Motherhood – Instinct vs Intuition

Being a mom can be hard sometimes … children can be challenging, children become our biggest teachers, children bring a joy that opens your heart like no other, children are part of you, they are little souls who have come into this world to start their own journey and for whatever reason have chosen you to be their mother to help them complete the lessons they have come to learn and vice versa and you have chosen them to come and help you learn your lessons.  I have been blessed with the good fortune of having two daughters, completely different from one another in every possible way black & white, day & night, apples and oranges.  This has allowed me the diversity and challenge of parenting two souls that couldn’t be more different from one another.

Now being a Gigi is something completely different, it is a place where you don’t have to be the one to discipline, to teach, to keep safe, to be the bad guy who always says “no”, the one who worries constantly, the one who instills the families values & principles. Being a Gigi means that I simply get to love, to be, to enjoy, and to witness.  It comes with well-earned wisdom and grey hair.  It has opened my heart like no other love.  The love of your children is one thing and you think that there can never be a love stronger than your own children then you get the privilege of being a grandparent and the world is never the same again.   Born is a new love, a new place, a new feeling, a new commitment, a new longing.  This love is tender and open, it comes from a different place within my soul and I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to experience both kinds of love.

Today my second grandchild was born to my second daughter and my heart exploded.  I wanted to be at her side with every morsel of my being but at the very same time I had to honour my own journey and finish this inward journey I have started.

My mother’s intuition had been stabbing at me, yelling that something was wrong yet on the face everything seemed fine, I just knew.  I felt this longing to go home and yet at the same time I felt this pull to stay .  My wise, older daughter would be joining me to travel around Thailand for a month in a few weeks, a vision I have held close to my heart for the months that I have been away.

I would come to know that weeks earlier there was a crisis in the life of one of my children, I learned that my intuition was correct, again.

My automatic instinct was to go home, to rescue, to solve, to take care of, to nurture, to support, to be the one.  I felt a strong urge to leave what I had started and go home.  I questioned and wondered if this was instinct or intuition.  I spoke with two wise souls who provide navigation in my life when I feel lost and unsure of myself, my mother and my eldest daughter.  This wise, old soul that would be my eldest daughter would share the wisdom only a child could share with her mother, a perspective through a different lens.  She would remind me that they, my children, were adults now, on their own journey and perhaps sitting back and letting things unfold would be the best course of action.  They are grown up and want to prove that they are adults and can handle things on their own.  The other navigator, an older, wise soul, my mother would share her insights from a mother’s perspective and remind me that my children are adults and on their own journey and my job is to support, not rescue.

Both would shed some light and point me in the right direction and help sort out my wonderings of instinct & intuition; my instincts as a mother are to protect, to take care of, to rescue and my intuition informs me that one of my flock is in turmoil.  I feel it to my core.  I just know.

Intuition informs and Instinct want to protect.

Recognizing intuition allows me to be aware, to look beyond my conditioned responses and to navigate the issue with a action from a place of responding rather than reacting.

Instinct is our natural reaction; it occurs without even thinking.  Instincts are a collective hard drive of unresolved emotional memories that anchor us to our past experiences and anxieties.  It is a knee jerk reaction, something I have done before, something that is familiar to me.  The old patterns of behaviour surface and a reaction presents, it is familiar but something from the past.  The reaction does not serve me anymore yet it still consistently appears.

Intuition is our ability to know something without reasoning.  It is when we feel as if we know what is about to happen or what to do without having any real facts, it lives fully in this moment.  It’s plugged into a vast network, the universe, that is beyond my emotionally reactive responses, and because of this, it is truly trustworthy.  Intuition lets me know, it’s a feeling deep inside my being, it is a warning system.

The trouble can be my lack of discernment between intuition and instinct which can create confusion in interpreting the messages that they each carry.   Self-awareness has become the ground upon which discernment is built.  As I am able to expand my awareness and see a different perception, I can see the qualities of instinct and of intuition objectively, and act accordingly.

The cultivation of discernment is a constant challenge and can have me lingering in doubt at times.

As a mother I am always in tune with my children, my intuition allows me to know things even when they have not been divulged.

As a mother I have instincts, in-born knowledge that helped me parent my children, as children.

Now that my children are adults on their own journey through life, I have to remind myself that my instincts will always rise to the surface, my instinct to protect and it is then my job to pause, look at past experiences, look at my automatic reactions, step back and allow my children to take charge of their own lives while I sit in the background in support.

As the mother of adult children I am grateful for the intuition that keeps me in the loop, informed and connected to my children.

As the mother of adult children I am grateful for my instincts for they have served me well as I raised my children to be self-sufficient, confident, strong women who can stand on their own to feet and walk the walk of the journey of their life.

Instinct and intuition will leave me lingering in doubt for many years to come but it is in self-awareness that I am able to see the challenge, own it and be the light that guides myself and my daughters as we continue to move forward in healthy relationship to one another.




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