41 Things, 12/21/06: Intuition, and the Gift of Personal Safety
If you have ANY doubt in your mind about a person’s character, leave them alone.
In a few of my articles, I’ve spoken about the importance of intuition when it comes to feelings, respect, and trust. However, I haven’t spoken much about the importance of intuition when it comes to a person’s physical and mental safety. A relationship…love…romance…doesn’t mean crap when you’ve got to avoid a hand coming at your face, full force.
There are other dangers in not trusting your inner judgment. You can lose money. Credit ratings can be killed overnight. Friendships can be thrown out the window. There could be loss of property. Any number of things can happen. Listen to your gut. Listen to your gut. Listen to your gut.
Think of this as you keep on reading.
It is completely human to gravitate toward what is bad for us. This is true, even if you’re talking about what to eat for dinner (KFC, or Greek salad? Hmmm…). We are turned on by the challenge that an unattainable target presents. Boys that live a bit close to the edge need to be conquered, and we’re just the women to do it. That bad girl that seems to flirt behind the back of her date just needs to be taken in hand, right? It’s tempting to think, “Hey, I’m might be the one. I might beat the odds.”
In wanting to gratify our ego needs, the voice of our inner guidance system is shoved to the back of the queue. This system is the one that notices things. You know, things: that dangerous rogue’s propensity to snap at the waitress, or the hot chick’s habit of sneering right in her date’s face as she passes her number to the guy next to her. Our inner guidance system takes note of these events, puts two and two together, and offers up an idea for what we should do next.
We doubt this inner system, though. Better yet, we confuse our intuition with our egos. Ego says that, “He needs understanding and caring. That’ll make him turn around and soften up.” Intuition says, “Eeek! I don’t want to be on the receiving end of one of his nasty remarks. I think you’d better go!” Intuition sounds selfish, right? Intuition thinks nothing of leaving the scene, and it certainly isn’t concerned with your efforts to become a therapist. Being that no one wants to be selfish, and no one wants to be cruel or unkind, we defer to what will preserve our self-perceptions. Good people want to help others, and bad people don’t. Ego, in these cases, sounds like the stern teacher reminding the class that they must share in order to keep thing orderly, whole, and cohesive. There’s a gap between the ego and intuition concepts that is hard to reconcile.
It must come to a head, though, in order to make wise and safe decisions. Digest these facts:
- Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.
- One in six American women are victims of sexual assault, and one in 33 men.
- In 2004-2005, there were an average annual 200,780 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault.
- About 44% of rape victims are under age 18, and 80% are under age 30.
- Since 1993, rape/sexual assault has fallen by over 69%.
Notice something in those stats. How many of those assault victims are under the age of 18? A lot.
The teen years are stressful; there’s a lot of pressure to do things that seem and feel wrong. Teens, especially young women, are growing up in an environment of super skinny models, Tucker Max, and conflicting messages about the relevancy of old-school feminism. This is a breeding ground for low self-esteem. Society is teaching that it is better to allow the outside world to control you, and that you are acted upon- not that you act upon things yourself. Intuition and self-determination go hand in hand, after all. The messages today consist of, “Don’t trust yourself. Don’t trust your body. That guy says that you have big tits, so you must be a slut.” It’s awful, and it’s reflected in the world of young women and men today.
The young mind runs with these messages: “I have to prove that I’m not stuck-up now. Shit. Maybe he’ll just shut the hell up if I let him feel me up, but not have sex with me. Then, he can’t call me a slut, because I didn’t go all the way.”
It could be even worse for young men. Think about it. Men are supposed to be so strong, so brave; if someone steps out of line, well, it’s an excuse to give a beat-down. Young men are supposed to be leaders, and rising stars. This is why the abuses of the Catholic Church went on for so long. How are boys supposed to fight back, when they’ve been taught that it’s bad to fight back? The vulnerability of childhood is frowned upon, in many cases, when it’s in the wrappings of young manhood.
I’ll interject with a personal story, as I always do.
The night of my first dance in 8th grade was a pretty exciting night. I’d actually gone to the mall and bought a cute outfit- a red sweater-knit mini and a sparkly black t-shirt with an awesome car on it. My hair was done, I put on lip gloss, and I waited in the foyer for my friend to show up. One of my teachers, a man in his 40s that I thought was hilarious and just a bunch of fun, saw me, stopped…and looked me over. Not in a nice way, but in a way that made me feel really, really gross. He then said:
“You look really hot. Nice.” (He said some other things, too. I don’t remember what. I’ve probably blocked it out.)
And walked away.
I remember shrugging it off at the time.
I never wore that outfit again.
I also noticed that I wasn’t looking forward to my class with this teacher anymore. Bad luck for me, though, since I had the class for two more years after that. Plus, the period that I’d been placed in only had 3 students attending. I also did independent study, and it wasn’t a general type of subject. In other words, I was screwed. I sat there, hearing this man say things in an icky tone of voice, and felt so, so bad about myself. But, I said nothing. How could I? My class was small, and I had to be good, and my mother had enough problems…
Of course, because the problem wasn’t challenging enough, there was a staff member who also started up. I must have been channeling Nabokov like no one’s business.
It finally came to me snapping in the library one day. I was sitting at a table, reading, when I suddenly felt a hand slipping down the back of my neck, over my shoulder. My hand went before I could stop it. I didn’t even turn around. I hit the person’s hand full force. Keep in mind, I was a slightly bony, very strong dancer, so it had to have hurt. After that, I got up the guts to go say something to the headmistress. It was so, so hard, though. I felt so bad.
As I said, though, things have to come to a point where you confront the truth of intuition and ego. Just to make it clear, you are NOT to blame for these things! In striving to be the best, we sacrifice much in the name of lifting up or protecting someone else. There’s no sin in that. But, we have to do it safely.
Let me also stress the point that consistent belief in that little voice, and in our own skills of self-preservation, takes time. I didn’t get it right until about a year ago. I’m not working for anyone else right now, and there’s a good chance that I won’t be for a long time, if ever. One reason for this? I was also sexually harassed by several men at one job that was very important to me. Reporting one instance of this harassment blew up into a huge scandal, with the end result being the death of one of my ultimate performing dreams. My ass was pinched daily. My boobs were felt up daily, as well. I was propositioned sexually. I think my hand was grabbed and placed on places that it shouldn’t have been. At the time, I kept quiet. I tried to be good, not stir up the waters. I did my best to just laugh it off, when I should have listened to my inner self and bit of the invading fingers before they could attack again. I didn’t have the strength to trust myself, so I didn’t have the strength to defend myself. I just didn’t know enough.
The bad habits and estimation that we hold of ourselves is reflected back in our choice of dates. I’ve gone out with guys that I got a really bad feeling about, and the results have never been pretty. I’ve never been raped, thank goodness, but I’ve been around guys that I felt were probably dealing drugs, or sleeping around. The first thought is always the right one- yet another maxim to take home with you. If you think instantly that someone’s lying to you about his whereabouts, chances are, he is. Your intuition put two and two together and made four. Your ego may want you to stick around so that you don’t have to admit failure or gullibility, but those are the least of your problems if you’re stuck with someone who is unsavory in every way.
Our souls send out energy to attract what we need and desire. This is called the Law of Attraction. If you have an intention, it will surely manifest if you set your mind to it. If you don’t send out the intention that you’re going to be with someone fantastic, you’ll surely attract the most non-fantastic being you can. Your soul needs to learn through failure to stop attracting and letting close people that aren’t good for you. Those failures, hopefully, aren’t serious ones that result in physical or emotional damage. It’s never your fault if they do. It’s the fault of whoever decides to take advantage of your trust. That trust is a commodity that should be offered only to a special someone who fulfills the healthiest desires that we’ve sent out into the universe. Your heart knows if it’s headed down the wrong path. It’ll be the first voice that pops into your head, not the last one.
Note: I recommend reading Gavin de Becker’s Gift of Fear (personal safety and intuition) and Mary Pipher’s Raising Ophelia (the challenging environment that young women face today). For more on boys’ adolescence, read Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson’s Raising Cain.
Next up: Allow your intuition (or spirit) to save you from heartache.
Please share me if you like me!