Monday, June 30, 2008

Basic Instincts

"The active part of man consists of powerful instincts, some of which are gentle and continuous; others violent and short; some baser, some nobler, and all necessary."

Francis W. Newman 

'Tis true, what they say...  Our instincts are better followed than ignored.  But honestly, how many of you actually DO? 

I've been thinking lately, about my own instinctive abilities and inabilities.  Therefore, I am second guessing myself left and right ~ thoroughly frustrating myself to the point of exhaustion.  Looking back ~ and I'm talking YEARS, I consider all the crossroads I have come to and ponder my actions and choices based on instinct alone.  That's not at all to say that I have followed my inner voice on every occasion, because more often than not, I chose to do the opposite of what my instincts were telling me ~ and got myself in a heap of trouble.  Maybe not at that exact moment in time, mind you, but at some point soon thereafter. 

Like the fact that most recently, I KNEW my car would break down again... And it did.

My instincts HAVE gotten better over the years.  That is, while I continue to fail miserably at following them, I can honestly look back and see HOW strong those instincts were at the time, and how badly things turned out, by my having NOT followed them. 

I think about the day I became engaged and then of course, the wedding itself...  And the lingering doubt that crept it's way into my thoughts at the most INOPPORTUNE times (so i thought)...

I think about events that shattered innocence and hearts.  Events that, to this day, I continue to believe ~ had I followed my instincts, never would have happened.

Part of trusting your own instinct is having the very courage to do so.  Oftentimes, what we feel deep down is the truth, may in fact be what hurts the most.  It may be what brings us to our knees in the darkest hours of night.  Who wants to come face to face with that kind of pain?

But what if knowing and feeling and enduring brings us to that beautiful somewhere we thought we'd never go?  Isn't that what instinct IS?  Our gut ~ or our God, if I may, leading us into greener pastures and brighter tomorrows? 

And does basic human instinct originate in the heart ~ or the mind?  Someplace else then?  What if our hearts and minds tell us two completely different things ~ each one bringing very different results?  What then?

I will more than likely contemplate this forever... 

May your instincts guide you well in all you do...

13 comments:

rbrown6172 said...

i know what you mean...i've felt the same at times.  i tend to think its the gentle soft voice of God trying to speak to me and i don't have the faith to accept it as that at the time...but looking back on certain situations have come to believe it was really that simple.
gina

helmswondermom said...

I usually follow my instincts, but there have been plenty of times that I haven't and then wished I had.  I think some people have better natural instincts than others.  Some people just have better intuitive thinking than others.  And some people just don't know how to listen to themselves.  I don't know where it comes from, but I think we can sharpen our instincts by taking time to think deeply on things, and by being self-aware.
Lori

radar446 said...

Isn't this an insightful entry.  I think you might be on to something here with following your instincts.  That is something that I try to do whenever I can.  There have been times that I put those "inner voices" back in some dark corner of my mind and went along with things that I knew I probably shouldn't.  As you said, they didn't turn out all that well.  Had I followed my instincts years ago, I would not be in the situation I find myself in right now.  I wrote my "lingering doubts" off as cold feet....everyone gets them right?  This has to be what I'm feeling....nope, it was instinct telling me I was making a bad move.  Should have listened.

Greg

rdautumnsage said...

You hit the nail on the head with this entry hon. I think humans invariably fail to allow themselves to evolve and use all the abilities they were born with. I can think of way too many instances of shutting that voice down and paying a heavy price for doing so. These days I follow my instincts with a finely woven grasp of knowledge that I rarely go wrong by doing so. Wonderful post as always dear friend. (Hugs)Indigo

grofsand said...

What a wonderful thought provoking entry! It invites hours of introspection!

It is mans instinct "to move", that is to take action. We are at the crossroads more often than one really imagines. That being said, each and every step of our path is important, there is nothing frivolous about it.

The beloved "Laurel & Hardy" show entertained us for years and without fail laurel always exclaimed to his cohort "Well this is a fine mess you have gotten me in now!"
Well intended, sometimes our closest partner can lead us astray!

Continue listening to that voice within, who knows you better than your own voice!
Understand that it may not be the best advice, it may not offer the best direction, but it is always the first voice that comforts you in a time of need.

But, before you put your "headphones" on listen to this....
Have a great day!
Marc :)

queeniemart said...

This is an amazing entry...i feel the exact way you do.....so many times while i was younger i REFUSED to listen to my instincts and boy, have i screwed UP! so many times...but as i get older, i listen and follow my instincts and am rarely wrong. I also have made myself insane lately with the looking inward and overthinking everything. SIGH.
You are such an amazing writer.
LOVE YOU

siennastarr said...

Wow!  What a soul searching entry this was, Chelle.  I could totally relate to everything you said, as I am sure most of your readers did.  It's that old coulda, woulda, shoulda thing.  In a nutshell.
We live and we learn.  Or we should anyway.  Learn that is.

Hugs
Jackie

lifes2odd said...

Beautiful and insightful entry Chelle! How different our lives would be, how different the whole world would be if we were all to really listen and do what our instincts guide us to do.
I am one of the lucky ones who was raised with a father who believed very strongly in following our "gut feelings." He taught me from a very young age to listen very closely and follow the feelings. I can only hope I've instilled the same in my own children.
Hugs, Martha

geminiwilder said...

well this about made me burst into tears today.
(having a really bad -emotional- day)
you write with such depth and the way
you articulate feelings is amazing to me.
i can't even tell you how much i got out
of this. and how i realize much of my sadness
is due to my own foolishness and not trusting
my own instincts. which leads to self-hatred
and guilt! and anger...i won't go on.
xo phinney

breezyneon said...

Hi, I am visiting by way of DB(Vagabond's) journal. I love your journal. You think so much like I do, and your way with words makes your journal so interesting and emotional to read. I was just telling DB how my instincts are always a day late or slow to react.. but I am trying to tune into them more. Sometimes I do know what I SHOULD do, but  I don't do it out of fear, but in the long run it seems to be the choice I should have made.
Great entry.. I will be back to read more.
~~Breezy

lanurseprn said...

I enjoyed this entry so much. I can completely understand what you mean about our instincts. If I'd followed them, my life would have turned out so much different. I do try to follow them now because I'm learning. But, I need to trust more.
Great thought provoking entry.
Pam

sunflowerkat321 said...

A very thought provoking entry, Chelle.  I tend to be one who overthinks things in an attempt to convince myself that my instincts are valid.  It makes me very cautious.  I wish I could just let go and leap where my instincts lead me.

mfitzwilliam22 said...

I think that your instincts are more prominent than a gut feeling in a time of need.  Everyone is born with instincts and should to start listening to them daily.  When I was younger, I tried to do everything just like my sister.  Her systems worked so well for her, but I would get stressed out because I was following her instincts instead of my own.  After I took my Kolbe Index, I started to feel freedom that I never had before.  My amount of stress drastically decreased.  It's amazing how much stress can be created by doing daily tasks someone else's way.