By Tracee Sioux
One of our neighbors is this nice autistic man who is prone to random screaming at the top of his lungs. When they first moved in I ran over there to help whoever was being murdered.
He knocked on the door last week with his niece, a playmate for Ainsley, and asked if Ainsley could come over and play. Ainsley had been eying their new above-ground swimming pool with more than a little envy. I politely told him that we were on our way out, but that Cheyenne was welcome over at our house to jump on the trampoline anytime.
In my head, I had already decided that this man and his elderly mother was not enough supervision, so no way was Ainsley going over there to play by herself. My gut told me it was a bad idea and I’m learning to trust my gut.
A few days later Ainsley said, Mom, you know that guy brought that girl and said I could come swim in their pool?
Yeah, I said.
Well, I don’t think I want to go over there alone. I’m a little scared, she told me.
You’re right Ainsley, I told her proudly. My little voice told me the same thing. I’m not going to let you go play over there, but Cheyenne can come over here and play on the trampoline. I’m proud of you for listening to your gut when it’s telling you something is not a good idea. You should always listen to your gut or the little voice inside you, because you can always trust it. It’s God’s way of telling you the right thing to do.
I don’t know when it happens but somewhere along the way we stop listening to our guts. Or the little voice inside ourselves that might feel like a simple butterfly, becomes easily ignored. I think perhaps our parents tell us to suck up fear sometimes, so we quit listening to that intuition or instinct that tells us when there is danger. We start looking for “evidence” or “proof” of danger rather than accepting our butterflies as the evidence.
I don’t need proof that the man across the street might be dangerous to my child. My gut is telling me “don’t let her” and I’m going to listen. I’ve taken her out of childcare situations for the same reason – I just “had a bad feeling.”
What makes me the happiest is that my daughter is tuning into her intuition, instinct, gut feeling, conscience, God or still small voice of the Holy Spirit working inside her own self.
The trick is to teach a girl (or boy) to go with her gut rather than stifle it or ignore it. Otherwise, she’ll have to learn how to rely on it all over again, later in life after she’s already gotten into a bit of trouble.