As a little girl, I can't tell you how many times my mother told me, "Don't be ridiculous," when I voiced my truth. I didn’t know it then, but I was being taught by my parents and other authority figures not to trust my inner knowing.
My mother was a screamer. If I said, "Mommy, why are you angry at me?" she would yell back, "Don't be ridiculous. I'm not angry." When I shied away from an uncle's seductive energy and slobbery kisses, my mother said, "Don't be ridiculous. Your uncle loves you." When I told my mother that I wasn't cold, she said, "Don't be ridiculous. It's cold outside."
Of course, I eventually stopped telling my mother how I felt. But she wasn't the only one who trivialized my intuition. It happened with teachers as well. Over time, I stopped trusting what I knew.
It even happened with psychotherapists who tried to impose their views on me instead of helping me learn to trust myself. So, I stopped listening to myself. I started to rely on others to tell me what was true, real, and important.
In addition to being taught that my opinion wasn’t reliable, I learned that men were smarter than women. So, I made my husband the authority over me and ignored my own inner truth. But I could do this for only so long. The cognitive dissonance caused by substituting someone else’s beliefs for my own was too great, and I became ill.
That's when life changed for me, and I found Dr. Erika Chopich. Eventually, she and I would co-create a guide to learning to love and trust yourself. As I learned more about inner bonding and began to practice it myself, I reconnected to my personal source of truth. I found and followed the path back to trusting myself. That changed everything.
I finally realized that no one is better qualified to decide what is right or wrong for me than my own higher self — that no one else has the authority to define my worth. I reclaimed my right to make my own choices, regardless of the input (or lack of input) from others.
Trusting my inner knowing has literally saved my life numerous times. By staying open to learning from and tuned into my higher wisdom, I've been warned away from danger — like the time I felt the need to slow down on the freeway and seconds later a drunk driver careened across the freeway right in front of me. If I hadn't listened to my intuition, I would have been broadsided and likely killed.
Maybe your parents, teachers, religious leaders, and politicians didn’t realize the importance of teaching you to trust your own intuition. Maybe they didn’t want you to listen to yourself because they prized control over your personal growth. Everyone has the power to learn to trust their inner knowing. And the more deeply you tune into that still, small voice, the less vulnerable you are to the misinformation of others — whatever their motives.
When you trust yourself, you’re not taken in by infomercials shilling the latest life-changing gadget or politicians whose only commitment is to say what they think people want to hear. Your intuition identifies integrity or the lack of it.
Do you trust your own inner knowing? If you don't, I hope you take the time to learn. As Goethe said, "As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live."