A couple of weeks ago I woke up and thought of a friend I hadn’t spoken to in several months. Then a half thought went through my mind, ‘is she dead?’, followed by a feeling of gratitude that I had called and left a message for her several weeks ago letting her know I was thinking of her. It was so strange to have a feeling like that, the kind of gratitude you feel when you don’t have any more time left in a relationship and can only look back on what was. But it didn’t make any sense and kind of flashed through my mind, so I shook the feeling off as being negative and got started on my day.
An hour later a friend called, and told me that a mutual friend of ours passed away the evening before. Before she even told me the name, I knew what she was going to say, and I immediately realized why what seemed like a bizarre thought had gone through my mind. Sure enough, she then told me that the person I had just been thinking about an hour before had passed away.
Then yesterday I had a weird thing happen. I was driving home from an outing with my two littlest ones, and suddenly a thought that W. Clement Stone has referred to as a reverse paranoid came into my mind (meaning he cultivated the belief that everyone was out to do something nice for him). So, I continued thinking, when you’re driving on a highway you aren’t dealing with anyone one-on-one so it’s hard to apply that attitude. Then I thought, ‘maybe I’m supposed to be in a car accident this minute and I don’t even appreciate the good that is happening for me because I take it for granted’. I took a moment to consciously focus on my appreciation that Hashem (God) was keeping me safe and protected as I drove.
Then literally two minutes later, a large truck merged very suddenly right in front of me, with a marginal amount of space between my van and him. I eased off the gas to put some more room between us, thinking that he clearly had a lot of confidence in his spacial perception since that merge was a risky maneuver. A minute later, it felt like the highway exploded in front of me but it wasn’t an explosion, it was that so much suddenly happened in a few seconds. The truck in front of me must have decided he was in the wrong lane because he rapidly merged back into the lane he had just come from on the right, but as he did, he hit the car in that lane, sending her slamming into the concrete barrier. As I saw her car headed for the barrier, he was violently swerving over two lanes of traffic (I assume in his failed attempt to avoid hitting the person who must have been in his blind spot) and narrowly missed hitting the car on the other side.
I wasn’t sure if I should write about this, because I can’t put into words the feeling I had. A couple of minutes later I started shaking, and it wasn’t feeling like it could have been me that made me feel like that, which is a normal feeling. It was that less than three minutes before I had been thinking the thought I shared with you. The ‘coincidence’ was too uncanny, the timing too remarkable, and what unnerved me was a kind of inner sense that as a result of that thought and focus of gratitude just two minutes before, somehow it shifted something that was about to happen to me.
Intuition is an incredible thing. I don’t pretend to know how it works or the meaning of these things, and I know I may sound kind of woo-woo or corny to mention these examples, but more and more I’ve become convinced that we need to learn to access our internal wisdom. My mother thinks that I inherited a gift her mother had, something called the ‘sixth sense’, but I don’t think so. I think this is probably a normal thing that most people have, the whisperings of the soul maybe, but we all ignore it because we’re supposed to be rational beings and this stuff isn’t quantifiable and doesn’t make sense.
But the fact is that whether we try to access it or not, we all have intuition. Recognizing what is intuition and what is mental clutter can be hard, and I can’t personally tell you what the difference is. I haven’t figured it out, but it is kind of scary when I do recognize it.