The gut

I woke up in my peaceful, quiet house this morning. My cat Poomby was next to me, curled into a ball with one green eye open, staring at me and probably wondering when I was going to get up and stop sleeping the morning away.

After making myself some coffee and stepping out onto the porch to get a feel for the day’s weather, I started reading a magazine to wake myself up for a few minutes before getting in the shower and heading off to run errands.

In an article about detecting heart disease, one woman said “trust your gut. If you feel like something’s wrong, it probably is.”

Great advice, not just for health but for life.

However, the positive opposite has also been ringing true in my life lately the more and more I act on it–that is, “trust your gut. If you feel like it’s the right thing to do, it probably is.”

How many times have I ignored that gut feeling only to regret it later? How many times do I want to help someone in need, whether it be a complete stranger or a loved one, and my gut tells me to help, but I walk right by because work or a meeting or this or that is more important? How many times have I been so caught up in the negativity and stress in my life that I ignore that gut feeling telling me to stop and ask those around me how they are doing? Countless times.

The past year gave me several opportunities to trust my gut and act on what I felt was right. I started a new job that seemed, during the interview and hiring process, to be the perfect fit for me. It was in a career field I already knew I loved based on previous work experience, and it would give me plenty of opportunities to help others, something that’s a big priority to me. After two weeks in, however, I had a strong gut feeling (backed up by episodes of reality) that the right thing to do was to start looking for another job. Several people cautioned me against doing so. It might look bad on a resume. It might get better if I’d just give it a chance. The economy is too horrible to look for a job now… the advice was endless. I sought counsel from a FEW people, but most of the advice I received was (the kind I hate) unsolicited.

Despite that advice, I took action based on my gut feeling and repeated truths revealed to me that backed up that gut feeling. And I’m so glad I did. 9.5 months later, I found a new job that is with a really wonderful company I’ve come to know over time, working for a really genuine and honest person I respect, and oh yeah–it pays more and offers incredible benefits. Trusting my gut to act on what I knew was right paid off.

I could list several other examples–more personal and painful examples–but I think I’ll let this suffice.

From now on in my life, I will continue to seek counsel of people I trust, admire, and believe have wisdom, experience, strength, and hope that I don’t have. I’ll also pray about each decision and let God reveal truths to me, as He’s done recently, and take heed. I’ll take my time before acting and list the pros and cons and all that junk.

But ultimately, for me, I have found that I need to listen to my gut. When it tells me “this is right. this is happiness. this is for you,” I’m going to take a step forward.

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