A friend of this page named Janice raised this question in a post yesterday, wondering if there is some sort of faint thread that attaches us to the divine, and whether messages arrive for us in what we call our guts (our core, the center of us, the belly of the beast, the most sensitive and secret part of our physiology — the part that is not so distracted by our minds that it can't hear the truth.)

What do you guys think?

Is this where the truth comes in?

The most profound example of gut instinct I ever experienced was when I was in love with a man who simply could not love me healthily in return. But, twisted as the relationship was, I was crazy about this guy. I would have done anything for him, including lose my dignity completely. All I wanted was to be near him. Yet every night, when it came time to sleep beside him, my gut would keep me awake, shouting this message through my whole being: "GET THE HELL OUT OF THIS BED — IT'S NOT SAFE FOR YOU HERE!"

My heart would say, "Shut up, Gut — I love him!"

My brain would say, "Shut up, Gut — you're going to ruin this amazing love story for me!"

My soul would say, "Shut up, Gut — he's my destiny!"

But my gut would not shut up. It never stopped sounding the alarm, and it never relented. It just kept shouting: GET THE HELL OUT OF THIS BED — IT'S NOT SAFE FOR YOU HERE! And that alarming voice in my belly kept me awake, night after night, month after month, forbidding me to relax in that man's bed, until I finally had no choice but to listen…and to leave. Because my gut was absolutely right. There was nothing for me but danger in that love story. Danger and ruin. And my gut was not going to relent its agitation until I was out of there and safe. I honestly think if my gut could have pushed me out the window, it would have — just to get free.

There's an old adage: "The heart wants what it wants." Yeah, sure…but even more powerfully: "The gut knows what it knows."

So where does that instinct come from? Who is guiding the messenger within? Is this how God speaks to us? Or is it our own pre-intellectual instincts? And how often, and how carefully, do you listen to it? When has it saved you?


Hearts and guts,

via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall