A friend of mine once told me about a near-death experience she’d had. She lives in a remote section of the forested canyons in the Rocky Mountains. One day, she drove up to the front of her house to drop off her groceries. As she lifted the back hatch to grab a bag, something told her to stop and look behind her.
Not fifteen feet away crouched four mountain lions, probably a mother and her three juveniles.
Their yellow eyes watched ever move she made. My friend, although terrified, knew enough not to make any sudden or panicked movements. She walked slowly and deliberately to her front door and slipped inside, unharmed.
How did she know that danger lurked behind her?
I had a similar experience years ago when I was just a teenager. As I took a walk in my neighborhood, a car drove by. The driver slowed, then stopped and idled his car. He rolled down his window. “Hey, do you know where Simcox Street is?”
I’d never heard of any such street in my area, so I told him so. But he said, “Can you come closer? I can’t hear you.”
The hairs on the back of my neck rose. Something wasn’t right. I said, “I think I’m as close as I need to be.”
The man looked kind of angry. Then he drove off.
I’ve wondered from time to time if my instinct was right about the man.
In both my friend’s case, and mine, some inner warning protected us. Call it intuition or God’s voice. The brain warns: something isn’t right.”
It’s part of the same thing I wrote about in my last blog about survivors and their ability to heed intuition.
We used to chalk intuition up to something emotional, mysterious, non-logical. Like “women’s intuition.”
But researchers are beginning to discover that the brain has an amazing ability to synthesize multiple sensory details even when the logical conscious mind isn’t aware of them. The brain has learned from experience what is normal and what is not.
My friend may have smelled or heard something nearby that the brain decided wasn’t normal. Maybe we can smell a cougar nearby. Who knows?
And there might have been something a little off about the man in the car asking for directions. Some minor expression or body language that my logical, conscious mind didn’t note, but that my unconscious mind did.
I thank God for the times my “inner warning system” protected me.