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I loved Megan’s recent article on being Paranoid versus being Proactive. It reminded me that just about a week after I returned home from the Girls Fight Back Training Academy, my husband and I were lying in bed, just about to drift off to sleep when I suddenly had the thought that the door wasn’t locked. It was strange because I didn’t think “Hmmm..is the door locked?” or “I can’t remember if I locked the door or not.” I simply thought “the door isn’t locked.” So I got up and locked it. My husband asked what I was doing and I told him I was going to lock the door. When I returned to bed, he asked, “so now that you’ve had this training, are you going to be paranoid all the time?” I simply asked him, “What’s paranoid about locking a door that is unlocked?” (and for the record, it was unlocked) Our conversation continued and finally ended with a discussion over who empties the dishwasher more often, but that really isn’t the point.
The point is that it is hard to separate the idea of being careful about your safety from the idea that you are being paranoid and suspicious of everyone. Both my husband and I were raised in small towns where people don’t just leave their doors unlocked, they leave them wide open! I have one member of my family who still to this day doesn’t even have a key to their home. It is unlocked 24/7. In fact, recently someone accidentally locked the door as they were leaving the house and this relative had to call a locksmith to get them into their own house! Since I practice simple safety precautions (like actually locking my doors), I’m used to being called paranoid or (when it comes to my daughter’s safety) overprotective.
I won’t lie, when I’m out running errands with my daughter, I am a little hyperaware of our surroundings and our safety. People often offer to help me with things like putting up a grocery cart or carrying bags to my car. They usually offer this help because I am carrying too many bags and digging through my purse for my keys with my 15 month old wiggling around on my hip. And for the most part, I used to refuse the help 10 times out of 10. Why? Because I didn’t trust people. Or really because I didn’t trust myself.
You see, when you don’t trust your intuition, it is easiest to go to one extreme or the other. You simply choose to trust everyone or trust no one and accept whatever comes from that choice. For me, I trusted no one and that meant doing everything myself and having lots of headaches.
This week, I took my daughter to lunch at one of those fast food type Japanese places. You know, the ones that have those yummy rice bowls with chicken and zucchini. While I was waiting for my food, I started the process of getting my daughter situated in a high chair. Well, I got the chair and dragged it over to my table only to realize that it was sticky and gross. I decided I needed to get out a wipe from my wipe case and clean it off. Now my daughter is still in my arms and I’m digging through my bag to get the wipes. I find them and that darn wipe won’t come out. I’m just about to try and pull it out with my teeth when this man comes over and asks if I need any help. I’m just about to say no, thank you when I stop for a moment. I realize that I don’t have a creepy feeling about this person. My intuition shoots me a quick message to say, “he’s OK.” So I say yes and this nice man gets out the wipe for me and cleans the chair. He even goes to get my food at the counter and brings it to me!
As my daughter and I are enjoying our lunch, I realize that by trusting my intuition, I have freed myself up to have faith in others. I can count on my intuition to guide me towards helpful, honest people and away from those who mean me harm. It feels great to believe in the goodness of people; to know that my instincts can guide me through any situation; and to know that the next time the guy who bags my groceries offers to cart them out to the car for me, my answer will be YES!