06/30/2014 02:50 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Discerning and Hearing Divine Guidance Isn't Always Easy

It's hard for me to remember that there was a time when I thought I would never be able to say "I follow divine guidance", and it was just about 4 days ago.

It's difficult to imagine my days, and nights, without that still small voice around. I can't qualify what I get as "hearing" something. For the same reasons I can't qualify as seeing things other people don't see, because I don't "see" things in the same way I see the physical things we all see. It's similar to seeing and hearing things because what I receive are words and pictures in the broadest sense, but it's just different. It's like.... It's like an idea but it comes in differently. It doesn't show up like you thought about it. It shows up like you have an inbox and you read it more as a feeling than an external sense, it's more like you just understand it.

It's not pushy, unless that's what you need or ask for. It isn't ever mean or trying to invoke fear. Ever. It just shows up. It's also pretty easy to ignore if you're trying. A lot of people do. I did. Still do sometimes, but I'm getting farther from that lifestyle. I'm always trying to find ways to listen more.

I didn't used to. I used to drown it out. The extra sense used to scare me, by no fault of it's own. I got scared of what would happen as a consequence of following guidance, I didn't want to be weird in that way, I didn't want anyone knowing I wasn't cool.

Cool kids didn't follow God and try to be good. Doing good (which is what divine guidance insists you be) is cool in a long term, genuine, and if we're being truly fair kind of way, but being cool as a young person is none of those things. At least, I was afraid that it wasn't. I certainly wasn't. I only listened to that still small voice in those days when I needed it's protection or it was saying what I wanted to hear.

I've grown up now and I finally went ahead and said, 30 is the year they learn just how weird I am! I'm going to be Good!


Then I waited until I was a few months into 31 and I wrote this.

The reality is though, I'm not weird at all. If anything, feeling and almost kinda like seeing and hearing things from an outside divine source is nothing strange. It's been extremely common since the dawn of man. However you believe that dawn happened, when it did it was also the dawn of the divine guidance. I am not the first nor the last to attempt to argue with God in my head like "Nah, they don't need my help, they would probably just get offended by my offer." and I'm not the last to stop arguing and just do it, and watch love, kindness, and grace happen as if it was just me being me.

But it isn't just me being me. Well, it kind of is, but it isn't my idea. The part that was my idea was the to listen to my prompt and go "Ok, fine" part, and do what I was supposed to do. But, the actual meat of the thing comes from something much wiser.

Whether you call this omnipresence God, or The Universe, or The Source, or Purplemonkeydishwasher, it's the same. It is not dependent on language, or language restrictions. It's been called "having a conscience" and that seems like a logical way to label it but I think that's like feeling the baby kick and having a doctor tell you it's just gas, you know it isn't just gas even though for a lot of people it may have been. It's not the same as "hearing voices" either, I think that parallel is drawn to make it easy to dismiss. Even though Joan of Arc famously called her divine guidance her "voices", she heard them and saw them externally, as well as having internal guidance, so the name makes sense.

There is a lot of money to be made by having guidance. So many people identify with the experience others describe and the advice they translate from the guidance. From psychics, to gurus, to empaths, to angel healers. It's a beautiful community. But, because there is a lot of money, there is a lot of fraud. It's easy to write off as fake because some people have been. It's also convenient to write off, or reserve hesitancy to some degree, because if you truly believe in omnipresence and interconnectedness while you forget to have faith and trust, and you continue to hold onto to fear and anxiety, you're bound to have a breakdown, or any level of freak out.It's more convenient to dismiss the idea all together.

But, if you remember all the essential stuff, to keep faith and trust, it balances out. That's where peace and harmony happen. That's the sweet spot where it all starts coming together. That's when you start really having fun. And that's when I started considering this whole "Let's tell people!" prompt I kept getting. It sounded too scary before.

Let's tell them, it's ok. Let's tell them if they have a "voice" telling them to be kind, soft hearted, compassionate, and understanding, it's more than ok and completely "normal". If you feel like you need to drown out that voice to try to fit into whatever image or type you think they (whoever they are) want, I totally get it. But, don't.

Being "cool" isn't what you think it is, no matter what age you are. Being cool is having people say they don't how they could do it without you, being cool is giving someone hope that maybe the whole world isn't a bunch of lying jerks. Trust love, have faith in kindness, provide hope (even if it's just bringing coffee for a struggling coworker), and seek that still small voice you may be trying to ignore, that one that keeps trying to get you to do the right thing even when all your logical judgment and attempt at foresight tell you it's in vain.

Sometimes guidance can feel terrifying, I won't lie. Being guided to do the right thing is hard, we worry how it will be received. But, that starts to go away. Each day I gain more confidence, when I thought I was already confident enough, in the guidance I receive. Each day I follow more and more of it without trying to talk myself out of it. I still mess up daily, getting in my own way, but it's getting easier. There is no way to sound normal in conversation when you have to stop and go "Hold on, there's a woman God is saying I need to help one table over, will you excuse me?" so most of us just do it and say nothing.

When I was 18, I was driving along and my tire popped. I pulled into a gas station and a very unassuming middle aged man stood well back from my window and asked if I had a spare. I popped the trunk and he told me to just stay in my car. He changed my tire and safely put the new one on and when he was done he let me know that he had been a mechanic and it would get me around but I would need a new full size tire. I thanked him and offered to give him the $20 I had on me, he said "You keep it. My momma always told me God put us here to help each other, so that's what I do." That stuck with me. Could it have ended badly? Sure. But, it didn't and a good man made sure he took care of his fellow human. And when we take the opportunity to help someone, it takes the opportunity to take advantage of them in their moment of need away from someone who may. It's like a side effect of following God's guidance.

There is other guidance out there, it's easy enough to tell the difference though. There are people with sad motivations, there are voices people hear that guide them in harming and hurting, those are not the same thing, nor are they equal in anyway. I choose to ignore those would be guides and opt to align myself with love and kindness, peace and joy. I listen to that still small voice.