Is the Gut Instinct – The God Instinct?

This is the thought that popped into my head around 1 am Monday morning, as I awaited for my husband to return home from picking our daughter up from the V music festival in Chelmsford.

I don’t know about you, but for me, it doesn’t need to be any particular time of day, for a thought like this to punch its way in.

I have been struggling with a gut that is playing me up, since returning to the UK. I have Irritable Bowl Syndrome (irritable being the defining and directional word in this for me.) The last time I experienced it,  was when pregnant with my second child. At the time  I was supporting my mother as her cancer entered its final stage. Being there for my father, a man who couldn’t face losing his life long partner of over 50 years. Working which I felt was personally for me, as it supported my dreams. Married and missing tremendously, a husband whose job took him away five days a week and bringing up my first born. In one way I think the IBS was totally understandable. My life was totally out of balance.

I’m always interested to see what others have to say or think, so  I thought I would make use of social media and put this very question to one of my favourite writers-Elizabeth Gilbert-to see what she or followers on her fan page came up with.

Personally I have come to experience, that if I follow my gut, it leads me in the right direction in living the kind of life I want, but when I start to over analyse, then it seems I lose the ability to live it.

The other problem I have, is surrounding being around my children (albeit only recently grown up ones.) I love to spend time in relationship with them, but I also love to spend time in relationship with me. My desire for freedom takes me away(far away, over to the other side of the world in fact and I want to be there as much as I possibly can – I know my hubby wants to come too) but my love brings me back.

So my first leap straight to New Zealand, a short while back may have been a leap to far in one way but a much needed necessity in another.

So folks take a peek at what’s written below and tell me what you think about the subject.

This is what Liz Gilbert wrote:

‘A friend of this page named Janice raised this question in a post yesterday, wondering if there is some sort of faint thread that attaches us to the divine, and whether messages arrive for us in what we call our guts (our core, the center of us, the belly of the beast, the most sensitive and secret part of our physiology — the part that is not so distracted by our minds that it can’t hear the truth

 What do you Guys think?

Is this where the truth comes in?

The most profound example of gut instinct I ever experienced was when I was in love with a man who simply could not love me healthily in return. But, twisted as the relationship was, I was crazy about this guy. I would have done anything for him, including lose my dignity completely. All I wanted was to be near him. Yet every night, when it came time to sleep beside him, my gut would keep me awake, shouting this message through my whole being: “GET THE HELL OUT OF THIS BED — IT’S NOT SAFE FOR YOU HERE!”  And that alarming voice in my belly kept me awake, night after night, month after month, forbidding me to relax in that man’s bed, until I finally had no choice but to listen…and to leave. Because my gut was absolutely right. There was nothing for me but danger in that love story. Danger and ruin. And my gut was not going to relent its agitation until I was out of there and safe. I honestly think if my gut could have pushed me out the window, it would have — just to get free.

There’s an old adage: “The heart wants what it wants.” Yeah, sure…but even more powerfully: “The gut knows what it knows.” 

So where does that instinct come from? Who is guiding the messenger within? Is this how God speaks to us? Or is it our own pre-intellectual instincts? And how often, and how carefully, do you listen to it? When has it saved you?’

Now, coming from a church upbringing, I always have to question whether or not this dictates my views and beliefs. One of the first books I owned, loved to read and pressed flowers in, was the Children’s Bible. So I’ve also included this piece from the Huffington Post posted by another of her readers to try and balance things out:

Complex and Hidden Brain in Gut makes Stomachaches and Butterflies.

On reading the above, I actually think it’s a bit of both but I’d love to know your thoughts…

3 thoughts on “Is the Gut Instinct – The God Instinct?

  1. Hi, I read your post with interest. Firstly, when you first had IBS, were you worried it was some sort of gut cancer, because until I looked up the symptoms on the internet and got a virtually 100% correlation, I was worried. I think that made it worse.

    On the other matter of gut versus intellect (or analysis as you called it, I believe the gut thing is a powerful intuitive warning mechanism that comes into play when all else has failed. I don’t think we are led astray by our intellects, as they are meant to operate (as the churches would like us to believe) but led astray by an undisciplined intellect that has problems. The whole relationship between emotions and intellect is fraught with troubles but I feel sure that if you your intellect had been functioning properly, you would not have got yourself into a dangerous relationship in the first place, only to be rescued at the last minute by your emergency intuition capability.

    At the risk of sounding like my purpose, here, is to self promote, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell I have written on this broad subject and that you can look at a sample of my book on Kindle. Zetetics and the Art of Identity explores the relationship between emotions and intellect along with the effects that different aspects (including religion) have on that relationship. So if this subject does interest you deeply and you can give over a week or two of your spare time to read it, simply Google Zetetics and the Art of Identity Matt Mason and the Amazon site should be amongst the first or second pages of results.

    Happy reading, and I would like to know more about the IBS, because I’ve had it a while now, am on a strict diet and have had a degree of success, but it’s slow work and I wonder if I’ll ever be quite back to normal.

    Best Regards,


    1. Hi Matt,
      thanks for your comment – it is greatly appreciated.
      Firstly, yes initially I was worried, which was why I hotfooted it down to my GP to get looked at and checked out medically.
      I think the relationship part you read about is not to do with me but insight from another, whom I quoted.
      My IBS kicks in when I spread myself to thin in supporting others, as at the same time emotional experiences are happening within my life. What I have discovered is that as soon as I find balance again my IBS calms down, as it has now and is pretty much quiet.
      If it is of any help to you – I found that first thing in the morning, instead of my quintessentially English cup of tea, to start the day with, instead I turned to fresh ginger and +10 manuka honey. Eating fresh and natural has seemed the best way to go – lots of rice, fresh veg, ginger and thai spices.
      I will take a look at what you’ve written. Thanks for the info.



  2. This is amazing information. My gut never lies and it has helped me make career choices and relationship choices as well. I think it is gods way of warning us. Thank you for this post!


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