The Gift in a Gut Check  



Life, in all its beauty, is ripe with questions and choices. As we grow and learn, we’re bombarded (or blessed) with opportunities to get clear on what we want and need. We’re called to make decisions, much of the time ones that impact others as well as ourselves.

There’s not always a “right” answer, but as we weigh factors and try to figure out what’s best, we often turn inward for guidance. We hear sentiments like this, in movies and in books and in real life:

“Use your head.”

“Follow your heart.”

“My head says one thing but my heart says another.”

The mind is praised for steering us with logic and reason. The heart gets props for being our emotional guiding light. I’m grateful that when navigating my way through the questions, I can make a pit stop at both.

But for me, the answers almost always rest somewhere else: in my gut. 

For as long as I can remember, my stomach is where I feel the most. Nerves, excitement, premonitions, a sense that something just isn’t quite right. We’ve all been gifted with intuition, and mine speaks loud and clear from its perch in my gut. Sometimes I think it’s got its own little megaphone.

I remember years ago running into someone I’d done some training with, a counsellor whose work was grounded in listening to the wisdom of the body. She asked how my new-ish relationship was going. Perhaps my lukewarm response inspired her to add “If it’s right or wrong, the body always knows.” Immediately I was filled with a knowing, a resounding NO that radiated from my gut and rang in my ears.

On paper, and in my mind, the relationship made sense. But my gut knew long before I was ready to admit to myself that it didn’t feel right. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’d even developed an ulcer, one that started right as the relationship did. Talk about my gut trying to get my attention. It’s almost comical.

We can’t always know at the outset if our decisions or endeavours or relationships will pan out. It takes courage to say yes, to take chances. Maybe the beauty lies not in achieving a perfect outcome but in growing as we learn to trust our intuition. The more we listen, the more our resulting choices and actions can align us with our purpose and our higher good.

I like to think of these gut checks as God checks, for I can’t help but think that our inner wisdom and God’s voice are one and the same. What a precious gift we’ve been given. How amazing that all we have to do is listen.


Image credit: Alex Pearson