Anxiety or intuition?
Exploring the place beyond thought.
Ah, the little voice inside our head, or is it a gut feeling?
Messages about ourselves, our futures, and what’s right and wrong seem to come at us from all directions. For those of us who are both intuitive and anxious, parsing out which messages are which can be difficult. When your brain is telling you the relationship isn’t working out, it’s like, “Is this my fear of abandonment talking, or am I tapping into what I know to be true?”
If you have a hard time telling if the messages you’re receiving are intuition or anxiety, you’re not alone! I know it can make you feel confused and isolated – I’ve experienced it myself. The good thing is that you’re NOT doomed to scour Google for answers on super personal problems. You have all the answers you need inside you.
So let’s dive into what the hell anxiety really is. This is super boiled down, but all anxiety starts as a resistance to what is. When you resist the present moment, which is all that there ever is, anxiety happens. This most commonly looks like regretting or replaying the past or worrying about the future, which is just a fear of uncertainty.
The thinking mind is obsessed with the past and future and is a huge part of its dysfunction. Only a present being can dissolve negativity as it arises. Intuition, on the other hand, is not bound by the past and is not scared of the future. There is nothing to fear when it comes to intuition because it is simply truth. While anxiety starts in the mind, it has a physical effect on our bodies. Our bodies cannot tell the difference between a present situation from a memory or future fantasy. If you have become more present and grounded but still experience physical anxiety, it’s likely the leftover toxic energy from when you were unable to process it.
Your body is a key to understanding. When a message comes up, first ask yourself how it feels to receive it. Is it accompanied by a flash of heat or a racing heart? Do you feel scared and tense? If any of these things resonate, it’s anxiety speaking to you. If the message is accompanied by a feeling of space inside you, of ease and acceptance, it is intuition. Sometimes we experience both one after the other. That is your anxiety swooping in to cover up a truth that contradicts the beliefs of the anxious mind. Protecting that moment of intuition, or identifying it before our anxiety speaks means we must be sensitive and observant.
The way that we receive messages is just as important as how our body feels after the fact. A message from anxiety comes from the thinking mind. That is why it is anxious. It will come to you in words or a sentence. More often than not it will draw on your past: “He will leave me just like Sara did.” A message from your intuition does not come in words. This is a message that is felt. That is because it comes from a place beyond thought, beyond binaries.
When receiving your message, ask yourself, did I hear it? Or did I feel it?
At this point, you may ask yourself what the heck is this place beyond thought? Didn’t Descartes say “I think, therefore I am”? Try thinking something. I’m sure there was nothing. Did you disappear, or did you become conscious of the act of thinking? You are more than thought, and that is shown in your ability to be aware of it. There is no way to understand this concept with your mind. You can only feel it with your being. Be it. Look at the stillness of the objects around you without labeling them. Feel the space in the room. Give all your attention to the present moment. Close your eyes and feel the aliveness in your hands, your body. Can you feel that life that you are? The life that needs no thought. You are becoming conscious of consciousness itself. This is where intuition comes from, and it is accessible to all of us.
The actual content of what you’re being told is also a clue: If there is judgement in it, it is anxiety. Judgement happens because the thinking mind cannot understand anything outside of binaries. All thoughts are inextricably tied to their contradicting thought: positive and negative, ugly and beautiful, etc. To go with the thread of intimate relationships, where anxiety loves to flourish, an anxious message will try to categorise an experience in one of those binaries. It might tell you that “this relationship is bad.” Your mind, which is obsessed with understanding things based on how good or bad they are, has decided that the relationship is bad. Concealed within the “this is bad,” is inherently the possibility that it could be good. Often within intimate relationships, our mind becomes addicted to the oscillation between the binaries of good or bad. We stay because we yearn for who that person could be instead of accepting the truth of the present moment.
Don’t be fooled. Intuition is not naive to the “badness,” it just has no need for judgement. Truth is neither good nor bad. It just is. When we follow our intuition, we feel at peace. Although as mentioned, your mind might try to make a problem out of it. Only the mind’s perception of truth can make it negative. And don’t confuse nonjudgment of truth as acceptance of your circumstance. Nonjudgement is the only way to truly set yourself truly free from a harmful predicament without carrying the negativity forward into your life. Anxiety always creates more anxiety.
So, notice how your body feels when you receive the message. Ask yourself whether you hear or feel the message. Look at what you’re learning and see if it contains a judgement. These are all ways to help you identify whether a message comes from anxiety or intuition. In a pinch, speaking to someone who knows you and loves you is always a good idea. Sometimes it’s hard to dissect your own anxious mental patterns or conditioning. At the end of the day though, only you know your truth. You have the power to access it at all times. Come to the present moment and accept it. Go deep in your body, not your mind. Feel that aliveness that we talked about. Listen with your awareness. As if your whole body was holding an ear up to itself. Do not try to form a thought or concept out of what you feel. When you do this, all anxiety becomes irrelevant. What you know in this place is intuition, and the more often you visit, the easier it will be to recognise. If you’re there all the time? Well, that’s that enlightenment stuff people are always talking about.