Saturday, April 18, 2015

Finally Friday Week 11: My Sixth Sense

"You lose one sense and others become stronger."—Katherine Jenkins 

I believe this to be a fact because I have witnessed it. Due to a ruptured right eardrum, I've lost some hearing in my right ear and may eventually need surgery because the hole is apparently too large to heal on its own. I'm living with a static sound in my right ear and loss of hearing. I try not to focus on it. I try to just go about my day.

People who see me can't really notice a difference. They speak to me just the same and I respond, but I am straining to hear them sometimes and even staining to get a sense of the outer volume of my own  voice, which is magnified inside my head. They don't notice this and can't see or feel the difference, but I feel it. It's with me every moment and I'm slowly learning to accept it.

It's caused me to go inward. It feels, actually, like all my senses want me to go inward a bit more. I prefer silence to crowds and a walk in nature to a walk in a busy park. Loud pitched noises, like kids screaming and low rumbles, like a truck roaring by, completely throw me off. Forget shopping malls—the sounds echo all over in my head and I need to get out. Oddly, movie theaters are okay—anywhere where the sound is somewhat contained is okay.

Writing in my office is peaceful. Writing anywhere puts me at ease. I am sitting here in my office at 5:30pm on Saturday. The late afternoon sun is casting a bright light on all the tulips and bluebells in my yard. That is what I see from my office window.

I can also hear the hissing sound in my right ear. It's like a blank spot or static on a TV. I'd like to adjust the station and make it clear again. I have faith that I will regain full sound in that ear and when that happens this white noise will disappear. I have a hunch that this will happen.

Other senses have recently become heightened. My sense of smell is very keen. I have always had a very strong intuition and even teach intuitive writing classes, but losing my hearing has caused this sense—I call it my sixth sense—to become very strong. I move slower now. I hear the birds outside right now with my left ear, and my right ear is straining to hear the sound as well. I can feel my left ear making up for what my right ear can no longer do. It's as if my brain is recalibrating everything. It's as if I am becoming a new human.

Here's what the dictionary says about sixth sense:

Sixth Sense
n. noun
1. A power of perception seemingly independent of the five senses; keen intuition.

When we lose a sense that connects us to the outside world, or a sense becomes somewhat compromised, others kick in and help out.

 All of our five senses—sight, sound, taste, touch and smell—come from the outside world and filter through our physical body, but intuition operates on its own, independent of the outside world. It's that gut feeling or hunch we have about something. It sometimes causes you to do things that you can't explain or that may not make sense at the time. It doesn't "make sense" because you are not using your senses to arrive at your answer. You are using something very different.

Some of the most important decisions I've made in my life have been on gut feelings or hunches I've had. The "gut feeling" or even "heart feeling" I had about my husband defied any form of rationale. He was a monk at the time in South Korea. This did not "make sense," but my intuition told me it was right and I followed it. In fact, I'm still following my intuition and it's never, ever lead me astray. The only time I've been lead astray is when I do something that doesn't feel right or when I'm pushing for something to happen or change and it's not the time for things to happen or change. 

Humans are very impatient. We want answers now. When we push for things and push for our ideas, we lose access to our intuition. Intuition is effortless. It happens in the now. It does not push or seek or strive, it just is. So much of what we are searching for in our lives is right in front of us. It's in every single moment we encounter in every situation we are faced with, whether that situation is what we call good or bad. 

And boy, do we want the good...all the time. We are pleasure seekers by nature and constantly seek it out. We want to have a five-star day everyday. We dream of a sunny day in paradise on a beach with a palm tree and a fruity drink with an umbrella in our hand. We can almost see, taste, touch, hear and smell that day. We try and make it happen exactly as we imagine it and then it rains or a flight is delayed or we lose our camera or our wedding ring while swimming and then we are disappointed because things didn't go "as planned," but even those experiences have something rich to offer us. When we let go of wanting, we allow the world to come dance with us. It's not only about me now, it's about the interplay of everyone and everything.

We've forgotten an important element to this entire puzzle. We've forgotten that we are not in control of what happens. While we can go out and plan and push and strive and scheme for all of our dreams, there may be something else in our cards AND we may not like the cards we are dealt and immediately request another hand. We may say, "Wait, I don't really like these cards, can I get another hand."

But the cards right in front of you are the only ones you've got and they hold the key to all the mysteries of this amazing life. My sixth sense tells me that those cards are right on and they aren't necessarily cards I would have chosen for myself if it were all up to me. And, oddly, that is the greatest blessing. It isn't all up to me. There are millions of factors, and people and events and timing and the aligning of the stars and planets and maybe even past lives that go into where I am right here and now—maybe God had a hand in it or my karma or even the Universe. Who knows? And that is the mystery of this life and the reason why things don't need to make sense all the time. So when my sixth sense comes calling, I sit upright and listen, take notes and follow it.

When I lost my hearing, a friend immediately texted me and said, "Your sixth sense is strong and will make up for any loss of sense." She also recently wrote to me, "And you also see the silver lining." 

Yes, I think this is true.

Is your sixth sense strong? Do you usually see the silver lining in situations?


  1. Dear Katherine,

    I am so sorry to hear about your hearing loss. As someone with a severe/profound hearing loss, I can understand how that can impact your life. Have you asked your ENT (ear nose throat doctor) about the possibility of a Cochlear Implant? I have one myself and it has been a good thing. From what I understand in cases like yours with a sudden loss, often the cochlear implant recipient can regain hearing almost instantly. (as opposed to someone like me who lost her hearing over many years and once implanted, I had to undergo months of aural rehab) Let me know if I can be of help to you in any way.

    As for a sixth sense, yes I definitely experience this! In fact at one point in my life, I was told I had clairvoyant ability. There were times I was able to "sense" and predict something about to take place. I don't have that happen as often now but when I was younger I did often.

    I also felt I was able to understand what was going on in given situations even though I could not physically hear. I had an experience once in a guitar class where everyone was playing one note simultaneously. Each of us in the class (about 25 ) were assigned a different musical note to play and we all played them at once. Even though it was not physically possible, I remember being able to "know" what note someone across the room was playing. That was amazing! Hearing is much more than with ears, as you know.

    Please let me know if I can be a resource to you.

    Best always,


    1. Hi Blue,

      Thanks for your message. Yes, it is an adjustment to suddenly not be able to hear and I know you know about this well. I am starting to regain some hearing, but there is still white noise in that ear or a static like sound. I think they call it tinnitus, but I don't really hear a ringing...just more like static. I believe I will recover. I may need surgery and I'm willing to go through with it if two ENTs agree that that needs to be done. I will get a second opinion next week. The first doc said the hole was too big to heal on its own, but miracles can happen :) Yes, It amazing what you have done with music Blue...I trully believe you have this sixth sense. So nice to hear from you and all my best. Thanks for you offer to help. Katherine

  2. I am praying that your ear will heal, either on its own or with surgery. I often see the silver lining, depending on how severe the situation is!

    1. Hi Terra, Thanks so much for your prayers! I am looking at the silver lining right now. It's the best way to see any situation and has always served me well. I appreciate your kind thoughts!