A Crisis…of Faith…of Knowing?

“Each of us possesses an inner wisdom of knowingness, of intuition…” Deepak Chopra

When crisis comes, lessons are not far behind. My daughter’s recent health emergency has raised a lot of issues for me. So much so that soul searching has partially immobilized me as I learn from the past weeks.

As Deepak Chopra says, we all have intuition and we utilize it in varying degrees. I may be unique in my strong belief in the tradition of “Knowing” in my family. My father had it. I have it. And some in the next generation acknowledge its power in their own lives.

It is powerful. It isn’t always available, but when present it is a certainty.  This internal knowing is different than faith, although sometimes I confuse it. My faith is profound. It is my certainty that I am in God’s hands and all will be as it should be even though it may not always be what I want.

Knowing is not necessarily a sense of outcome, it is a real-life foreshadowing of what is to come along the way. And it isn’t always blessed assurance.There have been times when this sense of sureness felt leaden with the gravity of the moment; something was not right.  It has been many years since I have had this grim knowing involving one of my children. I had become complaisant with a recent history of positive knowing.

Suddenly that complaisance was gone.

My faith sustained me to some degree. My awesome terror was calmed only by remembering my father’s words, “If you are in a panic, take a deep breath and be still. Your panic is unfounded because if the worst were true, you would have the grace to make it through.”

I quoted her grandfather’s words to my daughter in the midst of the turmoil in the emergency room.

Still, I was confused about my own internal response. What had happened to my “knowing”? Why couldn’t I come up with the certainty I needed to help restore her confidence in her basic health and resistance to disease? I knew the importance of her attitude toward recovery, yet even as I touched her and spoke soothingly, I didn’t feel clear. My own distress felt crippling.

Somewhere in the hours of my daughter’s slow but sure return from the precipice, I realized the truth of it.  I hadn’t lost my “knowing”. I just hadn’t wanted to believe what I knew in those moments of crisis; that the prognosis was poor, that my daughter could slip away from us, and that strong measures were vital to free her from the grip of pneumonia and septic shock.

Thank God for good medicine.

I suppose it means that I can still trust my intuition. In the wake of those hours, I’m just not sure if such strong knowing is a blessing. It has given me a false sense of control, an attachment to the concept that my knowing has power. In neither case with my children did it give me a real opportunity for prevention.

I am thankful that in both instances my children were spared. And perhaps I should be grateful for all of the times I have faced issues in my own life and that of my family with the equanimity that my intuition provides in the good times.

Right now, though, I am thinking that perhaps ignorance is bliss.  It’s all a part of the soul searching.



  1. Ditto so much of what you’ve learned. Somehow knowing that all is sliding to the edge makes standing on firmer ground oddly beautiful. So much wisdom in understanding that sometimes not knowing and still being ‘on the ride’ is all we can do in the moment, that moment. I’ll be lifting you up for the next several days. Travel well. Dan


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