Adapted from Second Sight (Three Rivers Press, 2010) PART TWO of TWO
….but then I had a heart-wrenching wake-up call that changed everything.
It was an intuition that a patient, on antidepressants, was going to make a suicide attempt. Because she was doing so well–nothing supported my hunch–I dismissed it. Within a week she overdosed on the antidepressants I’d prescribed and ended up in a coma for nearly a month. (Had she not survived I would’ve been devastated.) The hardest part, though, was that I thought I’d harmed her by not utilizing a vital piece of intuitive information. This was intolerable for me. From then on, I knew, as a responsible physician, I had to integrate my intuitions into my work.
After this episode, my journey to bring intuition into my medical practice began. I didn’t know how I’d do it, but I put out a silent prayer to the universe to help me. Soon, I began meeting people, more angels, who showed me the way. Gradually I grew comfortable with my intuition, set out to write “Second Sight.” This took me seven years to complete because I had so much fear about coming out of the closet as an intuitive. I was afraid of what my physician-peers would think, that they’d mock me or blackball me from the profession. My mother warned, “They’ll think you’re weird. It’ll jeopardize your medical career.” Ah Mother: I loved her, but thank god I didn’t listen. Finding my voice as a psychiatrist and intuitive has been my path to freedom.
Sure, there’s a risk when you stretch yourself, but the rewards are enormous. Now, I’m blessed to travel around the country giving workshops on intuition to auditoriums full of extraordinary people–health care professionals and general audiences–who long to embrace their inner voice. I’m heartened to see that many physicians are eager to deal with patients in the new way I offer. I gave an intuitive healing workshop at the American Psychiatric Association convention, a annual gathering of the most conservative psychiatrists in the world. I’m pleased to report the response was wonderful.
I’m sad to report that my mother didn’t live long enough to see this. In 1993 she died of a lymphoma. But, on her deathbed, she decided to tell me our “family secrets.” She told me, “I want to pass the power onto you.” I was astounded to learn that I came from a lineage of intuitive healers on her side of the family–my Jewish grandmother who did laying on of hands in a shed behind the pharmacy she and Grandpop ran in Philadelphia. East coast aunts and cousins I’d never met since I grew up in California. Also, my mother, herself, had a strong inner voice which told her how to treat patients for over forty years. She’d listened to this voice and secretly used her innate healing powers to keep her lymphoma in remission for many years. “Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked her. She said simply, “I wanted you to lead a normal, happy life, not to be thought of as weird like your grandmother was.” Oh Mother… I’ll always be grateful for what she shared, but, still… she’d waited so long. Even so, I believe in the wisdom of the paths we’ve been given. Mine has been to fight for what I believed in despite what my parents or anyone said. An invaluable but rugged lesson in empowerment.
These days, no matter what I’m going through, especially when my heart is torn in a million pieces my intuition has sustained me. I hope that my journey in my book “Second Sight” can help you. One thing I’m certain of: if you follow your intuitive voice, you can’t go wrong. Stay true to it. Intuition is about empowerment, not having to conform to someone else’s notion of who you should be. It’s about being true to yourself, and all the goodness that comes from that.
Judith Orloff, M.D is author of the new bestseller SECOND SIGHT, an inspiring and controversial memoir about coming to terms with her intuitive gifts, upon which this article is based. Her other books are Emotional Freedom, Guide to Intuitive Healing, and Positive Energy. She is assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at UCLA and an international workshop leader.