February 17, 2021
About a decade ago, I experienced something very strange.
I was at the movies with my bud, watching the premier of a movie we had been looking forward to for years. Mary (my wife at the time) had given me the rare green light to have this special guy time, as she enjoyed an evening of slowing down and catching up on personal tasks.
I love film, and I love going out to the movies. Normally you wouldn’t catch me spending $20 for a Coke and popcorn. But, this being the premiere of a movie I was super pumped about, I wanted the full experience. So I dropped the dough and bought the works: A huge Coke, a big ol bucket of popcorn (with half of it Carmel corn) and a bag of Reese’s Pieces. BOOYAH boyz – letzzz go!
Now, you need to know how important this movie was to me. Like, my eyes were going to be frickin’ glued to the screen, from the first preview till the final shot of the post-credits scene. I was PUMPED about this movie. Going into that theater I was like a hunter, ascending his tree stand, bound to be frozen here for the next few hours – no bathroom breaks allowed. Look, I know my own bladder, and I had even made myself pee twice before this thing had started. I wasn’t gonna leave this seat for anything.
And as for distractions by others around me – I cant stand distractions from people during movies. We are at the movies, not your living room. Keep your phone off and out of sight, and shut your yapper, or Mr. Charlie Young will go tell the manager. For real.
The movie has started. Everyone is loving it. Life is good.
And then – About an hour into the movie, I felt something.
**Mary. She is in danger.**
Now… When I say I “felt something,” I used to have a hard time describing what this “something” is, as well as what I mean by “felt.” However, I cannot take full responsibility for this, since this “something“ (whatever label you put on it) would appear to be quite complicated. And as it turns out, I’m not alone: mankind has been trying to explain what this “something“ is since the dawn of his birth.
I was sitting in that theater, munching on my Reese’s pieces, my ass glued to the reclining seat like a three-year-old in Santa’s lap, and suddenly – BAM – I somehow knew a thing to be true:
**Mary is in danger.**
Now, this was just a knowing. And a very sudden one.
You could ask me at this point (and logically should) – “Wait – how did you actually know?” And the answer is: that question (though a fair one) is kinda irrelevant. The fact is: I knew she was in danger. (And, turns out, she was.) I just knew it to be true.
**She is in danger. Hurry.**
My phone had not beeped or vibrated, indicating a call or text. Regardless, my hands started crawling like spiders down my pant pockets in search of my phone. My buddy turned to look at me as I did this, his eyebrows raised like, “Dude wtf?” As did the man behind him. I felt like an idiot. But, I just knew – she is in danger. Regardless of evidence and logic, I just knew what the truth was. That something was not right.
I pulled out my phone. Sure enough – no calls. No texts. After noticing how blazing bright my phone’s screen is, I look up: it seems like my entire row is now glaring at me with angry eyes, fidgeting from being distracted, and pissed off.
Apparently, the timing of this truth bomb was not very ideal.
My friend cocks his eyebrows at me, a sort of “what the F is wrong with you?” look. I could just text her. I thought. I cant leave the theater… cant crawl all over those people. Not right now at least. I could just text her. Plus that way, it’ll also check and see if my intuition is right. Because maybe I’m just imagining things in my head….
But then it hits me again, this knowing. Like a freight train.
Holy crap. I had to get out of here, and call her – ASAP. The knowing was too strong.
I jumped up from my seat, like an alarmed dog that had heard something. My friend (and everyone around me) looked at me like “WTF ARE YOU DOING.” It didn’t matter – I just knew it to be true. And now, I’ve gotta decide which row of people to piss off by my acting upon this knowing. I look left – then right. Spotting a couple of people in costumes, I chose to piss off the 12 people on my left instead of the 5 crazy fans on my right.
After crawling over the legs of others like crazy manic loon, I hobbled down the steps and ran out into the hallway, dialing my wife on the way. To my surprise, she answered.
“Are you safe?” I say?
“What? How did you know…” she responded slowly. “Um I don’t think so – I’m being followed.”
And lo and behold, she was being followed. Some creepy man had been stalking her and following her while she was in the grocery store. He disappeared before she was able to say something to anyone. But, as she was in the parking lot, walking to her car late at night, she saw the man that had been following her, waiting for her in the parking lot in the shadows. And that moment is when her phone rang, with me on it.
I was able to help keep her calm, and get help.
Now. Lemme pause here just a second.
If I were to have only followed “sound logic” and “reasoning” in that movie theater, and to have based my actions solely on hard “evidence” that I had at the time, then I would not have gotten up and exited the theater to call my wife. Period. I had absolutely zero logical reason to believe that my wife was anything other than safe. And, one might say, the most rational thing to do in the situation would be to just send her a quick text. But the point has nothing to do with my response. Even if I DIDNT call or text, she would have asked for help from security anyways. So the point here is not about me or what I did.
The point is, I knew the truth.
I suddenly KNEW something to be true. Deep in my bones, I had a sudden knowing of what was actually what. Now, I didn’t have all the details. I only had this: a sudden knowing of what’s true. I knew the truth of her emotional condition and her physical danger. How? I can’t fully answer that. And frankly, the “how” doesn’t really matter – what matters is, it’s True. And I know it. Regardless of it’s comprehensibility or explicability to others, it’s true.
It seems like every camp among the human race has their own particular name or idea for what this “knowing” is. Some people call it your gut, intuition, or uncanny discernment. Some call it clairvoyance, empath, prophecy, or the holy spirit. Nearly every religion has their own vernacular for it. Some prominent psychologists call it “sycnronicity.” Staunch naturalists at least recognize its existence, giving it the bland name “coincidence.”
Frankly, it doesn’t really matter.
Can I make a suggestion, folks? Perhaps it’s helpful here as well, just for a second, to throw out all such labels. Rather than getting caught up in the nature or form of what is, let’s just stay focused on its basic function: a knowing of what is true.
The Knowing has a strong affect. Just look at what happened to me in the movies – it moved me. So strong, in fact, was this knowing that it disturbed me, influencing my behavior. I was deeply engrossed in the movie’s final act, glued to my seat. But the knowing of it bothered me. It affected me. I was so affected by the knowing of this truth (the truth of her in danger) that I had to get up and leave the theater, just to call her – because of the knowing.
A deep knowing moves you, in every way. Ask any father in the newborn wing of the hospital. Knowing which child is yours, seeing him/her laying there and knowing that THAT one, right there, THAT one is yours and you will love him forever…. this deep, deep knowing impacts you. It reorients your world. It moves you. It marks you.
For all of the positive Instagram fluff about “truth” these days, I fear we often overlook just how disturbing a sudden knowing of truth can be. Truth, for all of its positives, is never convenient. Truth is blindingly beautiful and Truth can set you free, but Truth also comes in like a wrecking ball (Miley was right), demolishing and smashing everything built up in it’s path (especially everything built by the Ego). Truth exposes the true nature of things, how things really are. And when you suddenly come into a knowing of what’s True – you’re in for trouble (if you plan on listening and paying attention, that is).
Truth can be ignored. You can totally ignore it, justify it, stuff it, neglect it, or act like it doesn’t exist – and just enjoy the movie you came to watch. 100%. Just imagine my story above, but in the the entirely plausible alternative: what if neither one of us fully acknowledged the Truth? Seriously. Can you you imagine how much we would have missed, just in terms of connection and intimacy, if I never said anything? If I shrugged it off and never mentioned it to my wife? No call, no text, no mention of it at home later? Can you imagine what kind of trust and love it must have helped build between me and her, when I was vulnerable enough to respond to that truth despite the logic and reasoning of it all? Or, can you imagine the damage done to our relationship if she were to have kept her scary experience from me, not ever telling me on her own what happened that night due to shame or fear?
What if we both said nothing, and the whole thing was never acknowledged?
In my story above, I could’ve shrugged it all off. But when you really come to KNOW something (especially in this kind of way) when you know what’s TRUE – you can sometimes find yourself responding in ways that seem crazy and illogical, devoid of reason or sane psyche – like climbing over strangers in a crowded movie theater, with a mouth full Reese’s.
Did it suck looking like an idiot? Yeah. My ego absolutely hated it. (Truth tends to do that – its the ultimate ego killer) But, I didn’t really have a choice – After all, I knew what was True.
And at least I had Reese’s ☺️