I do. And I can tell you with total conviction it is really fucking hard. Damn near impossible.
So what do I mean by everything?
I once heard a tale about a woman who refused to leave her lousy marriage. By all accounts she was quite miserable. Daily. But she didn’t want to lose/leave her brand new kitchen. So she stayed.
Then there was the gal who stayed for the kids. For years and years she stayed for the kids. Her husband was emotionally abusive and any love they had once shared was long dead and buried. But she stayed.
And then there was the heavyhearted wife who did leave. After years of anguish and trying and therapy and torment, she finally left. She did not leave an abusive man, her marriage by many would have been described as just fine, her husband is a good guy much loved by his children and their life together was by no means ugly. But she left. She left because she was unfulfilled. And she had been too-long unfulfilled and had no idea how to attain fulfillment within that union. Her attempts had been exhausted. She was exhausted. Somewhere, somehow she knew that the remainder of her life would be best served differently. So she walked away from everything.
Was this me? Well … no. And yes. I am not the only one, this I know. But I too found myself in that confusing, agonizing conundrum. On the surface my life had everything. A beautiful home on a country acreage, a more than adequate bank account, a lovely husband who cared for me, nice cars, frequent travel, private school for our child and pretty much any old thing that my heart desired. Except … what my heart desired.
Now, please allow me to digress here for a moment. Because my heart desiring leads me to another point. I once read that you should never trust your heart and you should never trust your head because they both always have an agenda. And they will both fight formidably to achieve that agenda, no matter what the other guy argues. Who you should trust is your gut. Because your gut doesn’t have an agenda. No motive. No endgame. Your gut is just there to remind you that something’s up. Something bad. Something good. Something fishy. Just something. You should never ignore your gut.
So there was I, Heart and Head in full bloody battle, and for many years I stayed. I stayed because I was conflicted between heart and head. Heart said “Go!” Heart wanted me to sally forth and find a different kind of love. One that would fulfill me in ways I could only imagine. Head countered “Stay!” Head couldn’t figure out why anyone in their right mind would leave the sweet deal I was living. It was a damn sweet deal, I can tell you that. And I wasn’t entirely miserable and it wasn’t just about a kitchen. I could have just sucked it up, put on my big girl panties and stayed.
But then Gut kicked in. And Gut reminded me that this inner conflict had gone on for a very long time. Gut reminded me that the future was most certainly uncertain but as my everyday life was swimming in uncertainty maybe finding my way away from my everyday life was the only true path to figuring out why everything was so uncertain and finding the certainty I craved.
Yeah … Gut is never very eloquent. What Gut is is persistent. Gut doesn’t let you get away with shit. All the skirmishes that Head or Heart may win along the way don’t worry Gut one bit. Because Gut never gives up. Ever. Gut just keeps nudging you and nudging you until finally you listen. Gut doesn’t give you a solution like both Head and Heart clamour to do. Gut just reminds you that something must be done. And trust me, Gut will keep reminding you until you do something.
And that, my friends, is how I was able to walk away from everything. I simply could not stand the thought of Gut bugging my ass day in, day out, ad infinitum.
These days my gut is surprisingly quiet. Oh sure, I get the occasional pang and when it happens I am sure to check in immediately and establish what is amiss. But the beautiful thing about my beautiful gut is that when I do pay attention and then act accordingly my life becomes decidedly more simple. Simple and honest.
I am not here to judge anyone for the choices they make, the marriages they leave or stay in or the kitchens they love. But take it from the girl who had everything, simple and honest is everything. At least it is to me.
Thank you, Gut.