Monday, November 9, 2009

Gut Check

There is the heart, there is the head, and then there is the gut. When I make my best decisions, I’m usually going with my gut.

My head tries to be rational and logical. It’s like Dragnet, “Just the facts, ma’am.” When I’m using my head, I’m writing lists of pros and cons. I’m thinking about the consequences. My head loves a logical argument and can be persuaded by the bottom line. It likes it when things are clear and final and most of all, when they make sense.

My heart is sensitive and emotional. It easily gets swept away. Like a sailboat, it goes whichever way the emotional winds are blowing. I can be swept away with love or fear or resentment or any number of intense emotions. It all depends. My heart loves strong and passionate feeling. It likes it when the emotion is so high that it almost takes my breath away.

But my gut is that mysterious feeling in the pit of my stomach. Unlike the other two, I’m still not sure how to convince it. It knows what it knows. It feels what it feels. And it has an uncanny track record of being right almost all of the time.

Of course, ideally, the three arrive at the same conclusion. There is no certainty quite like the certainty that comes when head, heart and gut agree. But when they don’t, I’ve learned to go with the gut.

When my heart is head over heels, but my gut tells me to proceed with caution. I tread lightly.
When my head says that the cons far outweigh the pros, but my guts says there is still something wrong. I step back instead of just jumping in.
But when my gut says it feels right, even when it doesn’t seem logical or when it isn’t the sexy and passionate thing to do, I make my move.

Of course, it’s taken me a while to get to this point, the seductiveness of the heart and the precision of the head can be hard to resist but they just haven’t given me the same consistency and reliability of my gut (and I have the heartaches and missteps to prove it).

When in doubt, go with the gut check. You won’t be disappointed.

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