The problem with premonitions

The problem with premonitions is not their rarity. Research has shown premonition can happen to anyone: men and women, scientists and artists, nurses and business consultants, teachers and engineers. Most people I know can tell at least one story of a moment in which someone—maybe a friend, maybe themselves—seemed to know what was going to happen before they should have known it.

The problem we face with premonitions is not their rarity, but our inability to talk about the. Premonitions may be one aspect of normal human perception, but without a common conversation about their value or their meaning, most of us have a hard time bringing them up with friends. We don’t learn how to handle a premonition as we learn how to handle our dreams.  We don’t learn how to recognize a premonition in its initial moment, and then we feel shocked when a future event connects to our earlier impression. We don’t learn how to distinguish a likely premonition from all the other ways we think about the future then feel  stuck with two rather extreme choices: Believe everything is a premonition or believe nothing is a premonition because premonitions can’t exist.

No wonder so many people feel scared, overwhelmed, or even threatened by a premonition. Without a few basic skills to sort through the difference between a premonition and all the other ways we think about the future (such as a fear of flying), or a grasp of the choices still available, or the support of friends, many people have no idea what to do with a premonition’s warning.

—Excerpt from book: Premonitions in Daily Life

 The first step to making friends with premonitions is finding someone who can talk with you talk about it.  Who do you talk to about your premonitions?

Want to learn more? Book One Cover

          Llewellyn Publications

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5 comments on “The problem with premonitions

  1. Thank you! I will do my best to keep you all informed. Jeanne

  2. I’m only 20 years old, and I’ve had premonitions since I was younger. I still remember the very first time it happen. At first, I didn’t know what it ment when I suddenly felt saddened and cried for no reason. I even kept wondering to myself, “why am I crying?” or “why can’t I stop crying?” Later that day my older bother came home crying saying that his wife had a miscarriage and he lost his baby. My so called “premonitions” have never been wrong. I never know exactly what’s going to happen, or who it’s going to happen to. But most of the time it’s something that I can only describe as a bad feeling. Every time I had these feelings, something has happen. I always hope I’m wrong but I haven’t been so far. The only thing I can be certain about, is how bad it’s going to be depending on how strong the feeling is. These feelings can be as little as a small (but no to alarming) feeling, to sudden uncontrollable crying. Which are always when the worst events occur, but those aren’t as often. As a matter of fact, I’ve only felt that way about 4 or 5 times. And one of those was very recent.
    So, I’ve recently been looking for someone who can help me further understand these “premonitions.” I’m going to post this on as many websites I can and hopefully I get an answer. I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for, but I just want to know more. At least know that other people have had similar experiences. Feel free to email me at [edited by jvb].
    Even if you just want to share your story with me. I would love to hear ananything you would like to tell me.

  3. Dear Stephanie,

    I well remember being 20 and wishing there was someone who could tell me what premonitions are and how they work. When I got older I wrote my book just for that reason. It won’t give you exact answers, because we don’t have exact answers yet, but it can help you explore them for yourself. I’ve got links to research on the website as well, under Reading On/Links, so take a look there for more people who have made a point of studying these moments.

    You most likely have learned this already, but human beings don’t yet know what time actually is, which makes it impossible to know precisely how premonitions work. What I can assure you is that they do happen, and we each have the right to make sense of them according to our own values.

    Premonitions don’t have to be about terrible events but as you’ve seen, those are the events we pay the most attention to. You certainly aren’t alone in either your premonitions or what you find them pointing to. It’s not unlike how we notice violence more often than we take note of life’s peaceful moments. Our brains are hard-wired to alert us to trouble, whether it is danger right in front of us or something that’s coming along. What I can tell you is the premonitions did not cause the troubling events you have faced. It might interest you to know that many people feel grateful for getting the warning, as it gave them time to prepare emotionally for a shock.

    Good luck with your futures and I hope your life gives you more peace that trouble.


  4. There is times where I feel crazy for this, & please understand that iI didn’t post my name for that reason. I went through countless occasions where iI have had dreams of people, places, & objects I’ve never seen before. To my suprise I have remembered them, & they have happened. Times of great sadness, & usually none good, the ones that gave me warnings, & to listen. Like a guide as you would figure. sometimes the dreams were brought on by a weight coming over me, I’d nap, & have these realistic dreams. Where I’d feel everything. In a conscious state, I find myself feeling anxiety, which now I fixate it with some form of instinct. When someone tells me something, I’ll automatically say I know, & it doesn’t shock me, because in a weird way I already knew. I induced lucid dreams before, & tried finding control. I don’t want this gift, becuase there’s almost no way of preventing anything without seeing more. its like there is a plan for all of this, & it scares me. There’s a lot more too it. But that’s a gist.

    • Dear Anon,

      It sounds like you are having a rough time with your premonitions. I don’t think premonitions are a sign of mental illness, but premonitions about terrible futures can lead to a lot of stress and sometimes panic, which can feel crazy. I wish I had some magic words you could use to stop them but I don’t, anymore than I have words to stop dreamers from having nightmares. They are part of the premonition package.

      What helped me was talking about my experience with a trusted friend and with a counselor. They helped me realize that while I couldn’t stop events of the world from happening, I did still have choices about how I respond to my premonitions, and that helped me regain a sense of control. For me, talking about it mades it more manageable. I think counselors who work with dreams or Jungian counselors in particular would be able to listen without arguing about whether premonitions are real. Sometimes writing helps–keeping a journal to note the similariites and differences between what you dream and what happens and how you have responded to them can remind you of the choices you still get to make. It also helped me to recognize that I wasn’t in charge of the world or time, no matter what I saw, and that reassured me that I could still live my own life. I wrote about this in my book, “Premonitions in Daily Life,” in a chapter about responsibilities, control, and self-acceptance. Know that you aren’t alone in this, that nearly 1 in 5 people will have a premonition like yours at some point, so it definitely fits within what human beings can do. Good luck to you, and let me know what you decide to do next.

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