By the feel of it

By The Scribe

Everyone's got it. No matter how much you try to deny it. You've still got it. Some, swear by it. Others, don't even give it the time of day. Still others, are desperate to tune into its' frequency but, find it almost impossible to do so. I for one, am a faithful follower of the gut feeling. It might not always be right on the mark but, most often (thus far at least) it's been in the vicinity of reality!

What exactly is a gut feeling one might wonder? I mean, does it really even exist? So, what exactly does it "feel" like? How do you know when to listen to it and when not to? Isn't it something based on nothing but feelings and emotions, void of fact? So, why would you even consider indulging a feeling that, in all probability, is frivolous, superficial and unreliable? Well, there really aren't any black and white responses for any of these questions, I'm afraid. But, I can tell you why I, and many I know, have faith in gut feelings, and more often than not, abide by them.

I, mostly get gut feelings about people – most often when I meet someone for the first time. It's hard to explain exactly what I feel. It's just something inexplicable that happens in the pit of my stomach which keeps welling up until I find it almost impossible to ignore. Most often, it's a strong feeling this way or that; positive or negative. It's hardly ever been a wishy-washy sort of feeling. It's always a hard core pang of good or bad.

Let me try and give you an example. For instance, I'm introduced to a friend's boy friend and immediate warning or welcome bells resound in my head! It's been warning bells more often than not I'm afraid, and more often than not, those bells have been dead on! Words like slime ball, player, arrogant jerk, "what was she thinking?" flood my mind, whilst I simultaneously shake hands with him, complete with my infamous grin 'plastered on'!

Don't get me wrong, I don't follow my gut instincts blindly. Of course I don't fully discredit my friend's taste in a partner or sometimes, even peers. I do leave room for erroneous judgement on my part (as few times as that might have been) and I'm not so close minded as to not change my opinion if I come to realise that the person in question is in fact quite decent, contrary to the initial image portrayed. Some of my closest friends have made the worst first impressions ever, so that should tell you a lot right?

Other sorts of gut feelings I've experienced have been in relation to situations or vocations, for instance, when I've really felt like pursuing something or the other or participate in a particularly forum or event. I've always (or almost always) had a good feeling about something prior to agreeing to it. I get this discontent nagging feeling in my head each time I'm reminded of the 'something' in my life I should pursue, which I conveniently keep trying to ignore. On occasion though, my gut feeling may have let me down miserably but, if I'm to take a ratio, the ups have far outweighed the downs so I guess I'm willing to take my chances.

See, the way I see it, gut feelings aren't harmful as long as you keep in mind that they are after all just feelings (be it based on your gut or otherwise). Also, that you never go by your gut feelings alone, but always have something else substantial to support your decision.

This is not to undermine the legitimacy of such feelings but, more so to ensure that you're not being rash with your judgments or creating gut feelings based on pre-conceived notions or hearsay.

My gut feeling says I should stop whilst I'm ahead (somewhat ahead at least)! And for once, I don't think I need anything to substantiate the thought. The time has come for me to take my leave and I do so with my head held high and guts intact!

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