In a recent article, Dr. Judith Orloff talks about “How to Tell the Difference Between Fear and Intuition“. At first, the title surprised me as these are in many ways polar opposites. But then I remembered that when the emotions are noisy, it’s not always easy to hear the voice of intuition. And occasionally fear is a signal that intuition will carry, such as in a warning.
She makes several observations that I think are quite good. Intuition is neutral and not caught up. I can also mention it doesn’t have a judgment with it, like good or bad – just a sense of rightness. It brings clarity. She also notices that it’s “seen” first, then felt. This indicates it’s coming from deeper within. Really strong intuitions can even have a quality of being “heard”, like a voice, although many people are not comfortable with that mode. 😉
Fear is basically the opposite: charged, brings up the past, confuses, and no sense of correctness. The judging voice is often there too, the voice of blame.
In the second example Judith uses, you can see how a clear intuition can bring up fear with it. So the key here is to be able tell them apart. What’s the signal and what’s the reaction. This is much the same as how a spiritual opening can trigger release and we can confuse them, thinking the reaction and purification are the “truth”.
She makes the useful observation that if you are empathic, you may be picking up on someone elses fears. Moving away from them is useful. Even more potent is to make that inner connection to source. Then over time you will become less and less overshadowed by anothers noise. Being able to sit in the observer does wonders for intuition.
It’s also worth mentioning that some people gain energy from social situations. Others require personal time to “recharge”. If you are of the second type, it’s much easier to discriminate if you are not drained. Again, making that inner connection can help immensely.
There is one place where I differ from Judith though. She talks about it feeling right in your gut. Clearly, this is a common experience as there are sayings like a “gut feeling”. But not everyone feels it like that. If I have a feeling in the gut, I know it’s resistance. Charlie Brown style. (laughs) For me, there is a sense of feeling right but I would describe it as being “in the field” or nonlocalized. It feels, but not in a place. She does use “on-target feeling” as an alternate term.
When the spiritual connection gets deeper, intuitions can become far more multimedia. A whole scene can show up. This makes more sense if everything is memory. But keep in mind that such things can be more generalized than our usual space-time experience. In intuitive space, space and time are less localized so blended elements may show up. What we might think of as symbolic.
For example, we may see someone, then see someone else behind them. The 2nd person is actually “after” them in time rather than space. We’ll meet one, then the other. It’s the understanding that comes with the experience that will explain it and what differentiates it from a dream. But you may have to learn to shut up and listen rather than react when something shows up. The noisy mind is very good at masking that ‘still small voice’. Although it’s really not very small. (laughs)
The other trick is that intuitions may not make a memory impression if there’s no emotional reaction. Like a dream, they vanish on the wind. So write it down. Observe, write, then think about it after. I have a pen and post-it notes stationed all over the house. And with me. Boy Scout, eh? (laughs)
But if you miss it, not to worry. If it’s important enough, the signal will come more than once. And get louder. Pushy even. (laughs)
BTW – the post-it notes don’t mean I’m obsessed with the future. The stuff I write down is deeper understandings, openings, and so forth that come up. Some of that shows up here.