What do I know to be true?
These are the words that I find myself often repeating nowadays. It is a way for me to be sure I am connecting to truth rather than solely to my emotional center. You see, I experience a high level of anxiety and can often catch myself ‘future predicting’ and running off into crisis mode in my head. If I can’t get ahold of my sister for a day, she’s obviously been in a car accident or if my boss needs to speak to me I am obviously in trouble or getting laid off except, these aren’t true. They’re feelings.
Now, you might be thinking… Heather, this is counter intuitive to what I thought you’d be writing about considering the title is “never doubt the power of your intuition.” And my response to you, oh dear reader, is this: Never doubt the power of your intuition AND the importance of connecting with the truth. That is the caveat that I intentionally left out of the title … I know … sneaky…
What do I know to be true? The power of these 7 words has created a significant shift in my ability to step back, breathe, assess and take real action (or be willing to sit in observation longer.) When I catch myself in a situation where my mind and heart start fluttering out of control, I am better about stopping and asking myself that very sobering question. In this moment, what do I know to be true. It might be that I know I do not know anything. That’s great. Or, it could be that I know I do not have enough information. Perhaps I have some really good information (from myself or others) and I am not taking that in fully.
The power of our intuition is really a combination of chemical / mystical / magical / biomechanical / evolutionary woo woo (I know, technical jargon can be hard to understand.) Or in other words…
There is ancient biological wisdom to this express link between perception and response. When meeting a stranger in the forest, one had to instantly decide: friend or foe? Those who could read a person quickly and accurately were more likely to survive and leave descendants, which helps explain why humans today can distinguish at a glance between facial expressions of anger, sadness, fear or pleasure. – David G. Myers, The Powers and Perils of Intuition, Psychology Today
I am a firm believer that tuning into my intuition and listening to my gut reaction is incredibly powerful and tells me so much about a situation. I am also aware that sometimes my intuition is confused because my heart and mind are and it’s all sounding too similar. That doesn’t mean my intuition is wrong (even though sometimes it can be!) but merely that I need another way to establish some checks and balances within myself. And my ability to ask myself that important question, “what do I know to be true?” snaps me into mental clarity I have not known before. Intuition is valid, important, there for a reason, and has been vital for humanities survival. And yet, we must also recognize that our intuition is not perfect, it does not know all, and it can not see all.
David G. Myers article in Psychology Today, The Power and Perils of Intuition, hits the nail on the head, “Even the most intelligent people make predictable and costly intuitive errors; coaches, athletes, investors, interviewers, gamblers and psychics fall prey to well-documented illusory intuitions. It’s shocking how vulnerable we are to forming false memories, misjudging reality and mispredicting our own behavior. Our intuition errs.”
While our intuition may err and our gut check might be false, the power of our intuition remains. Perhaps we will never quite understand the magic (er, science?) of intuition. But we do know what we know, and we know what we do not. So, my friends, in moments where you find yourself grasping, anxious, confused, afraid… ask yourself the question and see what it brings to light for you.
What do I know to be true right now? I know that I am grateful for your time and to be able to share my words with you.
Go and trust yourself, trust what you know, and remember, too, the power in trusting what you feel.