Listen to your gut, listen to your body. They have things to tell us that our brain can’t quite put into words.
But remember, too: your gut and your body are meant to work together WITH your head…and sometimes any of the three can be manipulated.
One of the reasons it’s important to check in with all three is BECAUSE any of the three can be manipulated.
Checking in with your gut, your body, and your head can alert you to when something’s wonky with one or more of the other two.
There have been times my body has tried to BS me. I run marathons. My body has told me PLENTY of times that I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT RUN ANOTHER STEP, that my legs are GONIG TO FALL RIGHT OFF.
But my body was wrong in those moments. Turned out I just needed to slow my pace, hydrate a little, breathe correctly, and what do you know: there were a LOT of miles left in my legs.
There have been times my head has tried to BS me. Sometimes something will shift, even slightly, in a relationship, and my brain will FLOOD me with thoughts about how this person no longer likes me, how this person is now mad at me, how the relationship is now OVER.
But my brain was wrong in those moments. When I checked in with the other person, it turns out they had something else on their mind, that didn’t involve me at all.
There have been times my gut instincts have tried to BS me. Some nights my gut will tell me something’s just not quite right out there, and what I really need to do is take my substance of abuse, that’ll make me feel better, that’ll make the WORLD feel better.
But my gut was wrong in those in those moments. Turns out my addiction had manipulated my gut into trying to pull me into relapse. What I actually needed in that moment was to ignore my gut (which was, at the moment, SCREAMING that I ABSOLUTELY NEEDED TO USE in those moments)— and the urge to relapse passed.
The point is NOT that we “can’t trust” our head, our body, or our gut instincts.
The point is that none of these systems are meant to function on their own.
We’re not supposed to make decisions JUST with our head, or with our gut, or by listening to our body.
I HATE when I see people encouraging others to ignore their head and “listen to their gut.” I HATE when I see people encouraging others to block out their body’s signals and go with what they “know” is true. I HATE when I see people encouraging others to “think, don’t feel.”
I want us listening to each of these systems— and using each of these systems to conceptualize and reality check the others.
A LOT of recover is about tuning back into ourselves.
Depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma— they have a way of isolating ourselves, from ourselves.
If we get into the habit of listening to one part of ourselves, but ignoring other parts of ourselves, we’re reinforcing that isolation.
We’re not gonna heal while denying and disowning important aspects of who we are.
We’re not gonna integrate by throwing up walls between parts of ourselves, between intellect and instinct, between body and mind.
All of you is in recovery: head, body, gut.
They’ve all taken hits, and they’re all in need of healing.
Part of coming back to ourselves means learning to tune in to our head, body, and gut— and also to recognize when those systems are more or less trustworthy.
There’s ABSOLUTELY wisdom in every dimension of who we are.
But we humans are integrative, multidimensional creatures.
The more we remember that, the more effectively we heal, the better we feel, and the better we function.
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