At the end of our post from two weeks ago, I alluded that I would continue our discussion of “hunches” from the heart or unconscious mind by talking about how to tell the difference between meaningful hunches and random intrusive thoughts. We’ve gotten a little side-tracked since then, but I’m back to keep my word this week.
The first thing you should know is that this is not an exact science. Obviously. If it was, it would hardly be unconscious, would it? Well, that’s probably the best place to start: what I actually want to share is not a method for evaluating the hunches themselves. Instead, we’re going to work from a different angle by examining our internal state regarding that issue.
For example, say that you have an unconscious hunch that maybe you should sell your house and move (my family has done this a lot in the past 10 years or so). On its own, that thought probably doesn’t get far, because it gets drowned by all the reasons not to do it: the hassle, the expense, the uncertainty of where you might end up living instead. All perfectly good reasons for staying put under normal circumstances… but what if circumstances aren’t normal? What if, for example, the housing market has recently gone through the roof, and you could make a tidy profit by relocating, as was the case for my family—though I should mention that the lion’s share of the credit goes to my lovely wife, Hope. Sometimes the value of these urges may simply be in prompting you to consider a path that you normally wouldn’t.
But there are a couple of other, more personal considerations beyond practical circumstance. The first of these is whether the thought you’re having is in keeping with truth and love. Now, as most of you know, the point of this blog is not to evangelize. For me, truth and love mean that it has to agree with scripture and the Holy Spirit, but you can and should find your own answer—which will help immensely with the final step…
Finding internal peace. This is probably the most subjective step, and you’ve got to be in a reasonably healthy emotional place to use it consistently, but internal peace is nearly always a sign that you’re on the right path if you take the time to pray, meditate, or contemplate an important decision. Even if it doesn’t work out as we’d hoped, we tend not to regret a decision too much if we can look back on it as a good faith step that was the best we could have known at the time. It’s the decisions made—or not made—out of fear, anger, or hesitation that come back to haunt us.
Have a blessed, wonderful day!
Dr. Alex Loyd