Wednesday, September 26, 2018
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Learn to listen to your gut

I use it all the time. Even in a small town. On long distance trips with miles of highway stretched ahead. Amidst big city traffic. Her calm, clear voice directs me, helps me find my way, and doesn’t judge when I go the wrong direction, but simply helps me look for another route. GPS: Global Positioning System.

However, another system is available to me that I rarely reference. It offers me a calm, clear voice, but I often tune her out. It gives me direction to navigate through life, but I don’t want to listen. No judgement is made, and when I am ready, I’m given a chance to choose another route. GPS: Gut Proposal System.

I am increasingly aware of how rarely I listen to my gut, that intuitive instinct that gently nudges me in a particular direction or action. Actually, I often outright ignore it. Pleasing someone else and dismissing my own gut instinct, I hit the power button to the GPS and wonder why I feel so lost. A gentle reminder may tell me to slow down and prepare for a change of course, yet I barrel on through thinking that I know best and that I like the path on which I am traveling. Maybe my gut tells me to try something new or take a chance, but I would rather stay with the safe, familiar, well-traveled path.

A beautiful friend recently shared with me a story about a decision she had made. Shortly afterwards, she was aware that it was not the best decision for her nor for those in her life. As she shared her story, she said, “I know that I can change my mind and choose again when I make a mistake.” I love this concept that has escaped my existence for more than forty years. Recomputing. No matter how many times I have missed a turn or lost my way, the Global Positioning System has always found another route to my destination. I wonder why I have not believed that this could be true of my Gut Proposal System. Redemption Road, Grace Alley, a Forgiveness U-turn, Mercy Lane, Compassion Connection and many more options appear to be available to me as I continue in my journey.

This week, I am taking a vacation with my teenage children where we will undoubtedly need the GPS. I also would be willing to wager that we will turn around at least once. I have often believed that getting lost, taking the scenic route, and finding your way is an adventure. I’d love to apply these principles to my life. Undoubtedly, I need my Gut Proposal System on a daily basis and it would serve me well to listen to her directions more often. Similarly, when I make a mistake, miss an opportunity, or simply choose unwisely, my GPS is ready to help me “recompute.” Who knows, maybe I’ll even relish in the scenic route.