you will surely be guided down the right path.
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
Intuition is very important.
It is that sixth sense that tells you something is off. Sometimes we meet someone and so much is left unsaid that we can´t help but feel like there is something there that we are missing. When we are in love, we tend to ignore our intuition because the high from being with someone new overpowers our intuition.
As women, we struggle with trusting our intuition.
We are often told that it is in our head or that we are being emotional. Yet men are encouraged to trust their instinct which is similar to intuition. As women we need to learn to trust that first instinct and follow-through with it. If we second guess ourselves or convince ourselves that what we are feeling is not the case; we can set ourselves up for disaster.
As a couple´s therapist, I have heard survivors of violent relationships say that they felt hesitation continuing the relationship because of their partner´s behavior but ignored the way they felt.
They said that despite the behavior they were observing from their partner they doubted their own intuition. They noticed the red flags but did not act on them because he was so charming.
One client reported that her partner ran hot and cold.
One day, he was extremely loving and affectionate and the next he was abusive and demeaning blaming her for his unhappiness. She stayed in the relationship for several years because she convinced herself that what he was saying was true. In other words she wanted to believe his words over his actions.
This is not the case for everyone.
In this particular case, this client had a history of childhood physical and sexual abuse. This made her more vulnerable because of her high threshold for cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive dissonance occurs when we have conflicting beliefs about what we are experiencing.
Even though she wanted to set and maintain healthy boundaries, it was difficult for her to resist his violation of her boundaries because of her history and high threshold.
An example would be someone punching you and saying “I love you” while he is abusing you. You want to believe what they are saying over what they are doing and it creates disbelief and an internal conflict. This disbelief and internal conflict are what make it so hard to trust your intuition.
I believe everyone has intuition. The issue is whether you trust it enough to make a decision based on how you feel.
Because feelings are intangible in the sense that they fluctuate and vary from person to person, it can be hard to nail down the reason why it feels like something is just not right. It is that voice in your head that says this may not be a good idea, but you do it anyway.
Be mindful of ways that you second guess yourself and doubt your intuition. Are there patterns in your life where this is an issue?
Recognize toxic behavior and allow yourself to challenge it.
You don’t have to tolerate something that is unhealthy and destructive. Disengage and get away from chaotic and unstable people that stress you out.
Talk to someone and process how you are feeling and what your intuition is telling you about someone. Walk through each scenario and give yourself the chance to see what the outcome might look whether you continue in the relationship or leave.
Confront your fear and ask yourself if it is really as bad as you think to disengage from a toxic situation. Be mindful of any fear or anxiety you may have about setting clear boundaries and standing your ground.
Being in love is great and it feels good. Yet it is not worth the cost of your well-being and happiness to ignore your intuition about your relationship. Don’t ignore the red flags or toxic behavior.
Honor yourself and trust your intuition.
Remember intuition is there for a reason. It is what tells us that we need to tread carefully with our eyes wide open. Practice recognizing when you have an intuition about something and ask yourself if you were right. Be gentle with yourself and trust that being healthy and happy is your right.
Ileana Hinojosa, MLA, LMFT – www.themindfullife.net
Intuition is a phenomenon that we really don’t understand scientifically. It’s a feeling about something that you can’t explain factually.
While I wouldn’t trust only my intuition about something important, I wouldn’t ignore it either.
We don’t know everything about how we take in and process information. Sometimes we may “sense” something. Something just doesn’t feel right and we don’t know why consciously.
In matters of the heart, I think intuition is important in assessing the relationship potential of someone you’re attracted to.
Maybe you are really physically attracted to someone but you have a little bit of doubt about him. That is your intuition telling you to be careful. I probably wouldn’t reject someone just based on my intuition, but I would certainly be very careful as I pursued the relationship.
In the end, intuition is just one more tool that you have to guide you in the process of finding the right partner.
You also have past experiences, the emotional maturity that comes from having worked on yourself, and that big, wonderful brain of yours that will ultimately need to process all of the information so that you can make a good decision.
We are a complicated species. We need all of the information we can get when making important life decisions. Trusting your intuition is really trusting your own instincts. That’s almost always a very good idea.
Sally LeBoy, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com
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