Gut vs. Ego

Ever hear the term “gut reaction?” It’s a real thing. When we get a sense that something is right or wrong, true or false, safe or dangerous, we may actually feel it in our gut. The ego, however, is the real snob of our body system. It is eager to discount those gut feelings; saying to us, ‘oh, don’t listen to them; what do they know beyond digesting food and eliminating waste? I’M the expert you need to listen to.”

Yup, the ego believes it is the boss of the entire body. It thinks it knows all, sees all, hears all; in fact it does do all these things, BUT it does not have the instinctual fore-knowledge that the gut has. Call it the ‘fight or flight’ syndrome, it is the ancient part of us that is aware 24/7 of danger, or if simply something or someone doesn’t ‘seem’ right. It warns us ahead of time of situations we may not see in time to protect ourselves.

Example: I was driving down a road with which I was very familiar. I knew all the side streets, the speed limit, etc. As I drove along, I saw a little blue car driving on one of the side streets. All the windows were down, and the young woman driving was bopping to the beat of music she had cranked up. Although she was wearing sunglasses, I had the distinct feeling she was not looking where she was going; that she was too wrapped up in her music.

Even though I had the right of way, I slowed down as I approached her street. Sure enough, as I got closer to the street, she zoomed out in front of me. Honestly, I don’t think she even looked before she stepped on the gas. I was able to stop in time, thanks to a gut feeling.

I have learned over the years to trust that feeling. Often nothing of great importance happens, but some times it does. The gut feeling is not only relegated to dangerous situations or people, either. Often you may pick up on little things, such as unhappiness in someone. When I feel this around a person, I send them love and a prayer that whatever is wrong may be made right.

You can also get gut feelings about animals as well. As any pet owner knows, we can tell when something is wrong with our furry friends. Our one female cat, Nala, was acting very twitchy a few years ago. A rather nervous cat at the best of times, she seemed to be more touchy than usual. Back then, we only had her and Pookie, a male of about 5 years old at the time. All of a sudden he began play-attacking her, sneaking up on her and jumping on her. Each time, Nala would hiss and swat him.

I was concerned for her, and took her to our vet. The vet soon found the source of her trouble; she had a ruptured anal gland. While this is rare in female cats, it does happen. Once the vet took care of it and applied medication, Nala was back to her old affectionate self, and Pookie stopped harassing her. He knew something was wrong; we humans didn’t. So his gut reaction was spot on.

So, not to disparage the ego in any way, do listen when you feel your gut talking. If you get a feeling that something isn’t right; with a person, a situation, etc., then probably something isn’t what it seems. Pay attention! Your ego may be saying, ‘oh, for Heaven’s sake, nothing is wrong! Just walk down that dark alley; it’s a great shortcut!’

Listen to your gut; it is after all your internal radar.

 

 

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