We are all trained to ignore, discount and even ridicule the inner voice that guides us. We learn not to
trust our own wisdom but to be guided by the outside forces of our lives.
Having our intuition validated is one of the first steps in learning to listen to and trust the voice that we
I was 18. A short, chubby American girl living in Munich with a couple of runway models and my cousin
Adam, a fashion designer. I was a fish out of water. We lived in an old apartment on Schulstrasse near
Rotkreutz platz. It was originally three apartments after WWII, but was changed into one apartment at
some point before we lived there in the late 1980s.
Our apartment was on the third and fourth floor of the building. The dining room on the main floor had
two large mirrors on opposite walls which added even more spaciousness to an already large space.
Whenever I went down the stairwell, I felt tightness in my chest. There was something about that spot
that made me feel very uncomfortable. I told myself that I was being silly, but I still went very quickly past
even though it made no logical sense.
One night, as we sat around on a low, makeshift couch that circled the French wood stove, we passed a
joint of hashish mixed with tobacco. We gazed into the fire and talked about intuition and ghosts. Adam
said that he thought that the upstairs was haunted. I looked up at the stairway and pointed, “yeah,
whenever I pass that spot on the stairs I have to run fast.”
He laughed at me. Said that I was messing with him. Knew that Beatrice must have told me the story.
But Beatrice hadn’t told me any story. That was when I found out that someone had died there (suicide)
just after WWII when that spot had been the laundry room. Thank you, Adam, for confirming the feeling
was real and not something that I’d made up!
That was the beginning of me trusting myself.
A few months later, I was in Laumersheim with some cousins beside the inn that had been in my
grandmother’s family for many generations. In the courtyard between the church and the inn, we were
drinking wine and laughing into the night. I was about to head back over the Atlantic and I was nervous.
I hated flying.
Once again, the subject became the haunted apartment in Munich. Not to be outdone, my cousins
informed me that the courtyard we were now in had been a cemetery, that there were bones buried
beneath us. I thought, “cool.” I’ve never been bothered by cemeteries. Since I was a child, I’ve
especially loved walking in old cemeteries. I look at the names and the dates and wonder about the
people buried there. What did they looked like? What were their lives like? What would they say to me if
we could speak?
I’ve always loved history, and history is most enthralling when it is told by someone who was there. Cold
facts and dates are not nearly as entertaining as personal stories. Not having gotten the response that she’d hoped for, my cousin told me that our ancestors were in a crypt in the church. I found this fascinating.
They dared me to go into the church, and I willingly took their dare! They got the key from Opa and
opened the old wooden church doors. I went inside and they closed the large doors behind me. It was
completely black once the doors closed. I shuffled forward until I felt a pew and found my way forward by
going from pew to pew in the dark.
When I got to the front of the church, I leaned my head against the old stone of the wall and luxuriated in
the sensation of the coolness. I felt enveloped in love, and almost heard a chorus? A chorus of angels
or was it the sound of a distant highway? Either way, I felt euphoric. I felt surrounded by the love of my
Eventually, I heard Adam calling me from the entrance of the church. “Mimileinschen, Mimileinschen, bis
du da?” Adam’s flashlight pierced the darkness, as he came to rescue me. The cousins apparently were
concerned because they opened the door and I wasn’t there. They were too chickenshit to go in looking
for me, so they got Adam.
I tried to tell Adam about being surrounded by a choir of angels and the love of our ancestors, but he only laughed and asked me how much I’d been drinking. But I didn’t need him to tell me my experience was legitimate. I now trusted myself. I knew they were there, and with me today.
So now, in whatever situation, be it advantageous or dangerous, I trust my voice. I trust my intuition. It has never let me down.