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Listening To Your Heart

The importance of following your female intuition.

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mandy hale, the girlfriend, listening to your heart
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“There are voices
that want to be heard
so much to mention
but you can’t find the words
the scent of magic
the beauty that’s been
when love was wilder than the wind…”

The 1988 Roxette song “Listen to Your Heart” attempted to explain it but couldn’t define it. That still, small voice. Our heart. Our intuition. A weird feeling. A gut instinct. Whatever you call it — female intuition has been around since the dawn of time and will live on til the dust of time. I would even go so far as to say that on that fateful morning in the Garden of Eden, Eve must have grabbed the remote and put her intuition on mute; otherwise, she and Adam probably wouldn’t have ever taken a bite out of that infamous apple and we might still be walking around naked.

Time and time and time again, we read stories of women who knew their husbands were cheating with absolutely no evidence … and they were right. Women who canceled flights at the last minute because they had a bad feeling … and the plane later crashed. Women who walked away from a friend or a job or a relationship with no provocation besides “just having a feeling,” and were likely teased mercilessly and doubted and looked at like they were crazy … only to later discover a fundamental flaw in the friend or job or relationship that would have caused them massive amounts of heartache had they not left the party early. So why are we so quick to dismiss this internal voice of ours?

Perhaps because sometimes it’s painful … and inconvenient … and even scary … to heed this voice that is often saying something that we don’t wanna hear. In my own life, my intuition has always served me well — when I am willing to listen to it.

Several years ago, I had a flirtation going with my trainer at the gym. It just so happens, Trainer Guy also worked out with my best friend, who we’ll call Violet (to protect the not-so-innocent). Somewhere along the way, I picked up on a vibe that was, for lack of a better term … icky. Uneasy. Like a black cloud hanging over me every time I saw Trainer Guy and every time I saw Violet. Since Violet was married, I had no real reason to suspect that anything was going on between she and Trainer Guy … but yet … something wasn’t right. It was making me crazy. I confronted Violet and she flatly denied it. I confronted her again. Denial again. This went on several more times until eventually, the feeling got so strong and so overwhelming, I had to completely sever the friendship. She told me I was crazy and she couldn’t believe I would accuse her of such a thing and one day I would learn the truth and feel foolish. Guess what? As it turned out, Denial IS just a river in Eqypt, because a few months later, Violet was divorced and another trainer at the gym confided in me that Violet and Trainer Guy had been hooking up behind my back the ENTIRE time. And sometimes it happens that way. We exit a situation that feels wrong for reasons we can’t quite put our finger on, only to find out later that we were right all along.

Some of the strongest women in pop culture history have spoken out on women’s intuition:

“Learn to let your intuition — gut instinct — tell you when the food, the relationship, the job isn’t good for you (and conversely, when what you’re doing is just right).”
~Oprah Winfrey

“I feel there are two people inside me — me and my intuition. If I go against her, she’ll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely.”
~Kim Basinger

“God made man stronger but not necessarily more intelligent. He gave women intuition and femininity. And, used properly, that combination easily jumbles the brain of any man I’ve ever met.”
~Farrah Fawcett

So what do you need to look out for? And how do you know you’re following the path of truth and not simply chasing a rabbit trail of suspicion? Here are a few tips on how to follow your inner voice proudly when the world is trying to drown it out loudly:

1) Your intuition IS REAL. Don’t just hear it. Listen to it. If you sense a red flag going up in your mind, STOP, slow down, listen, re-evaluate. It only takes ONE stop sign to make us stop a car…so why does it take numerous red flags to bring a relationship or situation to a halt? If something is nagging at the corners of your mind about a person, place, job, or circumstance … listen to your heart and get to the bottom of what your concern is. And if you can’t get to the bottom of it and you’re still feeling uneasy, walk away. (Better to be safe than sorry.)

2) Your heart talks the truth so your legs can walk the truth. Once you’ve determined why you’re reacting so violently or viscerally to a situation, you must start letting more than your fingers do the walking and exit stage left. If you find out a person is backstabbing you, or a boyfriend is cheating on you, or a situation at work is going to cause you to compromise your values or beliefs, and you still hang around for the fallout … you’re not honoring yourself or your truth. I have found, over and over again, when I don’t heed my internal voice and I move forward anyway, disaster strikes. And there ain’t nothin’ fun about having to put out a fire that you could have stopped before the match was even struck.

3) Like your own fingerprint, no two gut feelings are the same. And not all of them are bad, either. Sometimes, despite all the odds stacked against you, your heart is screaming at you to move forward in faith, because it’s all gonna work out exactly as you envision it. It is in those moments that it is CRUCIAL to follow your heart no matter how dark the night gets and no matter how hard the storm hits. Chase that inner voice until you catch your dream! Some of the most successful people had nothing to go on but a feeling…and look where it got them:

“Faith is a passionate intuition.”
~William Wordsworth

“You must train your intuition — you must trust the small voice inside you which tells you exactly what to say, what to decide.”
~Ingrid Bergman

“Often you have to rely on intuition.”
~Bill Gates

(I don’t know about you, but I’d be willing to bet on Wordsworth, Bergman, and Gates. Just sayin’.)

At the end of the day, to truly live the lives we were meant to live, we have to be willing to walk away from, or walk toward, the things that our hearts are urging us to catch or release, often with no evidence other than our intuition to support our decision. But here’s the thing: It’s impossible to go wrong when you actively, doggedly, ardently follow your heart ... and take your brain with you. Heart + brain = GUT. And our gut feelings are, as they say, guardian angels.