The psychic therapist

I once had a therapist who earned her living as a psychic before she switched careers and became a counselor. Her psychic skills were kind of handy when my ex-husband and I were going through marriage counseling, because identifying and articulating emotions was a real struggle for him. She could just “reach” in, dig around, and “pull out” some emotions for his consideration. When she narrowed down his options that way, he was able to identify how he felt.

Despite our efforts, my ex and I decided to end our marriage. Several years later, I was in a relationship with another man and went back to the same therapist. She insisted that he and I would end up together. But as time went on, it became clear that he was not right for me. Although I shared events, insights, and emotions that led me to believe that we were not meant for each other, she continued to insist that we were. So, I redoubled my efforts and kept trying.

In the end, my emotions and her psychic perspective on things were at such odds that I broke up with the guy and fired her. It taught me an important lesson. As tempting as it is, I don’t look outside myself for guidance anymore. That means no psychics, horoscopes, or other means of predicting the future. But it also means that I now heed my own inner guidance above that of experts, gurus, teachers, clergy, parents, and friends.

This is not always easy, and is something that I have to recommit myself to repeatedly–especially as I bump around in the dark trying to find my way. It is much easier to trust the sometimes loud and insistent guidance of others than it is to listen for that still, small voice inside myself. But I believe it’s what’s right for me. Fact is, I believe it’s right for us all.

This has been a test of your inner guidance system

You know that story about the guy who is in a flood and winds up on the roof of his house to escape the rising waters? Some people in a boat come by and offer to rescue him, but he turns them down, saying, “God will save me.” Then some people in a helicopter come by and offer to help, but he waves them away and says. “God will save me.” Eventually, he perishes in the flood, and when he gets to heaven, he says to God, “Why didn’t you save me?” God says, “Well, I sent you a boat and a helicopter didn’t I?”

This is the position I am in right now financially—sitting on the roof of the house, watching the floodwaters rise, and wondering how I’m going to get out of this predicament.

One morning last week, I finally collapsed a whole page full of money-related goals down to one: “I easily and effortlessly draw $100,000 per year through activities that bring me great joy.” Later that day, I was walking into a store and heard someone calling my name. It was a friend who said that a few people were gathering at a coffee shop next door to talk about a business and asked if I was interested in joining them. I abandoned my trip to the store, told my son where to find me, and joined the discussion. Sitting around the table were five people for whom I have great respect and one person I hadn’t met yet. I figured that any kind of business opportunity involving these people could be interesting and listened as one of them addressed the possibility of easily earning $100,000 per year. And then I heard the words, “network marketing.”

“Shit,” I thought. “Anything but that.”

However, I remembered the story of the guy on the roof in a flood and wondered, “Is this God sending me a boat or a helicopter? Will I one day stand at the pearly gates wondering why God didn’t save me, only to be told, “Well I sent you that network marketing opportunity, didn’t I?”

So I did it. I paid the money and joined up. And then I became restless. My mind raced. I couldn’t sleep at night and when I did, I dreamed about network marketing. In an effort to better understand it, I created a web site to explain it to myself and others. I started telling my story to people and meeting with resistance that mirrored my own. How could I ask people to sign up for something I didn’t understand, believe in, or feel good about myself? The whole subject introduced static into every conversation because of the existence of a hidden agenda.

Finally, it occurred to me: are the negative emotions that I am experiencing a legitimate message from my inner guidance system? Or are they a response to a limiting belief around network marketing that needs to be addressed? I had been assuming the latter. If my negative emotions are a message from my inner guidance system, my only choice (based on years of experience) is to heed that message. If my emotions are a response to a limiting belief, continuing to hold on to it makes no sense, and I need to clear it.

This is the most subtle and sneaky test of my inner guidance system that I have experienced yet. I am sitting on the roof. A boat comes by. I get in. It feels wrong. Now what? How can something dressed as salvation feel wrong?

As little sense as it makes, I cannot stay in the boat any longer. I put full faith in my emotions, ask my would-be rescuers to pull the boat over and get out. They can’t believe it. I can’t believe it.

Yet, here I sit on the bank. And you know what? My mind has stopped racing. I can sleep at night. I can have conversations with friends that have no static in them. Regardless of what happens, I have been true to myself, and that is all that matters. I don’t know whether another boat or a helicopter will come, but I know I did the right thing for me.