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Wake Up and Pay Attention

Have you ever blindly ignored your intuition? I have… too many times to count. It hurts, doesn’t it? Like, when you completely disregard what your insides are telling you, you begin to feel this storm swirl deep inside your belly. If you’re like me, it gets stronger and more aggressive over time, soon wreaking full-on havoc on your entire body: nausea, chills, headaches, insomnia… the works. 

I always hate this feeling — it’s a lot like my anxiety… in fact, it likely IS my anxiety, because I KNOW I’m doing something that’s the OPPOSITE of what is best for me. Sometimes, for whatever reason (usually out of fear or feelings of shame or embarrassment) I cling desperately to the wrong decision, ultimately letting the pain persist and grow. 

I’ve been known to do this for just a little bit — perhaps an hour or a day — or for several months, and even years. 

It’s like over time, even though my gut is shouting at me, and my insides feel like wild, whipping waves, I ignore my own voice, suffocating it into silence, until I can no longer hear it. 

I think of all the times, over the course of my life, the Universe has sent me messages (yes, I believe in things like that). They’re not always delivered by butterflies and wrapped in bows. Sometimes they arrive in the form of painful or even scary experiences. These messages are meant to make us wake up and pay attention, to help us determine if we’re on the right course, and if the choices we’re making are allowing us learn, develop, grow and evolve; if they are right choices for us, and our family. 

I can’t believe all the times I’ve cussed — angrily and violently — at these challenges. “WHY is this happening… AGAIN!?” 

I get it now. “WAKE UP!” The universe was screaming. “Pay attention! If you don’t start acting in accordance with who you REALLY are, what you REALLY want to be, and with what is GOOD AND RIGHT for you, you’re going to let the life you want to lead pass you by.”

I’ve spent too much time letting my life pass me by.

For years and years I ignored my own voice — my own right and true inner instinct; the voice screaming at me to wake the F up and listen; to start taking control and steer my own ship; to stop giving my sacred and rightful power away because I was too scared to own it myself. 

This is a work in progress. I am not there yet, and it’s quite possible to say I won’t ever be fully there. But I’m beginning to learn that it’s not okay to quell my instincts, to ignore that beautiful all-knowing inner voice. I’m beginning to understand that when my insides begin to thrash, and I feel the all too familiar symptoms that happen when I act in discordance with my gut and internal knowing, I need to close my eyes, take a deep breath… and just listen

The answers are always there. The path may not be easy — but I realize now that it’s actually not supposed to be. The hard path helps us learn and grow. When I finally made what I deemed to be a “hard decision” — following too long of a time ignoring my screaming instinct — the path was not certain or simple, but because it was right, it was actually… easier. And all of those painful symptoms? They disappeared instantaneously. As I went farther along this path, my confidence grew; and as I began to really listen to my inner voice, it became louder and louder.  

Like many things in life, this is a practice. Each day, I will practice listening to my inner voice, and try to heed its wisdom. I won’t always get it right, and I am certain there will be instances in which I try to stifle it deep down again; but when that happens, and the belly thrashing begins again, I will wake up and pay attention. I wholeheartedly believe that when we’re on the right path, things flow. When we aren’t, it’s as though we’re swimming upstream, flailing, against the raging current. 

I don’t want to bear that needless pain, or flail anymore.

Here’s to having the courage to hear, heed and ignite your inner voice. May you find strength in your own power as you journey along the path that is right and true for you.

Cheers.

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