I’ve always followed my intuition. I listen to my heart, look for signs or guidance and follow what brings me peace. I started doing this more and more as I got older. When I was young, I would have the intuition, the inkling, but didn’t trust myself or have the confidence to think that it would be the right thing for me. I started by trusting impulses and that grew into a somewhat reflective process that guides me. Following my intuition has led me to beautiful places and to some not so great places. It has planted me solidly in good decisions and bad. It most often led me to being a better person, but there have been more than a few times I look back and wonder what the hell I was thinking??
When I was left alone to survive and care for the boys, my heart shattered, my strength depleted, it was hard to find my intuition. My inner voice was drowning in sadness and despair. I was only guided by the simple fact that Dave was gone. I didn’t know what to do or how to survive. I knew I had to endure, but I didn’t know how that would happen. I felt like the heavens and all good things had abandoned me. How after such a long search to find love had it been ripped away too soon and so tragically?
In the first years after he died, I would look to him for guidance. I would desperately search for signs that he believed in me and that he would somehow point me in the right direction. I gave up my voice. I gave up my intuition for the voice that asked me “what would Dave want me to do?” My voice, my intuition evolved into more of a to-do list dominated by what I thought he might want. At that point in my journey, it was a way to survive. It was a way for me to keep him alive. The unfortunate part about this was that I ignored my intuition. I still trusted my heart, but it wasn’t clear or intentional and I wasn’t really listening to the stirrings of my being carefully. It’s hard to define. I was trusting what I thought was my heart, but it was really me desperately searching for a way for this to be over, for him to still be alive, for the nightmare I was living to end.
As years passed, my voice began to emerge from the emptiness again. As it started to whisper that I would not be able to endure for the long run living as I was. I didn’t trust it. As it said there had to be something different and I would have to search for another way, I rejected it. Slowly, I began to listen to the stirrings of my soul, my heart. The stirrings that weren’t about Dave, but were about me, began to surface to my consciousness. Although I had been enduring widowhood, I began to change the way it looked to me. I knew something else was there for me. I knew all the way through my being that there had to be more than just endurance. I was sure about it. The problem was that I was sure about it, like I was sure that I heard the phone ring or the baby cry when I was in the shower…I was positive I heard it, I knew it, but when I got down to it, it didn’t happen…there was nothing there when I ventured out to find out where it was.
I had to trust myself through the good choices and the bad. I had to trust myself when I went back to work full time the first time, only to see the boys spiral back into grief. I had to trust that giving up income for presence in my children’s lives was the way to go, no matter the financial struggles I faced. I had to trust that my intention to teach was solid even when my own educational experience left much to be desired. I had to trust that giving my heart away again was the right thing to do even if pain followed.
So, after many years of searching for my intuition again and searching for the courage to trust it regardless of the result, has led me to place beyond endurance alone. It has created a joy, found through surrender. It has taken my despair of not having the life that I wanted so desperately and transformed it into a life that enhanced by those very experiences I have endured steadfastly. I am now in a place where I can hear my voice again. I can still be guided by Dave’s love for me and his boys, but instead of desperately searching for him to return, I found myself again. I found a me that is more tender, more wise, more forgiving, more moved by beauty, more profoundly grateful for love and for this life. I found a me that is more than enduring, a me that truly trusts her heart and finds joy in the decisions made carefully (led by intuition) even when they take me to unexpected places…good and not so good. I have found a place beyond enduring…happy again despite the odds.