Friday, October 26, 2012

Trusting your Gut... or Not

Hi there! It's almost November. WHAT? How did this even happen? If you're like me, this fall has seriously flown by. I can't even tell you what I've been doing or how things are going because honestly, I can't keep track of what day it is. Time flies when you're having fun, I guess.

Anyway, I've been thinking a lot lately about how our culture views intuition. I would argue that we, as American's, are certainly a data-driven, results-based, logical set of people. We evaluate staff performance using numerical values for what tend to be vague ideas (such as "enthusiam"), we make pro- and con- lists to inform decisions, we bury our children in standardized tests and curriculum aligned to various 5-point scale standards, and we're trying desperately to keep up with China and India to produce more "knowledge workers" as the world becomes more focused on science, technology, engineering, and math careers. This is clearly not my area of strength.

And yet, we also display this underlying current of wanting to trust what we deeply feel to be true, even in the face of contradictory, logical information.

(This election just may be the perfect example of this phenomenon, but that is another post for another time!)

There is an entire market now for classes, books, and trainings that show people how to reconnect to their emotions, and perhaps more importantly, their intuition. We watch the "Long Island Medium," and read "Blink," and think that maybe there's something we're missing. Is it because we really care? Or because we don't want to be outpaced by others who might be using this "secret skill" of connecting with a 6th sense of some sort? I'm not sure, but I definitely think it's interesting.

Why? Because my intuition STINKS. I think my intuition is darn near broken.

Years of struggling with anxiety has thrown my system out of whack. That flight or fight mode that's supposed to alert you to danger? It goes off when I'm clearly perfectly safe. The surge of adrenaline that is supposed to help you lift cars off the ground when someone is trapped? It kicks in whenever it  pleases. And even worse, that reality-sensor that helps you distinguish between a pulled muscle and and an obviously about-to-burst appendix? Non-existent.

In my life, my gut always tells me it's the about-to-burst appendix, if not something worse.

So then what? What happens when "trust your gut" isn't an option because YOUR GUT TELLS YOU LIES?

You realize that what you're believing is not your gut, but fear, and that the lies you hear are not from you but from Satan...because he knows that the thorn in MY side is actually in my gut.

Sometimes I get jealous of people who seem to have an instinctive knowledge of what to do or what's going on. I get frustrated that I can't trust my own brain to tell me the truth. I get upset that I expend so much energy trying to figure out where the anxiety response is coming from, only to realize that, again, it's a false alarm stemming from no actual threat.

But then I think... this thorn in my gut makes me turn to others and turn to Him. If I know I can't trust my gut or my brain to give me the truth, I seek His Truth more fervently. If I can't convince myself that I'm not dying (...again), I connect with those around me for reassurance more frequently. If this fear response is helping me to "lean not on my own understanding," and "keep from thinking of myself too highly," and if it reminds me, constantly, of the call to die to myself so that I may live fully in Him... then it's okay. It's more than okay; it's the greatest gift I've ever received, short of the Lord himself through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

It's amazing to see how the Lord really can use all things for His good... even take an area of my weakness that Satan frequently makes a home in, and use it to steer me ever closer to Him and His truth.

It's heavy, right? Having to break out of this "rely on logic stance" AND this "rely on feelings" stance to gain the (much more important) "rely on God" stance.

But it's worth it, because THAT is where the Truth is. That is where we should be studying, and that is what is going to help us get ahead on the correct path.

So, I say... trust your gut? No, trust your God. You'll get a better answer that way.

1 comment:

  1. I really like this. I definitely struggle with the very same issues. And like you, I spend SO much energy and time trying to figure out the WHY of it all. I can easily identify my defense mechanisms, my responses to certain things. But I beat myself up trying to figure out WHY I do it. And I am starting to wonder if it even matters why. Is it the fear, is it the anxiety? Does it matter? If I look to God's truth... and follow the path that he says is best, maybe that is enough. No matter what my mind and body try to say about it.

    I don't know!! Have any thoughts? Thanks for this post :)