Follow Your Intuition
One of the nasty side-effects of domestic abuse is the muffling of your own inner knowingness, yet that still, small Voice within is guiding you toward your best self -- and it's still there.
You used to be able to sense things, feel things, know things otherwise unknowable, deep within yourself. There was a Voice within the very core of beinghood, the place St. Caterina of Siena called your Cell of Self-Knowledge.
This Voice within was — and is, because even if you haven’t heard it in quite some time, it’s still there — the gift of divine guidance. It’s Truth, and Light, and Hope, and Love. It’s the Voice that tells you — Stop! Don’t go there! or All is well, proceed with joy.
The Voice within is the gift of divine guidance.
Some people call this knowingness their gut instinct, while others prefer to think of it as their intuition. Many of my readers are from the Christian tradition, which recognizes a person’s inner knowingness as that “still small Voice” of the Holy Spirit, forever urging, guiding, and protecting (1 Kings 19:12).
From the moment of existence we were all gifted with what the fourteenth century German mystic, Meister Eckhart, called the “God-seed”—echoing Genesis 1:26, which states that all human beings are made in the image and likeness of God. In some Jewish traditions, this is called the Divine Spark. Whatever the label, the truth is this: we all hold deep and amazing reserves of spiritual protection and wisdom that we’ve barely tapped into. It takes a lifetime of love and prayerful seeking to reach our full, God-given potential.
Domestic abuse halts our ability to hear — and trust — the “still small Voice” within. Our sense of self is ripped from us as we struggle to get through each day. Being abused by the person we’re supposed to trust and cherish beyond all others causes a loss of self-trust as, through the tactics of gaslighting and crazy-making, we’re brainwashed into doubting our own perceptions of reality and intuitive beliefs. Many people have described the experience of being in an abusive relationship as “walking on eggshells” because we never know up from down, right from left, back from forth.
Brace yourself, because it’s impossible to figure out who will walk through the door at the end of the workday.
Will it be Dr. Jekyll, or Mr. Hyde? If it’s a good day and Dr. Jekyll shows up, how long will he stay before Hyde saunters in to take in his place? We, as the targets, are constantly monitoring what we say, how our facial expressions are arranged, and every other aspect of our entire beinghood, all in an effort not to trigger the metamorphosis from Jekyll to Hyde.
This isn’t walking on eggshells — it’s walking on glass. It may hurt a bit if you walk barefoot on friable eggshells, but the pain will be minimal and you’ll quickly recover. If you walk barefoot over glass, however, your skin will be slashed to shreds, and shards will embed themselves inside your flesh. This glass will be difficult and painful to remove, but it is possible. Healing can only occur after all the pieces of brokenness are completely removed from deep inside your skin.
This abuse is precisely why your intuition, once so keen and sharp, seems to have disappeared. But it hasn’t. Your intuition remains as that “still small Voice” of knowingness. Your abuser’s voice is rowdy, obnoxious, hurtful, accusatory, derogatory, and deeply devastating. It sounds louder than the still small Voice within. It can drown out that Voice, but it can never obliterate it.
Your abuser’s wounding, hurtful, deeply devastating voice seems more powerful than the small Voice within, but it isn’t.
Calm is more powerful.
Still and small doesn’t mean weak.
Still and small means integrity, something an abuser’s voice doesn’t have.
Abuse is a “craven act of cowardice.”
Slow down. Breathe. Listen. And stop listening.
Stop listening to the voice of your abuser and start listening to the Voice of the Spirit, who is internally guiding you. Calm your nervous system through prayer, deep breathing, and reaching out for help. Connect with supporting and informed loved ones, a trusted spiritual resource, or professional therapeutic help. Be not afraid. Self-love and self-care will begin the process of regaining self-trust.
Quite often your intuition will tell you the opposite of what your abuser is telling you. Did you find subtle traces of porn on his computer, which he vehemently denies and attempts to explain away with a variety of nearly-plausible excuses, yet that Voice tugging at you from within keeps telling you he’s lying? Do you feel that your partner isn’t being honest with you about something — or many things? Do you just know —somehow, you just know — that something isn’t quite right, but you can’t put your finger on it? Does the subtly of the situation make you wonder if you should dismiss your feelings?
Don’t. Don’t doubt yourself any longer. You are worth it. You are worth yourself.
Don’t doubt yourself any longer. That “still small Voice” is your gut instinct, your intuition, and it’s a bold spiritual gift. Don’t ignore it. Embrace your spiritual ability, which comes from the Divine. This is your “God-seed,” implanted within from the moment of your conception. This is you.
As you begin to free yourself from abuse, you become more able to hear the Voice within. Ask God for this gift of intuition to become more fully developed. Ask, and you’ll receive. Seek, and you’ll find.
Then believe it.
“Follow your heart, your intuition. It will lead you in the right direction.” –Jewel Kilcher
Pope Francis, “Amoris Laetitia,” https://www.vatican.va/content/dam/francesco/pdf/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20160319_amoris-laetitia_en.pdf, 54.
This one was great for me. I struggle to be sure I have and continue to be forgiving. I also don't want to be distrustful, as a reaction to my insecurity. I often say to myself and others, I just find it hard to trust him ever again. I question myself, am I being unfairly suspicious? But I realize now its not just a matter of being careful and cautious which is not wrong. Its a sign that the inner voice of God is getting louder within me, a very good thing!
Wow, these reflections just keep getting better and better!