Over the summer, every time my husband and I walked, I’d get these huge, hideous blisters on my feet. Sometimes on the right foot, but mostly on the left ~ on Frankenfoot.
My gut told me to call my specialist doctor and see what was going on. My brain told me not to be silly, it was just my shoes, my socks, the weather. It was no big deal and I didn’t need to disturb an orthopedic surgeon with my silly blisters.
Um, yeah. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Turns out, my gut was right. I did need to see the specialist. See those two beautiful screws in my heel? They weren’t happy in their present location and were starting to back out. Ouch! The best way to combat their slow exit was to take them out surgically.
After a brief panic attack where I had a flashback to the first surgery and the months of recovery, I realized this was a simple procedure, nothing to freak out about. That’s what my instincts told me. They were right. Again.
All too often we dismiss that little tickle in our belly and try to rationalize our thinking. We do this in everything, our writing (ever thought a beta reader was way off base, but you made changes anyway and ended up hating it? Or your ignored them and turns out, they were right, their changes made the book stronger?), our daily life (you know that latte isn’t good for you, but you convince yourself you deserve it), and even in our relationships (he only hit me once, and it was an accident).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of rationalization, but only when it’s used for good and not evil.
Sometimes we really did need to make that plot change, or once in awhile the latte really is a deserved treat, that’s when rationalization is okay. It’s never acceptable in a relationship that involves violence. That’s when trusting your gut is more important than ever.
I know what you’re thinking… how the heck did a couple of screws get the conversation all the way over to abusive relationships? Easy. Once we stop listening to our gut and letting our brain make all the decisions for us, it’s a slippery slope to losing that natural instinct that tells us when something isn’t right.
August McLaughlin has some wonderful posts on what she calls, ‘Gift of Fear Moments’ ~ those times when your gut took over and natural instinct saved your life. The women in her posts at first dismissed their gut instinct, but later trusted it and ended up surviving what could have been fatal situations. They are fascinating reads on the human psyche and fear. I do hope you’ll check them out here and here.
True, my screwy adventure was no where near life threatening, but what if I’d ignored my gut and let the screws continue their gradual backing out? Not only would the surgery and recovery time have been much worse, I might have messed up my foot for ever. As it is, I’ll be down for a month and then, hopefully, I can get back to walking and working out.
The next time I start to poo-poo an idea, I’m going to take a closer listen to what my gut’s telling me. What are those natural instincts my body wants me to tune into? My brain is a marvelous thing, but sometimes it just has too much going on.
The gut, on the other hand, is a fabulous visceral meter.
When was a time you trusted your gut and avoided something nasty? As you can read here, it’s not always life threatening situations that our instinct tries to protect us from, sometimes it’s just our own insecurities. Have you ever had a ‘might get screwed’ moment when your gut told you one thing and your brain another? Share with us! I’d hate to think I’m the only goofball who didn’t listen to her gut. 😉
By the way, they gave me the screws. Can you believe it! What the heck am I supposed to do with two titanium screws? Got any cool craft ideas?