Can we trust our feelings?

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I had a conversation with a friend the other day about instincts, and trusting our gut when it comes to making decisions. She said those feelings can’t be fully trusted. She thought that sometimes she needs to go with her gut instincts, but at other times she can’t because they will lead her astray. If this would have been six months ago, I would probably have said the same thing.

Now on the other hand I am starting to be more and more convinced that I should always trust my gut instinct. What she talked about that can lead us wrong is if we can’t read our body’s signals. From a very young age we start to filter our world, we learn how to behave, be and do from what other people expect of us, what they think of us and what happens to us. All those experiences damages our ability to trust our gut. We start to rely on expectations and other people. This screws up our natural emotional sense of right and wrong. It’s no wonder we can’t trust our instincts as adults because we have learnt the hard way not to trust them. As adults we can’t really separate learnt behavior from our real self. I am in this process at the moment to really strip off all things learnt. It’s a magical process of pealing off one layer at a time – and what is left is a deeper understanding of who I really am. This takes a ton of work, and we can’t do it alone. But what is coming out of it is a deeper understanding of my feelings, of leaning into them instead of pushing them away. I embrace the feelings that show up, because they have something to tell me. They hold messages that I need to hear, and if I listen to them, I can move through them and make decisions based on a deeper understanding of myself.

So I absolutely think that we should listen to our gut, to all the emotions that stir up within us. They hold all the relevant information we need at this very minute. The question is if we are willing to face it.

Johanna.

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