It was the best I could find at the time that ticked all the ‘necessary’ boxes and most of the ‘desirables’ too. It even had a couple of ‘bonus’ boxes checked and dangling like carrots. From the cavernous boot that lets me carry mobility equipment without breaking my back, to the panoramic roof that will be so good for the passengers we take around on workshops, it seemed perfect. But, I loved my little old car and I was more than a little reluctant to say goodbye.
It was that reluctance that I blamed for the niggling unease I felt as I waited for the new wheels to be made ready. It had great service history… and it was having some work done before the sale was made. It was being serviced too and even the dealership had excellent reviews. I was just being daft… the old car was no longer economically viable. Practical brain didn’t leave the rest of me a leg to stand on.
Analysing how I felt, I decided I was just being silly… it was no more than sentimentality. Perhaps I was getting old and fear of change was setting in. Perhaps I was clinging on to the last remnants of youth with my sporty little motor. And yet, I couldn’t shake the bad feeling I had about the newer one. It wasn’t a terrible ‘don’t go there’ kind of feeling… that I would have listened to. Just a nagging discomfort.
Once the new car was on the road, though, there was no cause for complaint. It laughed at my worries and was just waiting for me to make friends with it. And I was coming round to it nicely when it started to cough…
Well, after the unavoidable panic, it turned out the problem was neither major, at least in mechanical terms, nor covered by the warranty. And, even if I look on the bright side and remember that it didn’t break down at any critical point… like fully laden and on the way to the workshop… it was still expensive to get it fixed. And I have only myself to blame, because I was ‘told’… and I didn’t listen.
I had done everything else as I should… examining my own feelings with honesty, looking at the evidence and facts, weighing the pros and cons… but sometimes you can over-analyse. We have more senses than the physical ones, more ways of understanding than through logic alone. I left intuition out of the equation and that never ends well.
There are a lot of airy-fairy notions about ‘women’s intuition’…and I can say that because I am a woman… but it is a real and useful sense that belongs to both sexes. I think it often manifests more readily in women because we tend to be more observant than men in general… if this is an area where generalisations are appropriate. That, in turn, perhaps stems from the survival instinct. With different strengths, women have needed to find other ways than physical might to safeguard themselves and their children, and our historical roles have not usually encouraged us to become Amazons.
Perhaps unconscious observation of subtle details is all that is behind intuition, or perhaps the warning bells are sounded by a sense we have yet to accept or understand. At a practical level, though, instinct is a ‘fight or flight’ type of reaction and part of the human design, while intuition is the ability to draw unconscious conclusions from details we are not aware we are observing.
Take the car, for example. It is possible that there was some subliminal clue in the sound of the engine that did not register in the surface mind, but which was picked up by deeper layers of awareness that set the alarms bells ringing. Perhaps it was a note in the salesman’s voice, a smell I would not consciously know… or some other almost imperceptible detail. Either way, the bells rang and I ignored them to my cost.
There are levels of what we can only call intelligence at every level of our being. We all understand some part of the intelligence of the mind. The heart has its own intelligence that guides us through the higher emotions. The body has its instincts. All of these can be trained, not only to work better in themselves, but to work in harmony. We even teach methods to do so in the Silent Eye. But no matter how well a lesson is taught or learned, you still have to be willing to listen and act on what intuition brings to your notice.
I should know better than to ignore the warnings of intuition. I do know better. But sometimes that isn’t enough… and we take another path or make another choice. So I was given a valuable reminder, and one that ‘hurt’ enough for me to take note, without it actually doing any harm. Next time the alarm bells sound… I’ll pay attention. I hope…