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Framed In Joy, Melissa N Smith - Traveling with Intuition

Traveling with Intuition: banishing “should” and finding “could”

"shoulds" perspective ponder truth

I hate “should” yet I find I live by it daily. I coach others to see past the pressure of duty and unrealistic expectations, past the voices of gurus who have no say in their lives. I coach others to see “could” instead.

Could you change direction? Could God be speaking to you about this problem? Could you find joy instead of anxiety in this area? Could there be a new path forward?

We get so stuck in our thinking and our patterns of behavior that we forget why we started on the path. Miles down the road we wake up and look around wondering, “How did I get HERE?” 

My quiet intuition and the voice of God sat quietly in the backseat pointing out the scenery and the next turn. Yet, noisily grabbing the wheel in the passenger seat, my ideals and the crush of voices in my head led me astray. Tired and joyless, I missed so much - the beautiful journey, opportunities to love the traveler beside me, scenic routes with stunning vistas, and unexpected adventure.

Here’s the good news. The journey is not over.

I sit here lost in the wilds of the last right thing God told me to do - that I took too far. I open the passenger door and politely ask my ideals and the voices of others to exit my life. They kick and scream a bit and pitch a fit. What a mess they made of my car! It’s okay. I’m not in a hurry. With tears in my eyes and a little regret, I sort through the detritus left in their wake. Much of it is trash and I leave it on the road. Happily, I discover not all was lost. I find a map, a few postcards, and a polaroid or two marking the good God cultivated on my detour. Maybe, I am less lost than I thought.

My intuition happily settles into the passenger seat with the map in her lap. The Spirit joins me in the front, and we turn the car around. Before I move it out of park, we sit and watch the sunrise over the horizon. Where next?

“Just drive,” He says, “but this time move slower and watch out the window. I’ve got some surprises for you.”

Sounds good, but where are we going? My intuition smiles and folds the map, gleefully tucking it into the glove compartment. Oh, it’s one of those trips. And as we pull back onto the road, I feel a sense of expectation and hope. Could we stop up there at the diner and grab a snack for the road? Yes, and maybe we’ll even stay awhile and talk to the old man drinking his coffee. 

Banishing "should" in your life brings freedom to live the life of beauty and purpose God has called you to. While it may not have a linear, clear destination, traveling with God IS the adventure.

What "shoulds" do you need to banish from your life? Unrealistic expectations and ideals, the voices of others, guilt or shame?

A few months back, I banished a whole troupe of "should" from my journey. Here are a few questions I asked myself:

  • What could happen if I didn’t have a social media schedule for a month or two?
  • What could happen if I dropped the work and joyfully made room for people?
  • What could God do in my life if I waited and prayed?
  • Can I write and not publish?
  • Can I trust God to grow my business in His timing?
  • Can I go slower?

As you move forward today, I pray that you go in the joy of the Lord and by His wisdom and grace.


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