Friday, March 8, 2013

When Your Gut Isn't Enough

Intuition is a funny thing.  It really is.  How many times have you been told as a parent to "follow your intuition!" and you secretly want to scream "I would if I knew what it was". I really hate when people tell me that.  Intuition is a funny thing.  Many people say that intuition is what 'feels right to you' or 'listen to what your heart is telling you'. Jessica Cohen at wrote a great article about being your child's advocate but I still struggle with this issue.  What if I don't know what feels right to me? 
Since gut feelings are based on your prior beliefs and experiences, how do we know that following our gut is the right thing?  Depending on how we grow up, the things the feel 'right' to us may not be in our best interests.  You may have grown up in a house where we should never 'rustle any feathers' so being assertive feels absolutely uncomfortable...and even against our intuition! The fact is that some of the best decisions I've made in my life did not feel comfortable or 'right'.  My head told me to do one thing and my gut told me to do something else.  Making those hard decisions went against everything that felt 'comfortable' to me.
SO, my question to all of you is how do you know when to listen to your heart and when to listen to your brain?  When do you throw away all the facts and follow your heart or is it best to follow the rules?  When we're raising our children we're constantly faced with decisions about weather to trust the teacher, doctor, or even another parent or if we should go out on a limb and not follow their advice.

For me the answer is a lot of prayer and careful consideration-sometimes a pros and cons list.  Talking to close friends helps too.  While it's important to trust others (especially professionals) we must also remember that we are humans (teachers, doctors, and psychologists) and humans make mistakes or make decisions not in our best interest all the time.  If you don't feel comfortable about something-why not ask questions and ask what other options you have?  Often times we see things in black and white instead of realizing that we have many choices.  Sometimes it's best to be logical and sometimes it's best to follow your heart.  One thing I know for sure is that I screw up.....a lot.  I make mistakes and that's OK.  Sometimes I listen to my head and sometimes I listen to my heart but in the end I will be o.k and I'm still a good mom.

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