This is a picture of my daughter and I when she was about 7 years old. She and her twin brother will be turning 21 next month and I still want to tell them how they should live, but I resist more often these days because no one wants to be told how they “should” or how they “ought” to be.
There are many opinions out there about making the “right” decisions. As if there is only one way and place you “should” be and if you haven’t arrived there, then you’re doing it wrong. The word itself is laced with disapproval and it inherently doesn’t accept reality. It feels heavy just thinking about it. Yes, as parents it’s our role to guide our children, but it’s not our job as parents, spouses, or therapists to tell other adults what to do. We, as therapists, might suggest things that we think may be helpful, but ultimately you are the expert of yourself. Trust your gut.
In the book “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell, he reminds us that our gut is usually spot on. Our gut instinct is the voice of intuition. Knowledge shapes intuition and our instinct is more likely to be accurate as we gain more experience and knowledge with a particular area of our life. It’s the same with healing. One can develop the skill of trusting his or her instincts in finding solutions from a place of knowledge and not trauma. This requires putting our fears and anxiety to rest. There is the possibility that trauma and difficult experiences from one’s past or even present situations, can cause your instincts to “malfunction” a bit, but the good news is it’s not permanent. There are practices like mindfulness, yoga, and meditation that can help us heal those wounded parts. We try hard to bury these hurts, however learning to sit with curiosity and compassion rather than judgement around our feelings, allows us to validate and heal wounded parts of ourselves.
Getting clear about what your gut is telling you can give you that little extra push towards healing. Your gut instinct can whisper, “You can do this” and your therapist can help to make sense of it and encourage you as well. These innermost longings can sometimes be hard to hear. Our essential self gets buried beneath what our parents think we should do, what our friends or spouse think we should do, what our social and religious circles think we should do. And beneath our trauma, growth can be scary and feel uncomfortable. One of my favorite quotes by Steven Rogers from the movie Hope Floats is, “Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.”
Our team of therapists at Desert Consulting can help you get clear about your inner knowing. You’ve got this. You’ll be alright. Because it is all right. Trust your gut.
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