There are two strengths necessary for inner knowing: knowing our body and self-trust.
We cannot ignore the physicality of who we are when relying on our inner wisdom. We are physical, emotional and spiritual beings. We must recognize all aspects of ourselves and allow them to work together when accessing and trusting our inner knowledge.
Recognizing my inner knowing comes as a visceral feeling, a slight vibration deep in my gut and heart-chakra area, which happens at the same time as I “hear” words. When I experience these two things together, I know I can trust my inner knowing.
How do I know it’s trustworthy? It has taken trial and error to learn to trust this voice. I’ll share a recent experience when I didn’t heed my inner wisdom so you are able to see how it was accurate and how this was verified.
I broke my upper leg bone many weeks ago. I’d fallen hard on concrete, and, because I’d once worked on an ambulance, I did some checks to see if anything was broken and passed off the pain of the moment and the next few weeks to a very bad bone bruise. Four weeks later I went in for an MRI to check on a different complaint related to my hip.
My doctor’s office called me two hours later and said to immediately go to the ER, because I needed emergency surgery for a broken femur. My brain kicked immediately into crisis mode. As a former EMT, I knew the seriousness that could accompany a broken femur. Even as the nurse was telling me, my inner voice — my inner knowing — was working hard to get my attention.
This sentence, “Wait, you are okay,” kept going through my head all the way to the ER. Because of my fear, I ignored it.
I spent four hours in the emergency room before being sent to the hospital, where they had already fit me into the surgery schedule for the following day.
By the time I was prepped for surgery 17 hours later and the surgeon was poised with the indelible marker to mark my hip, I’d seen two doctors, many nurses and had a swath of tests done. The sentence ran through my head with each examination, but I continued to discount it.
As the surgeon bent over me, he asked, “Where’s your pain?”
I answered, “I don’t have any.”
He stood up, capped his marker, and said, “We need to talk.”
Fifteen minutes later, after proving to him that even though I had a broken femur, my bone was healing, he shook his head and said, “I can’t operate on you,” and released me from the hospital.
This lovely, thinking surgeon who listened to me had stopped in one moment what I’d been trying to stop for many hours. Why had I not been able to put to voice what my inner knowing was saying? Fear. Fear is a very difficult energy to pierce. Combine fear with a medical system that went into red alert and my ability to listen to and express my inner knowledge shut down.
The medical system, and fear, were very powerful. Both came together and shifted my inner knowing from “I am okay and healing” to “I am not okay and need surgery.” Because the verified outcome from the surgeon was that I was healing very nicely on my own, I finally admitted to myself that I had ignored my inner wisdom, which had known all along that I was healing. I had let fear get the better of my ability to listen and trust my inner knowing.
It does no good to feel shame or be hard on yourself, though I did do some of this. If I could have done better, I would have. I just couldn’t in this experience.
Discerning our inner knowledge and listening to it takes mindfulness. Expressing our inner wisdom takes self-trust and courage. Once we have experienced the results of our inner wisdom, even if we can’t listen to it every time, it will always be there for us.