We spend so much time feeling the need to choose between what your heart feels and what your mind thinks. But what if I told you that you didn’t have to choose? What if I told you that there was something deeper that has always been there, but we often ignore? I’m talking about the gut. You know, that feeling that inhabits both your mind and your heart, or maybe even somewhere in between. Best of all, what if I told you that it is completely possible to be so confident in the life you’re living that you never question any of your actions if you listened to that gut of yours?
For me, it was about a year ago when I first discovered the gut. I left a perfectly good relationship, just because it didn’t feel right. Sounds crazy, right? I’m sure many thought it was a rash decision, that maybe I didn’t think things through. Well, I guess if you think about it, they were correct. I didn’t give myself the time to overthink it. I spent so many years talking myself out of things that my gut was telling me, and I had had enough. So, I left. I left most of my belongings, my best friend, and a life that was seemingly perfect. I gave up a beautiful apartment to live in my mothers basement. I gave up stability, promise, and comfort for the unsure, unknown, and unexplainable. Most of all, I gave up a future that I didn’t believe in. You see, the gut is always there. I knew it was. It’s what always told me to be on my own, that I had yet to know who I was alone, but I was too busy being a serial monogamist. It’s what always told me to travel the world, and try and change it in the process, but I was too busy planning imaginary weddings, signing leases and accepting job offers. I was always too busy letting my mind take over to let my gut come into play.
Don’t get me wrong, it was hard. I felt lost and questioned myself and even thought about going back. That would have been easier, trust me. But as the saying goes, “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”. For me, that beautiful destination was my life exactly one year later. That difficult road of the messiness of any breakup lead me to my decision to move to Key West, a place I never knew I would even like, let alone feel more at home than anywhere else I’ve ever been. It lead me to Thailand, where I am living out my dream of saving animals lives in a place that needs it most.
Now, don’t go thinking I did this all on my own. I don’t have that kind of power. The second I decided to listen to my gut, I gave up any thought of feeling that I was in control. I knew that to start going with my gut, I had to stop trying to control it. So, I gave it up to God. For you, it may be different, but give it up to something greater than yourself. Don’t put that unecessary pressure on yourself, it’s not worth it. Once you do that, you can’t go wrong.
Life is not linear.
There are so many different stages and times in our life. You are allowed to go one way, realize it’s wrong, and go another. That is okay. So many of us think once we choose one path, we have to stick with it, or we are a failure. But the real failure comes when you fail to live the life you were meant to live because you were too busy trying to force another to work.
I can’t promise you that it will be easy. I can’t even promise you that you’ll get it right the first time. One thing I can promise you, is that pretty amazing things happen when you follow your gut with reckless abandon and completely succumb to the knowledge that there is a plan far greater than one you could ever design yourself. You can trust me, I’m writing this covered in sweat, mud, and blood in a bug net bed in the middle of the Thai jungle…and I STILL know I’m in the right place.
Now, go follow that gut of yours, I’m so pumped for you already.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined”-Henry David Thoreau