Original Link : https://medium.com/the-ascent/i-should-have-listened-to-my-intuition-8ff17b992e6

They say hindsight is 20/20. I wish there was a prescription for that.

From a young age, I knew my spirit guides were near, however there came a time when I stopped listening to my intuitive abilities, because I thought I knew best.

I was so naive; I knew what I wanted, and there was no stopping me, or so I thought.

I grew up in a small town, following what I knew — you graduated high school, got married young, and had kids. I went through life like a checklist, placing a big ‘X’ next to the item as it was completed: high school, college, getting married, having children, never taking the time to fully enjoy the moment. I was on a mad mission to complete life.

I graduated high school, was on the verge of graduating college, and I knew the next thing to check off my list was marriage; I married a semester before I graduated college.

I saw the signs — some were marbles, some were boulders, however I ignored them all, no matter how badly they hurt.

There were times my intuition screamed for me to stop, to not follow through with the marriage, but I didn’t listen. I had a deadline for when I needed to be wed, time was ticking. An event occurred the night before we were to get married. That event would have stopped most people in their tracks, but not me, I had to complete the task of walking down the aisle; I couldn’t let down all of the people that traveled for the celebration, that would be an embarrassment. Before my father walked me through the doors, to the altar, he asked me if I really wanted to follow through. Again, the voice in my head was screaming ‘No’, but I wiped it away, along with the tears in my eyes.

My intuition tried to engage throughout our marriage, however, at this point I had fully blocked it, which was not only unhealthy but dangerous. I was still following my asinine timeline; I had my career set, and the next item on the list was to have a child.

Red flag after red flag arose, but I kicked them to the curb — I couldn’t leave the marriage and start over.I felt I was an old-maid, only in my mid 20s. I thought I would never be able to find another man and meet my goals if I left the marriage.

Red Flag 1. He always drank, but although I didn’t drink, I thought that was normal for young people drink, right?! He didn’t drink all the time, but when he did drink, he didn’t stop.

Red Flag 2. He said he stopped using marijuana, but I later found out he lied and never stopped. It wasn’t just that he smoked, it was the lying and other addictions that went along with it.

Red Flag 3. Gambling at casinos began, which he also lied about. I found out he was gambling when he began over-drafting his business account. He would try to replenish it before the next business day to forgo overdraft fees. Gambling and alcohol went hand-in-hand. He would disappear for twenty-four hours or more, and turn off his phone so I could get ahold of him or track him. I loved getting calls in the middle of the night from the police to come pick him up at the casino. I always recommended the officers arrest him so he would finally learn his lesson but they never did.

Red Flag 4. Once he received his DUI, I thought that was his low point and he would for sure get his act together. Nope, it didn’t stop him from drinking, he didn’t change his behaviors.

I wanted a child so bad. Even though I knew I deserved better and desperately needed out of this marriage, I didn’t want to start over. I’d already neared a decade with him and couldn’t screw with my timeline. So I continued ignoring the signs and brought my child into the world.

My child was my saving grace. My eyes were opened, and I was shown there was more to life than supporting an addict. I found the strength to push my anxieties and fears aside and leave the marriage.

The decision to leave him happened like rapid fire, but it was the only way. The moment I sat on the plane, a wave a relief washed over me as I hugged my toddler tight. I literally felt a weight lift from me.

To this day I still believe everything happens for a reason. Even if it doesn’t make sense at the time, eventually all the pieces will come together.

Trusting my intuition is still a work in progress, but I have graciously welcomed it back into my life.

I still have a lot of wisdom to gain, but for now, here are a few things I have learned along the way— maybe it will help someone out there.

Listen to your intuition. The little voice in your head that sounds like you, but speaks from the back of your mind. Yeah, that’s your intuition. Listen to that, always.

Travel. See the world, and grow with the experiences you create. Get out of your bubble, you never know who you might meet. It may be the person you’re meant to be with.

Never settle. There are so many fish in the sea, don’t settle for a bottom dweller. This also applies to college, jobs, and other goals in life.

Don’t be afraid to be you. Be bold. Be brave. Don’t hold back what you want to say. You only live one life — be the you you’re meant to be. Shine!

Don’t wish your life away. Don’t rush through life, love every challenge, love every stage. There will be a time when you wish you wouldn’t have rushed things.

Don’t marry young. Travel, date, find yourself. Be you, before you become a ‘We’. If you two are really meant to me, that person will wait for you.

You can’t change someone. They have to see there is a problem and they have to be ready to change. You must be able to love someone with all of their flaws or choose not to be with them. Just to drive my point home — almost a decade later, nothing has changed. He’s received another DUI, the addictions have remained unchanged.