Every story comes with multiple layers. But, being pragmatic about it you could boil this one down to it being about two different opinions among two close friends.
It’s difficult to pinpoint a date when it changed, but over time, somewhere in 2013, this particular situation became more than a faint blip on the radar.
With the help of hindsight, it’s clear that we both felt like victims and that we both thought of the other as the persecutor.
Our reactions presented themselves in different ways. Simplified, it was a case of me seeking connection, an opportunity to talk, to clarify. My friend felt threatened, thought I had overstepped, and subsequently shut me out. Looking back, I can understand his reaction. Still, at the time I felt deeply hurt and rejected, even betrayed.
On the surface, this is just like any normal argument or discussion where there is more than one opinion. That said, our friendship, our connection had always been deep. Living across oceans, there was a period of time when I could, incredibly enough, feel when he woke up in the morning. Our connection was transpersonal, it stretched beyond the personal, the everyday. It was a connection between the intangible parts of ourselves that have a bigger perspective and a deeper understanding of who we are.
Since 2010, my friend and I had been on a truth-seeking journey together. We had actively been exploring and cultivating the use of our intuition and gut-felt sense in our decision-making, as well as learning about and understanding how intuition and gut-feel can be a source of wisdom. A refined instrument and a trustworthy source.
We were leaning into the exploration with gusto and used each other to gauge our level of clarity. We would ask questions about situations, considerations, opportunities and then sense and tune into the answer and compare notes as a means to deepen our understanding.
Our queries were sincere, harmless, and open, and we were both committed to following our intuition in all our decision-making.
For the most part, our ‘read’ was similar, but when it wasn’t, it told us that there was more information available, information that we hadn’t tapped into yet. It would be a signal that we had more sensing to do, that we hadn’t found the clearest ‘read’ and most resonant information yet.
Listening for resonance isn’t about being ‘right’. It’s about having a connection, it’s about finding the clearest expression and the most resonant way forward beyond ego, intellect, and logic. When we feel resonance it indicates a positive flow, if we feel ‘dissonance’ it’s the opposite.
My friend’s and my difference in opinion was in fact different ‘reads’ on a situation (difference in level of resonance). For me, it wasn’t at all about being right. That said, I can see how my friend might have interpreted it that way, as my read was a diametrical opposite to his.
As we had shared this exploration and practice into resonance and intuition from day 1, I was totally perplexed when my friend shut me out. His read for this particular situation was a go, mine the opposite. I checked my read a gazillion times and every time I got the same response.
I saw us as partners.
Being shut out meant I had no way of understanding what was off, what had gone wrong. Our usual practice of continuing the inquiry whenever we got different reads suddenly didn’t apply to this situation.
I was left hanging.
When I was told that I was wrong and that this topic was off-limits, I had a decision to make. I could either accept his read or I could take a stand for my own. To take a stand for and trust my gut.
I chose my gut.
I experienced the divide between me and my friend as deep and painful. I was deeply hurt as I had been told that a core part of who I am and what I do wasn’t to be trusted.
I started to doubt myself and my ability. I tangled myself up in second-guessing myself and reverting to others as more reliable sources.
My ability to listen for deeper wisdom beyond the mind is a central part of my life’s work.
If I could not trust my gut, why would others place their trust in it?
Without trust in my ability and my gut, I would have to reevaluate everything.
Throughout this turbulent time I stayed vigilant. I examined my gift, my practice, and my understanding of my innate ability in a million ways. Could it be that I had misread the level of resonance?
Had my tuning-in been blurred by my own story?
It felt like I went around in circles. In the end, all I could do was surrender to my decision to be in integrity. To stick with my gut and wait for the situation to resolve itself, full well knowing that I had no idea how long this would take.
When the situation eventually resolved itself a year later, I learned that I hadn’t been wrong in trusting my gut.
It was an earth-shattering moment.
I had lived with the uncertainty for so long that I couldn’t believe that it was over. During the period when I was questioning and doubting my ability, it felt like my whole world was resting on clay feet.
Once resolved, the depth to which this experience affected me took months to unravel, as did untangling myself from doubting my own ability.
Over time I have deepened my understanding. I think of my gut and intuition as a channel, or link, to my soul. My gut is helping me understand the messages from my soul, the messages from the intangible part of myself that has a more expansive view and understanding of who I am.
Throughout this experience, I found the courage to stick with my gut. And although it was a bumpy, lonely, and confusing ride at times, I learned that my gut is a trustworthy source. I have gained a strong and healthy connection to placing trust in and following my gut in all my decision-making.
As is always the case, there are layers upon layers to every story. Many years later, there is additional insight and learning available that could easily make this post three, four, five times as long. I will be sharing some of the learnings and take-aways with you in two upcoming posts, making this a 3-part mini-series. Once part 2 and 3 have been published, I’ll include links here.
This life lesson touches a very deep and core part of who I am. It is my biggest life lesson to date by far, and as such, I feel slightly vulnerable sharing this story.
That said, I take comfort in Brené Brown’s wisdom:
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity.”
Strengthened by her wisdom, I recognise that it is time for this story to be shared with a wider audience. That sharing this story is part of me showing up fully.
💫 Imagine listening to your soul’s calling.
Imagine having a safe space where you can focus on self-discovery and growth. Imagine, as a result, feeling free to express the spirit that’s within you in your work and personal life.
I know this is possible. I’m living it. And this is why I am sharing these posts and articles with you.
My wish for you is that you can live your life in such a way that you stay true to who you are at this stage in your life. That you have the space to consciously embody your values, and bring soulfulness, inner wisdom, and spiritual freedom into your leadership and your personal and professional life.