Your inner voice is a bitch, but she’s a bitch for a reason.
There are some lessons in life that people can warn you of over and over ahead of time, but you really don’t understand them unless you learn them firsthand. Your mom told you the stove was hot, but you needed to stick your 3-year-old chicken nugget of a hand on it to see for yourself. Your bestie told you to not mix tequila and beer but you didn’t really comprehend it until you found yourself keeled over a toilet bowl full of skinny margaritas and Bud Light. One of these life lessons that I’ve heard from multiple people, including the goddess herself, Oprah Winfrey, is to always follow your intuition. If your gut is telling you something, it’s true. But the one caveat to this advice that they don’t tell you, is how incredibly hard it is to follow sometimes. Because most of the time, our intuition is telling us to not do something we really want to do. Like date the wrong guys.
I won’t go into details, but I recently dated someone who was perfect in almost every way except one: my instincts told me he was living some weird double life. Now besides a few red flags, I had zero proof or concrete reason to think this, I just did. And long story short, I eventually found out my gut feeling was exactly right and he really was a two-timing sociopath. Even though my inner voice was screaming, “there is something off about this situation” I shut it up because I didn’t want it to be true. Even though I had heard it’s important to listen to your intuition, it was so easy not to. It was easy to talk myself out of my instincts because at the time, I figured all they really were, were a cluster of feelings. But upon reflection, I’ve realized our intuition is so much more. Sadness, happiness, anger, etc. are all feelings from your heart. But your intuition is something that comes from a much deeper place.
When you stop and think about it, our intuition is an incredibly strange phenomenon. We’re almost positive something is true even though we can have pretty much zero reason or evidence to think it is—and nine times out of 10 we’re right on. It’s so much more than just a feeling. It’s like our sixth sense that serves as a barometer of bullshit. When your heart is broken, you feel it in your chest. When your inner voice is telling you something, you feel it in the pit of your stomach. You can trick yourself into being happy, but if you try and trick your intuition, all you’re going to get is “girrrrrl, who you think you playin’?”
Just like the hot stove and poor Spring Break ’09 decision, following my instinct was something I had to learn for myself. And like a fair amount of lessons in life, I had to learn the difficult way. And as much as I want to reiterate this lesson to you my cute little reader and tell you to always listen to that inner voice, I also know that sometimes the beating heart wants what the beating heart wants, and you have to learn it on your own. So I’ll phrase it this way: They say follow your heart but take your brain with you. I agree with this to a certain extent. But I feel it’s more that our heart communicates our feelings, our brain communicates our logic. And somewhere in the middle, in the pit of your beautiful soul, is your intuition, communicating the answer.