I don’t know about you but I was brought up to be very rational and logical. Being rational and logical is fine when there’s lots of proven facts to shift through but when you’re making decisions about ME/CFS, there just aren’t.
So one of the skills I developed along the way was to listen out for my instinctual feelings. It’s something that happened gradually – so much so that I didn’t even realise I was doing it! – and something that needed time before I became more confident that I could trust them.
Here’s a few tips if you’d like to develop this skill:
Give it fodder. I hear my instinct most clearly when I am looking into new things (it’s pretty quiet the rest of the time) so if you want to develop this skill take time to look into possibilities.
Listen out for it. My instinctual voice doesn’t say much beyond ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ and sometimes it’s just a feeling. It can be very quiet so you may want to try asking yourself ‘How do I feel about this?’. You could try doing this during a meditation. I don’t think I’ve ever heard my instinct when I’ve been really stressed!
If you do ‘hear’ it, notice what happens when you follow it or don’t follow it. This is the way you build up your trust in it.
Remember it’s just one piece of the information to make a decision. I still like to know what the facts are too!
Emotional charge about something may stop you hearing your instinct. So, for example, I really, really didn’t like the idea of taking supplements and this closed my mind to even consider taking them. The ‘NO’ I heard wasn’t my instinctual response but one born from the emotional charge.
Your instinct is telling you what’s right for YOU (rather than for anybody else). I’m not sure I can explain this well but if I go against my instincts somehow or other that sets up tension in my body. If I follow my instincts, my body relaxes. So by following your instinct you are (possibly) calming down your stress response and that can only be helpful!
It takes time to learn. I know if I’d been reading this blog post a few years ago, I’d be thinking ‘I should have worked this out by yesterday’ but learning something like this doesn’t happen overnight. Do what you can to give yourself space for this skill to grow.
My original intention was to post this on my Facebook page….but then it gets lost after a few days. This topic is important enough to have a bit more of a permanent place!
Warm wishes to you all,