October 17, 2013

The View From Here: That Gut Feeling

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming!

Today we have someone who is NOT named Kristi!

She is Kerstin and she writes at Auer Life.

Kerstin recently took the leap into full-time freelance writing.
She's gonna write like a motherfucker! *covers mouth with hand

Ahem. Here's Kerstin's View.

That Gut Feeling

A few days ago I dropped off my kids and the dog at the dog park. I’m the kind of dogmother who does not want to deal with other people’s dogs, so I leave the dog park to my kids. When it was time for pick-up and the dog jumped into the car, I knew right away that something was fishy.

The dog was fishy, actually. A bird had dropped a dead fish in the dog park and the dogs - including mine - had decided to roll in it. It smelled pretty bad and I knew for sure the dog needed a bath as soon as he jumped into the car. Naturally I made the kids give him a bath so I would have time to ponder an important revelation:

I thought about how trusting my instinct has gotten me to where I’m at in life.

When I smelled the dog I knew without a doubt that he needed a bath; there have been many times in my life when I knew something was fishy and my gut instinct has never disappointed me. The times when I acted against my beliefs – and there were a few – were not so successful.

Growing up, my mom called me a “freedom fighter” and it was not a compliment. I’ve always had strong feelings about what is wrong and right and about treating people with respect and kindness. Unfortunately, those values were not what my family lived by; it was my father’s way or the highway and to make a long story short – the time came when I could not take it anymore, so I chose the highway.

I remember running into one of my father’s friends shortly after I had severed ties and I’ll never forget what he said to me. He told me that surviving my family with my sanity intact was an extraordinary accomplishment. By telling me that he respected my decision and integrity, he gave me something that my family never did: the ability to believe in myself and to believe in the goodness of other people.

That was almost 17 years ago and I’ve had my ups and downs since then, just like everyone else. Of course I want people to like me and to read my writing and I want to make friends. I even want to be able to stay in touch with parts of my family, but I am not willing to bend my values for it. For none of it.

One of the hardest things to learn was to just say it out loud: “No, I don’t think this is OK”  or “I am sorry, but this is just not right”. You know those situations when you just want to fit in, but deep inside is this feeling that makes you just a little nauseous? That was hard, and it still is. But it’s worth it. A little while ago my 16-year-old daughter told me about how people in her class wanted to know what “her drink” is, since everyone is starting to drink (wait, what?) and she replied that she doesn’t have “a drink” because she doesn’t want to get drunk.

She’s trusting her gut feeling, too; so my view from where I’m at right now is pretty damn good.

"...deep inside is this feeling that makes you just a little nauseous?"

The moment I read that I knew exactly what Kerstin is talking about. I once had this friend who I felt like that around all the time. Totally didn't listen to the feeling until it became a glaringly obvious THING. Now I will never trust that person again. I know other friends don't understand how I feel, but I stand by it.

I always trust my gut when it comes to my kids. That comes easy for me.
What about you? Can you think of a time when you trusted your gut feeling
and it turned out to be exactly right?

Be sure to tell Kerstin about it in the comments, and then check her out
on her Blog and Facebook page!

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