Before I reclaimed my intuition as a part of who I am, I shunned and kept her hidden away for years. I dismissed her. I ignored her and left her out of every choice I made with my mind or misguided heart.
My intuition was bruised, hurt, and isolated. When she did manage to get a word in, I rarely listened. But there came a time in my life that I had no choice but to listen to her and to bring her back into the whole of my being.
In 2007, I was diagnosed with severe asthma—asthma so severe it nearly killed me. In hindsight, I can see the intensity of this illness came from having turned myself inside out to get away from my intuitiveness. As a very energetically sensitive and intuitive kid, I was, well, let’s say “different.” In my teens I learned how to shun and hide those aspects of myself that made me so different from the kids around me. Hiding who I was felt like a necessity if I wanted to fit in with the world. But with my diagnosis I realized I had a choice to make: reclaim and learn to work with my spirit, or lose it all.
I made the choice to embrace my intuition and other aspects of myself that I had callously kicked to the curb. Making this choice was a significant part of my recovery; it let me breathe again. This choice saved my life.
I understand first hand why we, as women, belittle parts of who we are, whether it is our creativity, our thighs, our intelligence, our sexuality, or our intuition. But with every backhanded comment we make, with every dismissal, we are beating the very core of our being from the inside.
To the part of me that, years ago, so insistently pushed aspects of my own voice and intuition aside, I have written a letter. Words from my heart to myself at a time when I felt was wildly kicking at parts of my own being in fear and self-judgment. I share it with love, to those women like me who have kicked parts of their spirit and being to the curb. May each of us reclaim our power and heal.
A Love Letter to Myself
Dear Younger Self,
I know you are afraid. I know you can feel a deep strength within you that you have no idea how to hold. It may be intuition, an urge create or serve, or an impulse to speak the truth as you see it. I see you thrashing to get away from your own insight. I know you are afraid that this voice will lead you to your power.
I am sorry you were taught all your life that women who listened to their inner wisdom were crazy.
I am here now to tell you that you were only shown one side of this truth.
These aspects of yourself that you work so hard at pushing away, they are you. You can never push hard enough or bury them deeply enough to make them go away. A bird cannot fly fast enough to escape her own wings.
The hardest choice you will ever make in your life will be the choice to stop fighting yourself. Once you make that choice, the knowing voice that you have been pushing down, cutting apart, and trying to escape will be there waiting for you. But remember, she has been apart from you for so long, that she will need to be fed with your attention, held in your love and compassion, and wrapped in your humility and grace.
Let the stories you heard about the “crazy” woman who listened to her intuition be your teacher. See her as the wise one who spent her days holding the lantern so other women would remember their light too. Treat this teacher with respect in your mind and actions. Remember it is because of her the path was lit. Now you have tools and skills that she did not. Soon it will be your turn to hold the light for the next wisdom keepers.
You have fought a good fight, I will give you that. So much of your life has been spent wishing and dreaming you were someone other than who you are. Those hours, those weeks, those years, all wasted: gone fighting a battle where there are only losers. The next time you step onto the battlefield, ready to push down an aspect of yourself, please ask, “Who is the crazy one?”
There is a whole life waiting for you, all aspects of you, when you are ready to step out of the ring hand-in-hand with your sparring partner.
The life that is waiting for you is the one in which you are free to help others with the strength you are now using to fight yourself; a life where your courage can take you to brave new ground and let you speak your truth. Your intuition will guide you to new pathways, all in perfect timing, and your inner voice will know when and how to raise the lantern for the next generation of wise women.
Always with Love,
Older and Wiser