Art, Vulnerability

Trust Your Gut

Before we learned to stuff our pain and hide our fears, we were in touch with our feelings. We knew when we didn’t want to eat something or when we were full and so we didn’t eat it. We knew when a grown up made us feel creepy or scared and we ran. We knew when grownups were lying and other kids were playing unfair. We once knew right from wrong–not only as a principle, but as a feeling when things were right or wrong.

When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.  ~Maya Angelou
When people show you who they are, believe them the first time. ~Maya Angelou


It’s true we couldn’t see everything or understand calculus, but we had a gut instinct. We knew it felt yucky to lie and we knew we didn’t want to hurt another person. And just as we knew all people are equal and should be treated fairly, we also knew what we liked to do–before it was ridiculed or beaten out of us. We loved to get lost in a swamp or a book. We wanted to do nice things for other people and animals. And most of us liked to swing and sing and draw and color.

If we could erase all the shame and expectations put on us, we might actually reach our goals. But somewhere along the way, our dreams got lost because we were told what to think and how to act. Somewhere we knew it was okay to clap and sway to music until someone came along in church and told us to sit on our hands. We knew it was okay to make mistakes in drawing, until someone said it had to be better, so we gave up.

So here’s a goal for the week–Trust your gut instinct. If you feel full, stop eating. If you feel like dancing, dance. If your gut says do not trust a stranger, then get the heck out of there. And if your heart says God must not be very nice if He barbecues people, then follow your heart and dig deep and discover what a loving Father actually looks like.

Here’s to listening to the gut, living authentically, making more art from the heart and worrying less about what other people think.