Have you ever had a strong intuition about something and ignored it or pushed it to one side?

I have. It cost me dearly in terms of my emotional and physical wellbeing. Lying on a cold silver guerney, awaiting a medical procedure six years ago, I had a strong urge to get up and leave. It wasn’t too late. The specialist wasn’t in the room yet. I started feeling really uneasy. Something felt very wrong.

‘Don’t be silly’, the rational part of me said to myself. It’s normal to feel like this before a procedure. It’s just nerves.

But it wasn’t just nerves. And I didn’t have the courage to act on my inner voice and get the hell out of that room.

My intuition proved itself right when I woke up in the bed of a hospital ward after the procedure. It was dark. An unfamiliar man sat on a stool next to me. He was moving an ultrasound probe over my chest. The gel underneath the probe felt cold. Pretty pictures of the insides of my heart were displayed on a screen. I could hear my heart beating. The machine amplified my heart sounds; they sounded like water whooshing through a pipe.

I asked the man how the procedure had gone.

‘They couldn’t do it. Your heart stopped beating so they shocked you and abandoned the procedure. The doctor’s just checking that your heart’s all right now.’

I looked up at him in disbelief. I never expected to hear those words. First I thought he was joking. But people who work in hospitals don’t joke about such things.

Stress hormones permeated every cell of my body as I absorbed the unexpected news. Disbelief yielded to despair. I blamed myself. Why didn’t I listen to my inner voice and leave? Why?

Despair turned to grief. Silent tears flowed down my cheeks.

I looked around the room. I couldn’t see much because my glasses hadn’t been put back onto my face.

I heard a familiar voice from the other side of the bed. I turned my head and looked up at Michael, my husband. He took my hand and squeezed it reassuringly. I was alive. We were both grateful for that.

Still, if only I’d listened to my intuition. Things would have been so different.

My thoughts drifted back to a time when I was five. Mum, Dad and I were on a holiday in New South Wales. It was raining heavily. Mum had a really bad feeling about us driving that day. She told Dad and begged him to delay our trip by a day. He dismissed her intuition and we set out on our journey. Later that morning, as we drove up a steep part of a wet, slippery country road, a truck veered onto the wrong side of the road and hit us head on.

Broken glass. Blood. Pain. Shock. Fear. Silence.

Dad carried me out of the car, despite having three broken ribs. I was bleeding profusely, close to death. Mum’s knee cap and parts of one leg were shattered. The passenger in the truck was bleeding internally. We were all taken by ambulance to the nearest country hospital, where a GP-surgeon with a speech impairment saved my life.

I’d like to think that Dad took more notice of Mum’s intuition from then on, but I don’t really know.

What I do know is that I’ve learnt to trust my intuition, even when I don’t fully understand the reasons why. Michael and I were planning to go to Europe next month, but things were not coming together easily. In fact, they weren’t flowing at all. We encountered one obstacle after another. I started feeling like we weren’t meant to go at this time. I don’t understand exactly why at the moment, but I have chosen to honour my intuition and we have cancelled the trip. The reasons may or may not become apparent in the future, but Michael and I are at peace with our decision, regardless. We have organised other exciting activities for that time.

I have learnt the importance of listening to the still small voice within, so I choose to continue to pay attention to it. Perhaps you will choose to do so too.

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