It’s a word, afeeling, I’m on intimate terms with. It pops up pretty frequently, and rules the better part of my decision-making process. Intuition is how I’ve chosen where to live, which jobs to take, which people I can confide in… I suspect it’s where I got the whole “free spirit” label, because it doesn’t always make a whole lot of sense or seem like the wisest course of action. But for the most part, following my intuition has served me well. #notsorry
The thing is, I think we sometimes mistake instinct for intuition. THEY ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE. Intuition is an understanding without conscious reasoning, while instinct is an innate or fixed behavior that is a response to certain stimuli.
You’re probably familiar with fight-or-flight instinct. Fight-or-flight is a psychological reaction to a perceived harm or stress. When the potential threat is identified, the animal prepares to either kick some ass, or get the hell out of there.
Instincts can keep you alive.
They can also keep you from living.
You see, a lot of instincts stem from fear of harm. And when we begin to confuse instinct with intuition, we often find ourselves living our lives ruled by fear.
Ever worked a job you hated for far too long?
Continued or revisited toxic relationships you knew weren’t serving you?
Walked away from people you really dug?
Passed up new opportunities that you now regret?
Those aren’t intuitive decisions. Those are fear of being hurt. Instinctive behaviors probably developed as a result of a painful experience. And the only way I see moving away from those patterns is to search and destroy.
So today I’m acknowledging my big fears. Calling that shit out.
The really scary stuff.
Because I’m pretty sure that’s the only way I’ll be able to intercept those instinctive patterns. I may not be able to control the feelings, but I can control how I respond to them.
Because I choose to be ruled by intuition instead of instinct.
Because living is more important.
*Shout out to my intuition for guiding me to this place. YOU ARE THE BEST.