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Psychological Healing
in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

Questions and Answers

I would like your professional opinion on women’s intuition and how one can undo any blocks to acting intuitively. Or perhaps some advice on why a woman won’t act on her intuition and what one can do to do so.
   For example, I was undoing a knot on a chain and in my mind I thought that I should get a needle to help me undo it. However, instead of instantly taking action, I didn’t do or say anything. Even back in high school in class I would think of an answer but I would never raise my hand to share out in class.
   I have been told in psychotherapy many years ago that I am very intuitive. However, no work was done on it nor was any advice given surrounding it. I did not hear more as to how that can benefit me or what are the qualities of it.
   I grew up with both of my parents and am the oldest of several children. I was a quiet and obedient child and teenager, a straight-A student. My father drank heavily and raged often but not at me directly and was actually loving and affectionate with me. I helped my mom a lot and she once had to be told by a friend to not have me be inside cleaning and taking care of my siblings so much. She was not very affectionate but I did feel loved by her as she did take care of my needs. As an adult I married an abusive man who was an addict and I divorced him after two years of emotional torture and had the marriage annulled. I was with him for a total of five years.
   I have been involved in three church ministries: choir, grief ministry, and I pray for religious vocations. I pray the rosary daily and I pray the Divine Mercy chaplet and other prayers that are fit to my situations.
   Any insights you can provide would be most appreciated.

Outline of the Answer
• Intuition and the Unconscious
• Women’s Intuition
• The Value of Intuition
• Family Dysfunction
• What You Can Do Now

Rs we go about our daily lives, we receive a continuous flow of information from our environment. Because this information flow is so enormous, we can give conscious attention to only a fraction of it. Consequently, most of our daily experience is processed unconsciously; that is, it is processed outside of conscious awareness. Unconscious mental functioning has massive processing power, and, when needed for our protection, the unconscious uses various ways to pass this cryptic information on to our conscious awareness. Dreams, for example, can inform us of truths about ourselves that we do not perceive consciously. Intuition, also, provides us with an understanding of the world around us that we cannot attain through conscious logic and reason.

Therefore, intuition, just like dreaming, is an unconscious mental process common to all men and women.

Women’s Intuition

Although all men and women have access to intuition, we often speak of “women’s intuition” because mothers must make intuitive judgments about the needs of children in early infancy who cannot yet speak. Infants cry for many reasons, and mothers must interpret the meaning of any particular cry. Similarly, mothers must often guess what an infant might experience in the near future. These maternal interpretations and guesses can have some basis in logic and reasoning, but quite often a good and affectionate mother uses intuitive mental processes for her interpretations and guesses.

The Value of Intuition

Thus, it will do us well to accept that intuition is real. Moreover, intuition can provide us with helpful guidance if we learn not just to believe that it is real but also to trust it. If we learn to trust it, we can learn to rely on it; we can even nurture its efficacy within us if we enhance our natural unconscious intuition with intuition provided through divine guidance. To do this it is necessary that we live holy lives of purity, because spiritual purity facilitates the reception of intuitive guidance. It is also necessary that we pray constantly for the ability to listen to and practice the use of intuition in daily life.

Sadly, many persons not only do not learn to trust in intuition, they also stifle it.

Family Dysfunction

Family dysfunction usually plays a central role in the failure to trust intuition. To be spiritually healthy, children need parents who are kind, emotionally aware, and understanding and who provide spiritual teaching, protection, and guidance. Without such parents, children will be so terrified of their insecurity that anything other than logic, strength, and power will seem to them to be unreliable and fraught with weakness. Thus they will not develop any trust in intuition.

Furthermore, if children are not raised to be spiritually healthy, they can easily fall into spiritually dissolute lives, and this moral corruption will stifle the humble purity necessary to allow intuition to develop and thrive in their lives.

Now, in your case, you say, “My father drank heavily and raged often but not at me directly and was actually loving and affectionate with me.” There’s a large clue here, but you obscure it with your desire to protect your belief that your father loved you. Yes, in some ways he did love you, but I can tell that you are really hiding your fear of him. If he “raged often,” then even if he didn’t rage at you directly, unconsciously you knew that he could rage at you directly. Thus, you were always terrified at what he might do. And that’s why you stifled your intuition. You tried to keep your life functioning on a conscious level so you could always act in ways that might avoid provoking your father’s rage. Furthermore, you stifled the very intuition that was telling you that your father could rage at you at any time.

As for your mother, you say, “She was not very affectionate but I did feel loved by her as she did take care of my needs.” Here again you obscure the truth. Yes, your mother did take care of your needs, but a huge component of real mothering was missing: affection. Without her affection you would have been left to yourself, lost and lonely, and lacking in any reassuring comfort. Thus your emotional isolation would have driven you into governing your life with conscious reason (e.g., a straight-A performance in school), and that defensive “drive” would have stifled any intuition that came to you.

What You Can Do Now

First, do the psychotherapeutic work to face your emotional pain without self-deception, so that you can welcome an intuitive perception of the truth of your emotional pain.

Then endeavor to live a pure and holy life (as you seem to have been doing in recent years) that can help to free you from self-punishing and abusive behavior (such that you fell into by unconsciously choosing an abusive husband); this will allow divine intuition to grow within you.

Finally, pray directly for your trust in God to grow, so that you will trust your intuition when it manifests. This requires far more than prayers of duty. Most of your spiritual acts now are acts of duty; they are beneficial, but they don’t do much to bring about inner spiritual healing. Your spiritual healing will require constant, intense contemplative prayer that says, “God, I am so alone. Show me what I need to do. Teach me how to love you. Teach me how to trust You. Teach me how to know myself. Teach me how to trust in the guidance of my own unconscious.” Repeat these prayers constantly through the day. Plus, each day take the time to sit quietly and, going around the circuit of all the beads of a Rosary, pray the Jesus Prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.) while mingling it with short prayers of supplication (as above) for your spiritual growth.


Who wrote this web page?


Psychological Healing in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

by Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D.

A treasure of a resource for psychological and spiritual healing. Information gathered from my websites is now available at your fingertips in book form with a comprehensive index.
Psychological defenses help to protect us from emotional injury, but if you cling to the defense mechanisms that were created in your childhood and carry them on into adulthood—as most everyone does unconsciously—your quest for spiritual healing will be thwarted by overwhelming resentments and conflicts.
Still, God has been trying to show you that there is more to life than resentment and conflict, something so beautiful and desirable that only one thing can resist its pull: hate.
So now, and in every moment until you die, you will have a profound choice between your enslavement to old defenses and the beauty of God. That decision has to come from you. You will go where you desire.

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