Going With Your Gut

My hubby was a news junkie. In conjunction with that, he had no social media presence. He always said we need to support mainstream media so it doesn’t disappear. Say what you will about the media, there are at least some checks and balances. At least in the movies. Reporters proving their stories. For some unknown reason, he hated to sign up for things. As a result I have an abnormal amount of subscriptions to various newspapers. Of course I don’t have to renew them but it brings me comfort. makes me feel him. The New York Times has become my favourite. Mainly because they send me emails about an article. And then I read it. The vanity Fair one is odd. One article he needed to read and I became a subscriber. The reusable tote they sent is awesome so all is not wasted. Plus I love how much they swear. But I digress…

This morning as I sat down in my chair to drink my coffee, I checked my emails. Yep, there is the New York Times. An article on coffee. How did they know how much I love coffee. In this day and age it could be a sinister plot with spies on my phone, the damned “cookies” being used to control my inner thoughts and purchasing habits. Could be coincidence. Well the bottom line is they grab me because of one little blurb. Can coffee help you to live longer? Opened that baby pretty fast. You see, I love coffee. I remember drinking it as a young child with lots of milk and sugar. My parents drank a lot of coffee. They are Danish and those guys like it nice and strong. My husband didn’t start drinking coffee until he was out of university and hanging around coffee drinkers. I know, I was amazed. My teen life was spent in coffee shops with friends. And people who don’t drink it? Ever. Never did? Fully grown people. What is up with that? This beautiful magical elixir. I even installed a built in coffee maker when I renovated my kitchen 9 years ago. Cost more than the fridge and oven put together but I love it. Grinds. Steams. My prized possession. Anyways, turns out three to five cups a day is just right. Back when someone decided coffee was bad, I thought I would chance it with my life because I liked it so much. So the article really validated my decision to continue drinking coffee. Forever. Turns out, the experts were wrong and so now I can say “Na na na na na!” Screw you experts.

So often we do things even though we are told it is bad, wrong, unhealthy. Why is that? Can it just be obstinance? Like my coffee thing? Or is there sometimes something inside of use saying, go ahead… it will be okay? We all get gut feelings in our life. When I was quite young I was having trouble getting pregnant. I already had one child so I was confused. After three years of taking my temperature and numerous tests I was told I had high cholesterol. Boom. I was handed diet sheet. A list of don’t eat’s. I was 25 years old. On a side note my Doctor did tell me I had some liver enzyme disfunction but she didn’t seem to think it was anything. The high cholesterol though, that was a huge problem. Turns out butter was considered bad. This was the mid 1980’s. Butter. Next to coffee it is magical. I was told to eat margarine. Ha. Like that was going to happen. So I tried to follow a modified version of the diet. One that included butter. There was always this doubt in my mind. First of all how was this affecting my reproduction. Why had she even tested my cholesterol levels. Secondly, I was slender, young, I jogged, lifted weights, ate mainly plant based due to a lack of money. How did I have high cholesterol. Nothing was sitting right with me. My gut. I decided to consult a naturopath. Remember, this was 35 years ago. It wasn’t mainstream back then. I had a multitude of tests done once again and was put through a number of naturopathic type tests. The naturopath also saw the liver issue which he addressed and started to treat immediately. It was odd. Don’t get me wrong. And expensive, but as my hubby said, no one else is doing anything. Interestingly enough, my estrogen levels were through the roof. The naturopath told me my body was acting like I was pregnant already or on the pill. How had this not been caught before? Well, I continued treatments with him and grumbled lots. He did put me on a lot of supplements and herbal remedies as well as a diet of sorts. I have never eaten so much food in my life. I even got butter. It wasn’t a restrictive weight loss diet. It was a stop eating crap diet. After 6 weeks I had lost ten pounds, my skin was beautiful, I had tons of energy and my cholesterol levels had dropped way down into low normal territory. Eleven months after meeting this man I have birth to my second daughter. I listened to my gut and the miracle baby was born.

We are all born with some innate survival skills. Nature wants to give us all a chance in life. In time though, some of our natural instincts are lost. Whether it is society or our parents somewhere along the line we start to second guess ourselves. We look to others for approval. Guidance. My parents generation put allopathic doctors on a pedestal after the accidental discovery of penicillin. Magic. Or vaccines. More magic. I turned away from the allopathic medicine in my early years because of my experiences. It is no surprise that I seek health guidance from a holistic healer. Even leaving health aside, there are so many areas in our lives where we tend to shy away from trusting our own instinctive feelings. And yet, if we are honest with ourselves we know that there is something to the gut response. We have all experienced feelings we can’t explain. Like meeting someone new and feeling the need to back away from them. Is it just having a big personal space? Or is there something about them that sends out red flags as our body and mind take in a million clues in a millisecond and processes them behind the scenes. When we make decisions using our conscious mind we weigh the pro’s and con’s, we mull things over. We try to gain as much information as we can in order to make an informed decision. Perfect. Although exceedingly time consuming and inefficient. We weight everything against prior decisions and the results from our past actions and decisions.. Then we ask everybody and their dog what they think. Not as perfect. Their input comes from their own experiences. Which in some ways is helpful. A wider range of experiences to help us. But the dark side is just this. Other people want to justify what they do. What they have done. And then what they will do in the future. They will try to influence you to be more like them as it then validates their actions. This isn’t usually a conscious thing but it is natural. We also tend to seek advice from those who are already more like us. So the scope of their experience narrows somewhat as it pertains to our decision making. Along the way we lose our ability to trust ourselves.

It is a vicious circle really. Sadly the world makes us more dependant and then we seek more help from the world. Round and around we go. So afraid to make the wrong choices. Often we follow along with others even when we get the gut feeling saying don’t do it. There is also the fear of being different. As social beings we want to fit in. So we follow. We may hang back a bit, keep a toe dipped into both bools, just in case. I am reminded of Pascal’s wager. Blaise Pascal held the view that people bet, or wager, their life against the existence of God. If we believe and he exists, great. If we believe and he doesn’t, there is no loss. Again if we don’t believe and he doesn’t exist, no loss. Here is the big one. If we don’t believe… and God does exist… that isn’t good! Pascals point is that man should chose to believe. Just in case. So we follow along. Just in case. But not really committing. Just in case. So we get a sore butt from sitting on the fence. All the while trying to make the safe bet. In the end overthinking will be our downfall. Nature and life have given us so many positive things to help us stay alive and happy. Letting others control our thoughts and actions is such a sad waste of Gods gifts. If we stop using our bodies they will start to deteriorate. If we stop using our brain, it will not expand and stay healthy. If we ignore our instincts, we will be less inclined to have instinctive feelings. Sadly we will decline until we have to depend on others. Unfortunately, they may not have our best interests at heart.

So how do we get back to trusting ourselves? I’m not sure. I feel fortunate that I was given a good base in life. The first twenty years where I think my entire family thought I was odd, bad, crazy, unruly, selfish, invisible, spoiled, too loud, too quiet, annoying, dreamy, etc… The thing is I didn’t think much about it. The labels. What they thought. Because I was allowed to just be. I didn’t have expectations placed upon me. I wandered aimlessly through the years but they were happy years. Either I didn’t realize what my siblings thought or I didn’t care. I don’t recall. Perhaps I chose to only remember the good. I doubt that because I can carry a grudge. For YEARS! Recently I spoke to my daughter Drew about this. My early married life was horrible. Alcoholism is an insidious demon. I married into it. It was hard. My husband was raised in an alcoholic home and with it come certain actions. The in-laws had me on edge for years and in time I found I was second guessing so much about myself. I sought counselling and like the naturopath, my eyes were opened. I can’t dispute a lot of what the in-laws say about me. I am a little odd. I am definitely not mainstream. I do bounce from idea to idea. I am inconsistent and I am headstrong. I admit I did not respond well to some of the actions in my early marriage. My husband says my overprotective childhood was a disservice as I was unable to cope with adulthood. I disagree. The acceptance and safety I felt as a youngster gave me the power to fight back. It saddens me that my husband didn’t have the same safe upbringing that I was fortunate enough to have been given. It is too bad that their Dad was an alcoholic and they bear scars from their childhood. But I didn’t do it and in the end I decided to trust me. I sought professional help. I learned a lot about alcoholism. And then I took my life back. I knew something was out of whack and I trusted myself to find a better way. At this point in my life I find that I am more content and at peace than I have been in fourty years. I am trusting my gut. I listen to the little voice in my head. I pay attention to the spidey senses. The tingles I feel when something is amiss. Plus I don’t see my in-laws anymore. Huge load off. I am not one for obligations.

I have not received the covid vaccine and I have only had two extremely negative reactions from other people. So why don’t I get it? Well, there is something holding me back. I have never been keen on any vaccinations and my kids had to finish their own spotty immunizations as adults as it wasn’t my choice. I have learned through the media that I am selfish, low education, lower economic level, rural, uninformed, very politically right leaning, anti mask, etc, etc. etc… I was even asked once by a friend if I believed covid was real. Well one thing is bang on. I am selfish. The rest makes me laugh as it is interesting how I just don’t fit the profile. What I can say for certain is that the covid vaccine is a heuristic. A technique used to solve a problem quickly and practically. It bypasses the classical or historical way of doing things and uses emotion and assumptions. It buys us time basically. My point is what have we done with the time? Somewhere, it was decided that this was how this virus would be managed. They adopted the “keep it simple stupid” attitude like Occam’s Razer. Well that statement in itself is overly simplistic. And in the back of my mind is always the what if? Time has not done anything to convince me as the rhetoric has not changed and the evidence is not sufficient enough for me. As a result I will continue to march along with the other scapegoats. The uncleansed unvaccinated who are destroying all of our lives. Maybe I will even carry a sign. “Leper. Coming through. Make way!”

I have never been a bandwagon guy. Or gal I guess. I usually have my nose in a book. But I find when some new thought tickles my fancy I follow it to its furthest conclusion. If an idea can show me a logical outcome I will give it a go. Because I live on the edge of science versus feeling I am more apt to go over to the spine tingling side of proof. Does it feel right? If I go with my gut, what is the worst that can happen? I trust my intuitive abilities. Why? Because in the end it usually works out for me. Even when it doesn’t I am able to look at a hypothetical optional ending where I didn’t trust myself and placed my faith somewhere I shouldn’t. Usually that wouldn’t have worked out either. I absolutely love that in this day and age we have so much information at our fingertips. There is always that side of me that doesn’t trust it though. Again, I go with my gut. Why do I believe walking barefoot can help heal all. Earthing. Why do I believe in holistic medicine? Like cures like. Why do I carry crystals? Why do I believe in God? Throughout life I have tried many things. Up and down and all around I have changed in so many ways. All because we spend our lives seeking out the truth of who we are and why we are here. We question our very existence all of the time. What is our purpose? Maybe there really isn’t one. Is life meant to cause us pain? Do we suffer in order to grow? God or not God that just makes no sense to me. I love all of the things I have done in my life. I have been foolish and to a lesser extent I have been wise. I have had fun and I have felt sorrow. Every path I have chosen has made me who I am today. A sum of my experiences although there are those who would disagree. They say we are not our experiences. I’ve pondered that a lot in my life as well. I have learned that no matter what happens I am Even Steven. Just like the Seinfeld episode. I stand in the middle of the teeter totter of life and try to stay balanced as each end moves up and down. Trying to tip me off. But I hold fast. My feet are firmly panted and I take what life throws my way. Because I pay attention? Nope. Because I trust my gut and it senses the subtle movements that can send me flying. And without thinking, my body adjusts and helps me stay on top. That leaves me to live life without fear or regret. The worst that can happen already has. And I am still here. So I just trust. I have got nothing to lose!

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