Tuesday, July 21, 2009

From Emily: Feminine Intuition

* I originally posted this on a personal blog, under the title "Visions and Dreams," but I'd like to open a discussion on various types of knowledge, and I thought the concept of Feminine Intuition would be fitting *

A few years ago my roommate's mother called her with a warning: "Whatever you and your accomplices are planning against that boy, don't do it." Apparently in a dream she saw some sort of authority getting involved. We were pretty shocked, since just the night before we had been talking half-seriously about a potential prank against an apartment of boys who were using one of our friends as a make out doll. I don't recall the details of the potential prank, just that it was the type of thing that could have gotten the police involved if they'd taken it seriously. Something about burning effigies... So, we didn't do it. But a few months later we started a prank war with a boy, and when it got out of hand it led to meeting with a different authority - the Bishop. In retrospect, it appeared that we hadn't fully heeded the warning. Another example of that roommate's mother's dreams happened recently. Her mother told her that she'd had a dream and one of them would be getting engaged in April. She couldn't tell whether it was her or my roommate, because they had the same name. Well, turns out the mother was proposed to in April, but she did not accept. Call it coincidence, call it a self-fulling prophecy if you will. Whatever it is, though, these visions and dreams never come true quite the way anyone expects them to.

I've been thinking about this a lot recently, because I've been trying to understand my own... gifts, shall we say. Well, I guess it's only one gift, really. I have a strange knack for sensing things about how other people fit into my life. Whether it's intuition, the spirit, or simply an unconscious ability to read their body language very well, I occasionally pick up on surprising things. For instance, when I met the first (and only) guy I am yet to fall in love with, I knew he was someone I'd probably date. Later, after just a couple dates, I sensed that things would go somewhere, but probably not lead to marriage. As it turned out, the relationship didn't just go somewhere - both Mike and I literally went places when he invited me to visit his family in SC and then traveled to NH to meet mine. But it didn't lead to marriage, and as heart broken as I was when things fell apart, I wasn't exactly shocked.

The things I sense aren't usually so profound. It's mainly that I can tell what's going on with a friend or romantic interest (in terms of how they relate to me) even when everyone else around me interprets their behavior differently and thinks I'm crazy for thinking what I do. My earliest memory of sensing things occurred at an award ceremony in sixth grade. As soon as I saw a particular teacher step onto the stage, I knew I would be getting an award, even though she hadn't made eye contact or even looked in my direction. As it turned out, she was the one to announce the award I'd won.

This knack comes in handy all the time. If I just follow my instincts I can sense surprising things about opponents in strategy games, and when I stop listening to the advice other people are giving me, I can usually figure out what to do in complex social dilemmas. But the truth is - I hate having this strange talent. For one, I can't predict whether I will or will not sense things, and sometimes it takes so long for something to come to fruition that I have a hard time telling whether what I sensed was accurate at all. In the case of my ex, Mike, we didn't become an official couple until 5 months after I met him and sensed we would date. Connected to that example, I met another ex boyfriend, Carl, at the same time I met Mike, and I had a similar sense. But Carl and I didn't actually date until a good 8 or 9 months later. Around that same time, I had a very clear sense that someone I'd recently met would become the kind of friend I could be close to and confide in, but none of that seemed to come true for months, and I often wondered if I'd imagined it. It did finally happen, but then it ended much sooner than I expected, leaving me a little sad. I hadn't anticipated the sadness either.

Part of what makes this all so confusing is that nothing comes true the way I would have imagined. I sense one thing but have no clue what else to expect along with it. After I had a falling out with a very close friend, I couldn't shake the feeling that she was still part of my life. When people leave my life, I sometimes get the sensation of a door closing, even before I have a good reason to suspect what's happened. But with Josy the door never locked, and it was like she was always on the other side, out of reach but close. But I didn't know when would be the right time to knock on that door again, and I still don't know whether I was wrong to wait as long as I did. No matter how much my heart knew Josy would still be my friend, my mind insisted she was gone. Maybe this is all a little too personal, but sometimes I think we spend so much time explaining intellectual puzzles that we ignore the other types of knowledge in the world.

Or maybe that's just me. You see, I spent years ignoring my emotions. No, more than ignoring them - suppressing them. Josy was one of my biggest supports when I decided to unleash the energy and depth that I'd compressed so neatly inside myself, and I don't think either of us will ever forget the time that I asked with a very puzzled expression on my face: "but what do you do with emotions??" I insisted there had to be a purpose, something that what I was feeling was meant to lead to. In high school I wrote poetry when I was sad, painted when I was angry, and poured the rest of my emotions into theatre. Apparently somewhere along the way I got the idea that an emotion was only a means to an end. But the most surprising thing I learned when I stopped suppressing, funneling, and using my feelings, was that I needed to let myself feel in order to draw closer to God. I couldn't feel or sense spiritual promptings without emotion. I'm not sure whether that reveals that emotion can be an end in and of itself, or just that I'm determined to make my feelings productive in one way or another.

But to return to my confusion over my personal intuition - sometimes it's a difficult thing to live with. Knowing that I can sense things about people often makes me anxious to sense things sooner. I have almost no patience for situations where I don't know what's going on and often do everything I can to trick others into revealing things to me. I become so dependent on the easy way of learning things that I don't want to communicate or trust what others are telling me through their words. Ironically, however, it's only when I'm not looking for the information that it comes. I usually don't even want to know the things I sense and sometimes try to pretend it isn't true. Maybe I'm just afraid of the unknown terrain surrounding the one object that's illuminated. But perhaps confusion is the nature of these sorts of things. You're always feeling around in the dark, and each beam of light you stumble across makes you even more aware of how lost you are. I just hope that everything will make sense if I give it enough time.

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