Knowing before thinking

By Amy Barger - Contributing Columnist

It’s a blessing when you acknowledge your intuition’s existence, but what good is it if you don’t listen to it? In my case, it would have saved me some money and anxiety.

On my daily 45 minute commute from work to home, I pass by five gas stations, three of which are the only ones I pay attention to. During my drive home on Thursday, I realized that I didn’t have time to get gas during the day and my gas meter was sitting right on the corner of “E”. I felt like Cinderella watching the clock a moment before it stroke midnight, right before her dreams died.

Silently panicking on the inside, I pass by the gas station closest to work, and it read $2.99 per gallon for unleaded fuel. My thoughts: “I should probably stop here even if it is super expensive … but I’m not going to, because it’s super expensive. I can get it cheaper, I’m sure.” My intuition: “Okay, if you don’t stop here, you need to stop at the next one.”

I drive on for about another mile or so to see the next gas station. That one was indeed cheaper, sitting at $2.69 per gallon. My thoughts: “I was right, it is cheaper! But, I’ve seen it even cheaper at like, $2.50 something. I’m going to take my chances and assume the third gas station will be cheaper and that I will be able to make it.” My intuition: “Hey, yeah, Amy, right? Remember the times I was right? You should have listened to me and just got gas here.”

I did feel that feeling in the pit of my stomach, as if my intuition, being my internal compass, was poking me on the inside with the needle, pointing towards the gas station as I drove by. But as I passed by, I felt more anxiety as I risked my car stopping in the middle of the highway on my way to a gas station that could be more expensive.

Luckily, my car made it to the third gas station, but it’s funny, because it was the same exact price as the first one (didn’t see that one coming, did you?)! My thoughts: “Ugh, I should have listened to my gut, again. I wouldn’t have worried as much as I did and would have got cheaper gas.” My intuition: “You definitely have selective hearing, woman. I’m always here, but you just gotta listen. Just imagine how lost you would be if I went on a vacation on a day you decide to listen to me. You don’t appreciate me, I want to leave you. I need your constant attention, I need to feel needed. Why don’t you love me, Amy?!”

Not only is this about me listening to my intuition, but I always like finding metaphors in my daily life. If the road home represented the road of my life and the gas stations represented opportunities, i.e., a love interest or a career advancement, I was driving past those opportunities because I thought there was going to be something better or it just wasn’t the right time. My intuition guided me and knew all along what was best for me, but I ignored it.

I have a tendency to want to ignore good things coming based on what I think others would want, what I actually think I want, or what I strongly feel that I want. It seems there are three separate entities that determine your actions; your mind, heart, and intuition.

Let’s take an opportunity that I actually am thinking about, and want to pursue in my life. I have always wanted to volunteer for Photographers Without Borders, a charity run by volunteer photographers who travel to various parts of the world capturing stories of struggling communities to inspire change. A great goal and opportunity, right? But my mind, heart, and intuition pull me in different directions.

My mind: “This is great, this is something that is very you and you are passionate about. But what about family? Your niece? Your student loans? Work? Right now, you are learning so much about your field and there’s just too much going on right now.” My heart: “Ignore your mind, drop everything you are doing, and just do it. You have to do this, you connect with this. You love people, you love story telling, you want to do all you can to create change no matter how little. Don’t think about the repercussions, if I’m in this, what else matters?” My intuition: “Both mind and heart are right, but I’m here to balance and guide. You will do this in time. I can’t tell you when. But you will feel me, and you will just know. You aren’t feeling it to be the right time now, but I will let you know when.”

When the heart and mind fail, intuition will always be right. It feels like a risk trusting it, but it hasn’t failed me or I believe that it won’t fail me. My intuition magnetically pulled me to going to the school of my dreams, but I’m paying for listening to it. Right now it seems like it was a bad choice, but I believe I still need to give it more time to realize why it told me to go there.

I’ve also learned while following your intuition will give you the best outcome of a situation, if you don’t follow it, it’s also not the end of the world – you just have to do something the hard way, in which just means you gain by learning. If you were to personify intuition, it would basically be your parents and you would be constantly saying, “You were right,” followed by it saying, “I told you so.”

Even if you don’t listen and do something different than what your intuition tells you, you will be okay, but connecting and listening to it, even if you are unsure, will get you where you really want to be and connects you to who you really want to be.

By Amy Barger

Contributing Columnist

Amy Barger can be reached at (937) 451-3340. Follow her journey as a photojournalist and a reporter on Instagram @amybargerphoto.

Amy Barger can be reached at (937) 451-3340. Follow her journey as a photojournalist and a reporter on Instagram @amybargerphoto.