There’s a difference between deja vu and intuition.
Have you ever had an instance of deja vu? You know, when something happens and you feel like you’ve experienced the situation before? Most people have and sometimes, it’s a creepy feeling! If you look up the definition of deja vu in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, you’ll find that it defines it as “the feeling that you’ve already experienced something that is actually happening for the first time; something that has happened many times before; something that is very familiar”.
What about the instance when you just know something and you don’t know how you know? That’s called intuition and everybody has it. Intuition, however, is described by Merriam-Webster a little differently than deja vu: “the ability to know something without having proof”. And even though they mean two totally different things, I think that deja vu and intuition can both bleed into each other so much that you might experience both of them at once.
Children are known for being super intuitive because they don’t have all the baggage we carry around as adults.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been very intuitive. Like very, very. I think my mother was actually afraid of it because she tried to shut it down every chance she got. Like most kids, I had imaginary friends who lived in my closet–Jennifer and David–but apparently, I talked to them all the time and my mother would find day-old partial breakfasts back in the corner where I tried to share it with them. Were they really imaginary? I don’t know–who’s to say??
One particular thing that I do remember from childhood though was going grocery shopping with my mother. I was around 4 or 5 years old at the time and we were at the beach on vacation. I recall us walking through the parking lot holding hands (I liked to do my own thing and she had to keep a tight rein on me, and that hasn’t changed much–ha!). As we got closer to the store I said to her, “I’ve been here before.”
She insisted that I hadn’t because the store was brand new so I couldn’t have been there. I stopped walking and told her everything about the inside of that store, down to the wide, red-orange stripe that lined the concrete floor. My mother blew it off until we stepped inside and then, stopped dead in her tracks. Looking around, wide-eyed, she saw that the store was exactly as I had described it. “How did you know that??”, she asked. And all I remember saying was “because I’ve been here before!” (and I probably rolled my eyes if the truth be known–that hasn’t much changed either, just so you know!).
As I’ve gotten older, my intuition has grown bigger and stronger.
You might be wondering what I’m talking about, so this is the only way I can describe it: you know that gut feeling thing? It’s that. And it has never steered me wrong. Now, having said that, it’s told me what to do at times and I haven’t followed through because I wanted something different, but every single time, it’s led me to wish I had listened to it from the get-go.
Its origin is something I can’t pinpoint, but what I do know is this: we all have it.
I don’t necessarily know where it comes from, really, but what I do know for sure is that I just have a “knowing” and it’s usually strongest when I am really emotionally connected with another person. For instance, the man who had my heart could breathe wrong and I could feel it. Okay, maybe not quite that intense, but I could always feel it when something wasn’t right in his world. His office was across town and I plainly remember texting him from my kitchen one morning saying “Something feels weird. What’s going on with you?” Initially, he said “What are you talking about? Nothing is weird.” I let it go.
Later that afternoon, he told me differently and confirmed that my feeling was spot on. I didn’t know specifically what was going on until he relayed it to me, but I knew something just wasn’t right–because I felt it. And several months after that incident, I made mention of the fact that my feelings are always right when it comes to him. His response? A wide-eyed, bewildered, one raised-eyebrow, “No shit!”.
He must have gotten used to the idea of my being what I jokingly call woo-woo, because when his mother was ill and in the hospital for the third time over a span of several months, he asked me what my feeling was about her health, reiterating that my notions are always accurate. I told him I didn’t feel like she was going to die anytime soon, but that I didn’t know how long her body would be able to sustain life if she didn’t have some drastic improvement. She’s still living–and was released from the hospital two days after I told him I thought she was going to be fine. See? It’s just a knowing.
Usually, intuition is tied to those that we are the closest to.
Not long after that happened, a close friend of mine was out of town with a new guy she was dating. She had been there a couple of days, and I could just feel that something wasn’t okay. I texted her asking her what was wrong and every time, she responded: “nothing, everything is fine.” But I KNEW otherwise–you know, that feeling thing. After badgering her about it, she said they’d had an argument and she had left his house upset and crying the night before, but didn’t want to tell me because she knew I would worry about her, especially since she can’t see well to drive at night when her contacts are inadvertently packed away in her overnight bag. It’s connection, yes, no doubt; but it’s way more than that.
I don’t see things really, nor do I audibly hear things.
I just “know” things and I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. I’ve only had one instance of where I had a flash of something and even now, I can’t explain it. The man who had my heart was over for lunch one afternoon and we were talking about something childhood-related. All the sudden, I had this brief instance of a little boy being held up against a wall by his throat. A man’s hand around his neck. It was gone as quick as it came. It’s the only time that’s happened to me, but I suspect that little boy was him.
Maybe I just didn’t have enough coffee that morning, I don’t know, but there’s one thing that is for certain: more often than not, I just know when something is off with the people I love. Other times, when I get really quiet while thinking about a situation in my own life, I know exactly what the outcome is going to be. I may not know the timing, but I just know how it’s going to fall into place and that’s really the only way I can explain it to you.
All of us have the gift of intuition.
It’s the nudge that persuades us to take a different route home than usual. The one that saved us from the five-car pileup that happened on our regular route. That very one we heard about hours later.
It’s the knowledge that something good is going to come out of a situation, even when we don’t know how it’s possibly going to come together.
The feeling we get when someone we love is surrounded by chaos, even when we can’t explain how we know that something isn’t right.
Just knowing who is on the other end of a ringing phone without seeing the caller-ID first.
That deep-down gut feeling that tells us something isn’t right, whether we want to listen to it or not.
It’s that intuition that we have as parents when something isn’t quite kosher with our children.
The only thing you have to do to make intuition work for you? Just tap into it and listen.
It takes an immense amount of awareness at first, but eventually, it just comes naturally. That “listen to your gut” saying really has a lot of truth in it! My feelings of knowing have rarely been wrong. Sometimes, I have to make myself get very still. Then, I can willfully listen to the whispers of my heart. It tells me exactly what to do. Like I said earlier, I don’t always listen and undoubtedly, I end up regretting it. So if you get those gut feelings too, just like I do, create an awareness around that. There’s typically a lot of validity to what you’re feeling. You don’t have to know the how’s and why’s, nor do you have to know the when’s. You just have to trust yourself enough to know that your intuition won’t ever lead you astray.
Til next time, stay sassy!