Several weeks later, I had to take my own advice. Alfs was sick, and getting sicker, and had I not taken him to the doctor that morning, I fear the outcome would have been entirely more horrible. I'm not exaggerating.
The trouble is, in the din of our daily lives, it's sometimes hard to hear what the gut instinct is saying. It's hard to be still for even a few seconds and ask ourselves, "What is going on here? Is everything okay?"
Most days, thankfully, the gut instinct isn't really needed. But learning to feel it in the not-so-tough times can help us identify it better in the tough times. That can be the even trickier part.
Very occasionally, my instinct is so strong that it manifests itself in the form of nausea and there is no mistaking it. Usually, though, it's when I stop, take a breath, and ask myself what I am really feeling that I can hear and listen to the instinct. I can ask myself, "What do I need to do here? What is the right thing to do?" Sometimes I do that just to recenter my day and look for the feeling of, "Yes, everything is okay. It's going to be okay."
I remain extremely thankful that I listened to my instinct that day several years ago when Alfs was sick. I learned to listen to myself and it has helped me in many ways since then. From little to huge things, when my spidey sense tingles, I listen.
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