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Posts Tagged ‘intuition’

I’m notorious for not listening. Every single day I am nudged by that tiny voice inside that says, “Hey, listen up.” So being the self-aware person that I am, I will admit that there are lots of times I turn down the volume. I’m too busy to listen. The dirty dishes are calling or the dog’s toys need picking up. I can think of lots of reasons not to listen. It’s a habit. Worse yet, I don’t even get that I’m not listening until the moment where the tiny voice get smug and says, “I told you so.”

The funniest part of all is that I generally trust my gut, but I let my head make the decisions.

Lately that little voice has been getting louder and it’s saying, “Perfectionism is overrated. Knock it off.” So being the self-aware person that I am I have to take a look at my life and respond with a “You must be kidding.”

If there is one thing that has always defined me it’s my perfectionism. And I’m not sure where it began, unless it was winning that statue of St. Jude when I was in first grade for perfect attendance and the approving smile of Sister Jude Thaddeus who I loved with all my heart. Despite her obvious disdain for astrology, I have embraced the Virgo in me and knit that little bit of craziness into my very cells.

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Unable to cope with mediocrity, I played only sports in which I excelled and indulged in The Arts. I was good at The Arts. I could write a decent poem, handle a calligraphy pen with grace and sketch a better-than-average still life.

In the midst of a failing marriage I didn’t fall apart. If I couldn’t have a perfect marriage I would have a perfect divorce. I handled my depression with grace and was a textbook example illustrating with perfection the stages of grief. Then I came out the other side with another chance at perfect.

Eight years and one second husband later, I have a great six year old who has embraced – to my absolute horror – perfectionism.

I feel his pain when he slips up. A crayon that misbehaves is cause for starting over. A spot of chocolate that landed on a white shirt on a Saturday afternoon is not acceptable. And a pair of boots forgotten at school the night before a snowstorm – a crisis. I know this pain.

He has become the tiny voice that shouts at me every single day and this time I’m listening.

I don’t quite know how to get there, but I have a plan and it starts with accepting that my view of perfection is imperfect. Perfect isn’t being the best, being right, knowing the answers, cleaning up all the dog toys before bedtime. Perfect is the attitude that life, with all its incomplete projects and dirty dishes and temper tantrums and cold weather in April, is perfect just as it is. There is beauty and goodness in laughing at our imperfect wonderful lives and knowing that we wouldn’t have them any other way.

 

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I'd rather have coffee with my soul.I‘m the smart one. I used to love being the smart one. Now I’m not so sure.

I have three beautiful sisters, all younger, with which to compare myself. And on many occasions, to be compared with. People don’t really mean any harm, but they can’t really help themselves when they see you as one of four daughters. One is bound to be the smart one, and one the princess. In my family, there is also a rebel and a loving one.

Throughout my life, I was more or less happy, believing I had drawn the long stick. I favored brains over beauty. I think it was just a way to defend my ego  because I never imagined myself pretty. When I looked in the mirror I saw only the flaws – the bigness of my nose, the sprinkling of freckles, the not-blue eyes.

My sisters were pretty and girly. I read books while they played dress up. This was all okay with me on the surface. I’m not sure I even knew that there was a part of me that wanted to be the pretty one. So I got by on my brains. I figured things out and always had the right answer. I listened and learned and spoke up to prove it. I got good grades and won contests and spoke Spanish all while being less than pretty.

One night I heard my sister’s fiance talking about me to his friends. He compared me to my sister while he thought I was not listening. “She got all the brains,” he said about me, “and her sister got the looks.” Nice. Twenty-five years later I’m still not sure how I feel about that.

My husband tells me that I’m not “just” pretty, but that I’m beautiful. I think this is his way of being honest. He loves me and sees my inner beauty, which is great, but sometimes it might be nice to hear that I am, indeed, pretty, in the feminine superficial sort of way – even if I’m not.

In any case, it has been my brains that got me to where I am in life, and that’s a pretty good place. Or at least it has been. Just recently it’s become obvious to me that having this brain isn’t always a benefit. It keeps me from hearing the little voice within. Since I think that voice is divine, this is a problem.

For someone who has always counted on her brain, conducting a thorough analysis of the situation, and making a decision only after carefully considering all options, turning off the thinking brain is a nightmare. I have come to know through hours of research coupled with hours of meditation that the inner voice always trumps the brain. My brain doesn’t agree. My brain always wants the last word. The small still voice speaks and the brain rudely interrupts and talks over it. Worst of all, my brain is fickle. It chooses one thing and then chooses again, compelling me to think more and figure it out. I am so tired of figuring it all out, only to find there are even more options than I originally considered. And so I constantly run from one truth to another and my brain is happy. This is what she loves. She loves knowing she can control my every action as long as I don’t sit still long enough to listen to my gut.

What I know is that the small still voice is always right. It is the voice of God speaking directly to me, not in words, but gently planting wisdom smack-dab in front of my thoughts. I just have to listen and trust.

There are occasions when my brain and my intuition play nice together, at least for a while. When they get along my life is much simpler. It becomes much stickier for a girl who has always trusted her brain when these two very insistent pieces of me have a girl fight. The brain, with her air of superiority admonishes me for even thinking that my intuition is anything more than my imagination, and she has a mean right hook. And my intuition, who is more of a lady, quietly waits, knowing that eventually, I will sit – quietly and open – until I find the answers I’m looking for.

I’m still not pretty, but like it or not, I’m smart. Through trial and error, I’ve learned that my intuition has a direct line with the Source who always steers me in the right direction. This direction always includes peace, and joy, and contentment and doesn’t have the time or the patience for chaos. I am grateful for my strong-willed brain. I have learned to wrap her gently in a warm embrace until she is still. Then I have a warm cup of coffee with my soul, and we all win.

Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/javaturtle/133316103/”>javaturtle</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

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