In the series called The Truth Is Not Delicate I describe a list of unhealthy thoughts and/or behaviors about what I may have taught my daughters as they grew up in a home with a young mom (me) involved in an abusive marriage and who was just discovering that she was sexually abused as a child.
Last week, number seven in this series was allowing my spouse to treat me disrespectfully is not ok. This week number eight in the series is: not believing my gut (feelings) is not ok.
Wishy Washy Decisions
In a previous blog I wrote about how I was recently becoming more aware of my gut feelings. However, as a parent raising my two daughters I did not have a good awareness of trusting my gut feelings. What I ended up doing was modeling decision-making that was probably a little wishy washy. I probably had a sense that there was something in my body that didn’t match my final choice or decision. Since I did not have good skills in “gut-feeling awareness”, I went with a purely logic-based decision process instead of being led (in part) by intuition (gut feelings).
My children were living in a home full of dysfunction. They may not have learned to trust their gut feelings either. I don’t know that for sure, but since I didn’t trust my intuition, I definitely did not model that they should trust theirs. Were those words spoken out loud? No, but actions do speak loudly.
It Can’t Be True
As I was raising my children, I believe part of my issue with trusting my gut was because I simply didn’t want to believe what my gut was saying. I didn’t want what my gut was saying to be true. I didn’t want to believe I was being lied to, I didn’t want to believe the way I was being treated wasn’t loving, and I didn’t want to believe that someone who says that they love me would hurt me. So I believed it had to be my fault. My gut feeling had to be wrong, right? Otherwise, I would have to face the reality that I was in an unloving relationship. That stems all the way back to my childhood abuse because I thought someone who loved me wouldn’t hurt me, but he did.
I recently took a self-defense class taught by a law enforcement officer. One thing I learned was that it’s important to listen to gut feelings as a form of self-protection. Hearing that message validated to me the idea that listening to gut feelings is an important tool in personal decision making.
I want to share with my daughters that for whatever part I played in teaching or modeling that not believing our gut is not ok, I ask for forgiveness. I want to share healthier communication styles that provide a different teaching model not only for my daughters but also for all my relationships.
God does love me and he gave me my gut feeling as a gift. I know God loves me even when I need to make some changes. I am a Treasure and a Pearl.