“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust: First Part
“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.”
~Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
I have some friends going through hard times in relationships just now. They are wondering how they ended up where they are – with a lover who cheats, with a husband who suddenly wants out, with a boss who keeps lying.
When I’ve talked with them they’ve been so hurt, so distressed and devastated at what has happened.
Then they’ve asked the questions.
Why did this happen?
How did this happen?
Why did I not see this coming?
And the truth is, a wise part of them did see it coming. A wise part of them already knew. So, where did it all go so wrong?
All of us have intuition, and instinct. This force within us operates with a vast amount of information – not just our conscious awareness.
When I pressed my friends, eventually all of them admitted that there had been things in their relationship, from early on, that made them uncomfortable. Or there was a point where things began to change. And that point was a long way from where they are now.
In each situation, my friends had intuitively picked up on an energy or behaviour that was out of flow, out of truth – either with the way the person was presenting themselves within the relationship, or with my friend’s values and beliefs. My friends’ intuition had red-flagged something, using those feelings of discomfort and that instinctive knowledge to bring the situation to their conscious attention.
So why didn’t they allow themselves to be guided by that intuition? Quite simply, their mind got in the way. They discounted or second-guessed or validated that discomfort away. They saw what they wanted to see, or needed to see, rather than what was. They gave second chances, chose to believe what they were told, and shoved that discomfort back down where it no longer bothered them.
Haven’t you done that before? I know I have.
But that’s okay. Intuition is not a one time thing. Our internal wisdom will connect with us over and over again. Our job is to listen, and to pay attention. To give ourselves space to think things through and to honour these feelings and ideas that arise from deep inside us.
Of course, intuition doesn’t simply show us what’s wrong. It can also show us what’s good. We have a compulsion to introduce ourselves to someone at a party. Things blossom into a beautiful relationship.
Suddenly it seems like we can’t stop thinking about a business idea, or studying again. When we are brave enough to honour that instinctive direction we find ourselves loving the changes we have made. They feel so right for us.
We come to an awareness, without evidence or proof, that maybe the aloof girl or guy in the office is just shy, and when we make an effort to get to know them we find out that we were right.
Intuition says, Hey – let’s drive down this street for no apparent reason – come on, humour me! And there you find your dream house, or the shop with the thing you want, or an old college friend walking their dog, the same friend whose address you lost years ago and who you’d had no idea how to track down.
Intuition and instinct show us where we are out of flow with the Universe, and also how to get back into flow again, with relationships and actions that support our Highest Good.
So the big question is – are you honouring your intuition? Or are you second-guessing yourself?
Maybe it’s time you started paying attention, and trusting what comes up for you.
If you’re not sure how to do that, these posts will help:
Using Your Internal Compass to Navigate Life
Understanding Intuition and Gut Instinct
or this program of eight free exercises designed to help you connect to and work with intuition, energy and the metaphysical:
Strengthening Your Intuition – A program of Exercises
6 thoughts on “Trusting Your Instincts In Relationships”
Such a beautiful post, thank you. That Alan Alda quote at the end finishes it off perfectly xo
Great post. I read somewhere years ago that people usually reveal their true selves to us early on in a relationship and we often choose to ignore those early warning alarm bells. It’s hard sometimes to know when to give someone another chance and when to walk away.
Thank you Nicole – perfect timing for me xxx
beautiful thanks hon xxx
Ah, yes. It’s that back seat driver of life forcing me to question what I do and don’t do. Some days I honor and some days I’m just want to do things my way. Thanks Nicole, I’ll try to listen more.