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Carlina White, the 23-year-old woman who was abducted from a Harlem Hospital at as a newborn, sensed she wasn’t with her biological parents. She had no birth certificate or social security card, but it was more than that. She also didn’t look like the other members of her family. And she just didn’t feel like she was one of them.
Many kids pass through stages when they wonder if they were adopted or even stolen at birth. Some fantasize they are descended from kings and queens. But for Carlina, the feeling didn’t go away; it grew. So, eventually, she started to search for the truth about her birth—and found it.
The human mind has an inexplicable, immeasurable ability to sample the environment and distill millions and millions of observations into “gut feelings.” In Carlina’s case the data included her impressions about her physical appearance not “matching” that of the woman who had kidnapped her. But it also likely included much more subtle feelings that she wasn’t emotionally connected to that woman. It may have included cold glances she received as a child—as if from a predator or a stranger, not a mother.
We all have barometers of truth inside us—gifts, really, from God—which require acts of will or forces of unconscious denial to ignore. How many times have we seen the wives of serial killers interviewed on television talking about how they “sensed” something was amiss with their husbands, but “couldn’t bear” to think the worst? How many people, for that matter, met Jared Lee Loughner and sensed that he might be capable of horrible violence, but didn’t act on that instinct?
So many people hear inner voices that whisper the truth, but talk themselves out of their gut feelings, admonishing themselves to be “rational,” when being willing to listen could truly change their lives.
Carlina paid attention to her gut feeling. That means she is highly intuitive and very courageous and that her kidnapper never succeeded in dominating her soul. She never extinguished the flame of desire for truth that lived inside Carlina—from birth.
There’s a lesson in that. We could all spend a few minutes today letting ourselves dwell on our wildest “gut feelings” about who we really are—certainly not, for almost all of us, the children of parents we never met, but, perhaps, potential friends of folks we've kept at a distance, in marriages that, truth be told, lack a foundation in true love, in jobs that haven’t tapped our true creativity and drive, holding ourselves back from participating in political discourse with ideas we passionately believe.
Now, Carlina White thinks she may be a rapper. She’s written music since the seventh grade. I haven’t heard a single word of it.But if she’s selling stock in her career, I’m buying. She seems to have a sixth sense for who she really is. And she’s willing to act on it.
Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team. He is a New York Times best-selling author, and co-author, with Glenn Beck, of the book "The 7: Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life". Dr. Ablow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.