Another step in my spiritual evolution - learning to acknowledge my intuition. Everyone has intuition, but instead of embracing it most people seem to avoid using it. It seems that in our culture it's acceptable to have intuition as an afterthought, such as, "I knew that was going to happen, I should have trusted my gut instinct." For some reason it seems slightly less acceptable to act on what our intuition is telling us to do about something in the future. Or maybe it's just the fact that we spend our lives ignoring our "gut instinct," so most of us have never really developed the ability to change the future with our intuition.
When my friend dropped me off at the airport yesterday, I had the urge to go to the bookstore. Normally I would have ignored it, because I have a stack of books at home that are waiting to be read. I've promised myself I won't buy another book until I get through that stack, but the urge to go to the bookstore was so strong I had to acknowledge it.
I usually gravitate towards the New Age/Spirituality section, but for some reason I stopped in front of religion. I scanned the book titles not really expecting to find anything, but when my eyes got to the title "Leaving Church", I felt like the book was jumping off the shelf at me. It was a paperback so it didn't really have a synopsis on the back cover, so I started reading the intro to find out what the book was about. I was still doubting my instinct that I had walked right to the book I was meant to have, because I still didn't feel like I needed a book. By the time I had finished the intro I had cried not once, but twice, because I felt like I was reading about myself. Now I had to trust myself and buy the book to read in private. Seeing a uniformed pilot in the airport crying does not normally instill confidence in passengers.
The book is about an Episcopal minister, who found her way to God (and herself) by giving up the priesthood. One of the things that made me cry was this quote, "You only need to lose track of who you are, or who you thought you were supposed to be, so that you end up lying flat on the dirt floor basement of your heart." It's the "who you thought you were supposed to be" that really got to me. From the time I was 17 years old, I've thought I was supposed to be a pilot. It's been my identity and how I define myself for over twenty years, but now I'm beginning to think there might be something more. In addition to or instead of a pilot, I'm not sure yet. I think my soul knows but my ego is still afraid to admit the truth.
I was reading the book in the gym this morning, and I had to come back up to the room because it made me cry again. Barbara had just decided to leave the priesthood, and she was quoting Walter Brueggemann, a scholar of the Hebrew bible. "The world for which you have been so carefully prepared is being taken away from you, by the grace of God."
I have very carefully prepared my entire adult life to be a pilot, but I still feel like there is something missing. I have no doubt that this desire for something new and bigger than myself is being directed by God. To read about someone who felt the same way, in a book that I didn't even know about and wasn't even looking for, proves to me that there is something to this intuition thing. I just hope I can continue to use it to look forward, instead of regretting I didn't use it when I look back.