The Most Important Thing, Ever

I find I’m in a sort of pensive mood lately, both because of a sad event in a friend’s life, and of happy events in my own. So I’m going to write about the one thing that I would want to transmit to a child if I were ever to have one (unlikely). That thing is the importance of trusting your intuition.

Call it gut feeling, call it instinct, call it being visited by an angel (really, I won’t judge you); it’s a voice that’s inside everyone and it’s always right. Always.

A fun French song about going your own way.

No one can teach you to trust your intuition but yourself through an arduous process called “living and learning”. The most difficult aspect is being able to tell the difference between being overwhelmed by feelings about something generally (anxiety, fear, longing, excitement, etc.) and having a feeling regarding a situation because your wise inner-voice is trying to guide you toward the right thing.

I’ve gotten pretty good at following my intuition and it has brought me nothing but rewards. However, there have been a couple of instances in the last few years in which my anxiety got in the way, or I decided to follow outside advice rather than my own gut. A little over two years ago, afraid that my cat would be desperately lonely on her own, even with daily visits, I let friends convince me to let her stay in their home while I was away in Europe for 10 days. Two days before leaving, I actually had an insight – I should put the brakes on this whole thing! My precious kitty would be better off at home! But I told myself I was being a crazy anxious cat lady and that Shmoo would be fine.

She wasn’t.

I can only guess that stress caused her to eat her toys, one of which got stuck in her tummy. Soon after I got back, she stopped eating and drinking completely. Long story short: one operation, many I.V. drips, and thousands of dollars later, Shmoo was returned to health. My savings account took much longer to recover than she did.

Shmoo, almost 6 years old and still kicking

This lesson is especially important for women to learn because we’re constantly hearing well-intentioned, yet ultimately useless advice, like “Don’t walk alone at night”. Better advice would be “Don’t walk alone at night on the day you’ll be attacked”. Huh? Because I’m an adult person with a social life, I’ve walked alone at night countless times and not once run into danger! Telling women to always be with a friend, or always take a cab, is like telling us we should live sucky paranoid lives. On the other hand, if you feel that the perfectly civil guy talking to you on the bus is a creep, don’t be polite (he won’t be polite later when he’s trying to hurt you!).

I’d like to write an entire post on dating in your 30s and all the friendly advice a gal gets to “give him a chance”. One of my friends recently almost acquired a charming stalker by following that advice! At around the same time as she was giving the nice-on-the-outside/angry-on-the-inside man a chance, I was busy giving the good-on-paper guy a chance… Then I snapped myself back to reality and let myself feel what I already knew. I cancelled our date plans for that weekend and didn’t look back. My intuition was already pointing me somewhere completely different; I just had to trust myself.

So I hope I’ve given you something to think about. Life can hit us with a ton of stress, sadness, and fear sometimes. But at least we can always know, deep down, the best course of action to take. And let’s appreciate the beauty where we can find it.


  1. I have to say I’ve used my intuition with satisfying results, as well! One particular moment was when I chose my car. It was the last car most people in the lot would have looked at, but something told me that was the one for me. It hasn’t disappointed me yet (knock on wood)! It was a great purchase (although used) and I’ve had it now for seven years (she is coming to twelve years old). You never know how your gut feeling can affect your choices in life, but they are life savers many times.


  1. […] lastly, let’s go back to what I said about intuition. Though I do agree that sometimes sex (uh, I mean “cookies”) can cloud things or make […]

  2. […] other stuff and by friends who said I should give him a chance (I wrote about this very thing in another post). Needless to say, I came to my senses pretty quickly and moved […]

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