in your gut

you know how there’s just some things you feel in your gut? sometimes you don’t really have the words to explain it, you wouldn’t know how to articulate it if you tried – you just know. you don’t even really know how you know or why you know. you just do.

and when you go against your gut and find out you were right in the first place, you feel like you should have trusted yourself all along. on the flipside, when you stick to your guns and keep going in the direction you know is right, popular or not, and it pays off, there’s this unbelievable sense of “gosh, i just knew it all along…”

there’s a ton of confidence to be built here. but you have to be careful. because the mind is a tricky beast. it’ll tell you you’re right to the end of this earth, but that doesn’t make it so. my favorite is when my brain tells me i “deserve” this or “deserve” to feel this way – that should be a red flag. well-grounded desires are not founded on whether or not we “deserve” this or that – that’s just our own ego and self-righteous nature.

i just gotta make a note here. because i heard something in a conversation yesterday with a friend and it was spot on – there’s a point in your conscience where you’re asked to delineate between what’s “right” and what’s “almost right.” there’s a ton of character to be built here. a lot of times what seems “almost right” is really just self-seeking and ultimately “pretty good” but maybe not great. those things you “wish you could have,” or those shoes you probably shouldn’t buy, but you justify anyway. that’s not the “go with your gut” i’m talking about. there’s nothing to be built from consistently choosing what’s “almost right.” there’s nothing to be gained from choosing the path you claim is being paved for you, when it’s really just what’s most convenient for you. the path where we see that we stand to gain the most isn’t always the right choice. that’s just us being humans, being solely concerned with controlling our circumstances, keeping up with the Joneses, looking for ways to obtain the shiny things.

you know you’re getting in your own way when you need your side of the story. you know you’re straying from center when there’s a “version” – there is no “my truth” – there’s just… truth. period.

a big part of anything you could call “confidence” in me is because of trusting my gut, if that’s what you want to call it. not always trusting “the best outcome for me,” or “where i gain the most.” but what’s really right… morally, ethically, etc. too often what we “wish” was right and what’s actually right are two different things. i don’t call it gut or intuition or any of that really – i know what’s leading me. or more importantly Who is leading me. and it really takes that whole mystery aspect out of the gut instinct altogether. does this “gut feeling” ultimately benefit me the most? am i twisting things to make it look like the best option? the “right” path isn’t going to have you acting in any other way besides 100% truthful, with nothing to prove and nothing to explain for ourselves. it doesn’t involve throwing anyone under the bus. you’ll never have to make someone look bad so you look better. it doesn’t require us to go above and beyond and make sure people know our side, and it doesn’t require some gray area justification or interpretation of the rules.

you know. you’ll always know. you can feel it. when something isn’t quite right about something or someone, you just know. when you’re justifying your “left of center” temptation to yourself, you just know. there are people that i can sit with and wonder why i have this unexplainable palpitation in my chest, and not in a good way. these are not people i try to spend a whole lot of time around – i try to avoid it altogether if i can. my spirit knows, and i bet yours does too.

i’m not sure if this is resonating with anyone today, but i sure hope it is. you need to know the power you have in your own body, mind, and the directions you’re being nudged. the appeal of what you want to happen may be great, but the reality of what you need and the feeling of keeping your conscience clean is greater. you need to know that you’re smarter, more capable, more aware than you think. trust yourself. trust that inner voice. sometimes something can be “marketing” as one thing, but it’s not really that hard to see through the crap when you trust yourself.

there’s probably a lot more you’re doing right than you’re giving yourself credit for if you’re operating in your life with a good, clean heart and honest intentions – not the ones that seek ways to serve yourself first above all else. that’s why when something seems a little “off” about someone, you feel it in your chest. that’s why no matter how hard you try to fight it, at the end of the day, your inner being just knows that it’s not going to work. you also need to know it’s not your job to make it work. it’s not your job to expose, prove, call out, change, fix, or power through. you’re not responsible for that. that’s called boundaries, and there’s a ton of confidence to be built there, too.

boundaries help us keep our own lawn clean. we don’t have control over too many things in this world, but we do have a good bit of government over our “space.” our “bubble” so to speak is completely under our jurisdiction. who comes in, who stays, for how long, what we allow to change our atmosphere – we get to call the shots on these things, and when we do a crappy job of governing our own space, our spirit knows it. i’m guilty of trying to be a peacemaker and letting my boundaries slack so someone else’s feelings don’t get hurt. wanna know who always ends up with the short end of that stick? me. every single time. and i’ve learned that it’s really not worth it. when someone shows you who they really are, believe them the first time. but don’t be afraid to put your own judgments on trial, too – because SHOCKER – sometimes your conscience is WRONG!!! sometimes it falls into that “almost right” category – examine it! test it!

at the end of the day it’s really not worth trying to appease someone else at my own expense. and it’s not “unChristian” to act this way. protecting our own space is one of the best things we can do because it allows us to be mentally available for the things we’re actually responsible for instead of cleaning up the mess someone else came in and crapped all over our floor.

three things i wanna leave you with in this post – trust your gut, challenge your selfish human nature, and work on building stronger boundaries. i’d love to know your thoughts about how you think these things might impact your mental space. do you need to make improvements in these areas?