The Gut of Believing


For Carry On Tuesday Prompt #71  No one would have believed..’

First off, I’m tired today. Spent over half of yesterday being hauled through tests at the hospital, none of which took into consideration, the reality of my individual physical make-up. I cried, softly, quietly, but I cried. It hurt. A lot. And I so hate crying in public.

I got through all of the procedures, finally got home and tried to lie down and rest. The body went into gear and decided it was time to protest all the mistreatment that had been demanded in the hours prior to just trying to relax. Muscle spasms in weird places, which resulted in walking the cramps out, on legs and feet that were already screaming in rebellion.

Finally got back to bed, and almost asleep when the doctor called with the results that were not all positive. Another appointment for more examination of the findings tomorrow. Don’t ask, I won’t have a clue until then. Although I felt like the day had been lost, I got on my puter and proceeded to at least clear out my email account. Distracting myself, and it worked.

I had, earlier, posted an old poem that always held a bit of discomfort for me. The same discomfort I felt when writing it. It was about an incident that had happened long ago in my past. The discomfort came because I knew that my response was not the “norm.” In fact, it was directly in opposition to what I had been taught to believe.

Yet, when I wrote the poem, I knew that what I was writing was the only response that made sense. Not in my head, but in my gut. And there is, all too often, a lot of distance between those two realities. And that distance, I believe, is the major drawback when it comes to following ones intuitive leadings (especially when they come from the gut, not the head).

The head has all those associations to use as back-up support for whatever leading comes. The gut? It’s just a feeling, most often drifting free and disconnected. And then the head gets involved and starts up with all the questions: “Will anyone else believe this? Will they even understand? What will you say if they don’t? That you just have this gut feeling that makes it right?”

Knowing that a majority of people don’t understand or believe what they can’t see, put their hands on, measure with their own senses, is a difficult gap to traverse. And because I couldn’t, or didn’t, have the words to explain the stance that I took in that poem, just that feeling that it was absolutely right, left me with a feeling of disquiet. I never read the poem aloud, never published it.

But, I kept it in my files, occasionally coming across it as I rummaged through in search of something else. When that would happen, that accompanying doubt would immediately rise up, and I would put it right back in its little dark corner and go on to other things. At least I did that until the day before yesterday.

So why now, after all of these years, did I finally choose to post it? Because a prompt came up on one of the prompt sites, and the first thing that popped into my head was that particular poem. So, with very little thought, I printed it up and hit the publish button. And immediately got a bit swamped with all of those usual feelings and thoughts and questions.

You may have noticed that almost all of my postings, for the last few months, have been in response to a prompt of some sort or another. I am finding that letting go of the control of the matter, or subject, which I address is an incredible way to enhance my own intuitive faculties. And it also seems to allow my subconscious to come forward far more eagerly in response. It has become a path of self-exploration that I might have missed otherwise.

I respond to the comments left on my sites. Engaging in bits of conversation that often also come from an intuitive level. With the first comment on that poem, I knew a tremendous sense of release. I now had the words, the explanation that had not been available when the poem was originally written. My experiences, growth, and wider knowledge had supplied all of it. But, I wouldn’t have realized that until I shared the poem and the thoughts and feelings that were held within its circle.

That reality released me from all thoughts of whatever was going on in my body. Relaxed me in a way that felt like warm arms encircling me, holding me gently and with love and affection. The poem had come full circle, and so had I.

My ‘lost’ day became something else. A finding of self, a sure knowledge that I was in the right place, doing the right thing. And that, in turn, finally allowed me to relax and to eventually sleep undisturbed. Maybe no one else would have believed that was possible. That the mind and the body can and do cooperate to find the balance necessary for a fuller life experience. It doesn’t matter, I know, and that makes all the difference.

*This prompt was taken from the first line of the H.G. Wells novel, War of The Worlds, published in 1898.


About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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11 Responses to The Gut of Believing

  1. Hi Elizabeth. First of all good luck with whatever health issue you’re dealing with. Secondly, I so agree with you regarding the benefits of writing to a prompt to let go of control and go with your intuition. I never quite know what I will write when I start responding to a prompt and I love it. But thirdly: where can I read that poem you mention? Now I’m really curious! 🙂

  2. 1sojournal says:

    Hi Flying Monkey, my apologies, I usually cite related or connected pieces within the prose or poetry. However, I am still a bit wiped from yesterday and simply forgot to do it earlier. The poem can be found here:
    it is quite brief, but covers a lot of issues, mainly one. And I’m happy to hear that you also find a great deal of worth in the prompts. I have long been driven by the need for self-exploration and the prompts seem to work very well in that arena. I sometimes feel, as I move from prompt to promt, that I am actually drawing a map of the territory known as my own inner psyche. Hope you enjoy the poem,


  3. Mary says:

    Elizabeth, I am sorry about all the tests yesterday and some not-so-good results. You seem very philosophical about the whole ideal. It is more than I could be. My thoughts are with you, my friend.

  4. neil reid says:

    Elizabeth, that first paragraph alone sets the tone for all that follows. Deny any one part and the whole suffers as being taken as something less. I care and feel for your discomfort and pain, I do, yet I celebrate that you allowed yourself to look and speak from an understanding that allowed all possibilities, perhaps not even knowing where your willingness would lead.

    It is willingness such as yours here expressed in depth that most illuminates. Not just your own process, but the possibility for all of us.

    And your poem (and thank you for sharing that) moved from “normal” belief to the more enabled statement of faith that can allow all possibilities. Not that there’s anything wrong with normal or reasonable – that’s what safely gets us across the street and puts food in the bowl, useful ability certainly. But if that is the “only” of our lives then doesn’t that leave us wanting more? And that is where the uncertainty lives, the unreasonable, what simply “feels right” to us personally. (And where poems also emerge into broader light.)

    I was amused for the source of your opening line, “No one would have believed…”, which I didn’t initially recognize as from War of the Worlds. How appropriate at several levels! A war that was and wasn’t at the same time, and in which the answer was always there right from the beginning and carried right inside our very existence. Amusing!

    In the book I’m reading now, part source of those first two poems ‘circling’, what I read today seems fitting here. That one of the first steps is to recognize and acknowledge yourself for the long long journey that went “rightly” bringing yourself to this moment here, as grand and bright as our opportunity of life really is. Consider all the possible lesser results or states of being, all those that have been passed over now, being here. (Simple Western thought, how easily we give attention to the seeming “negative” memories, yet forget all that we are able and capable of just as we are.) Your progression here makes me think of that. Beauty is contained within every moment too.

    Thank you so much for sharing this Elizabeth.

    Your friend, Neil

    • 1sojournal says:

      Thank you, my friend. When I realized that I hadn’t cited the source of the prompt, I did so and started laughing. I often think of objective/subjective thought as a war, a continual battle taking place inside of me. Mind versus heart or gut. Makes no difference. Then realize that it is the soul that fills the gap between those two entities, and that is a satisfying thought that brings a great deal of gratitude with it.

      And I like what you say in reference to what you’ve been reading. I occasionally do a resume. Not because I am looking for work, I’ve been retired on disability for six years already. I do it to remind myself of where I’ve been, what I have accomplished, the many things I’ve learned over the years and all of those different moments and experiences. And, no matter how many times I do that little exercise, I am always astonished anew at just how far I have come to get to this place I am in. We can not recognize the place we are in, unless we first allow ourselves to be aware of where we have been.

      And yes, that makes for good poems, pieces of story that others might use as medicine as Clarrissa Pinkola Estes writes. Although I firmly believe that we ourselves are the ones who need to listen to that story, there is always someone else out there who needs that bit or piece as much as we do. That’s one of the reasons I do both the poetry and the prose. They often inform one another and it is that objective/subjective conflict being answered as I do it.

      Thanks Neil, for your comments and your friendship,


  5. nimaruichi says:

    Glad that you came to “A finding of self, a sure knowledge that I was in the right place, doing the right thing.”
    As for Beyond Black & White, I understand the “No”. As you have pointed out, there is much healing and resolving that must take place before forgiveness can happen.
    Take care.

    • 1sojournal says:

      Thank you Nimaruichi, I plan on doing just that. I will not be going alone today. My younger sister and oldest daughter will be with me. I figure three pairs of ears (even if two of those need hearing aids), are far better than one pair, trying to absorb information and stay calm at the same time, will allow.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read both pieces. I truly believe that writing about the process is as important as the poem and its creation. Although I am a former writing instructor, I learn a great deal when I put the two side by side and let them truly inform one another, as well as myself.


  6. First I would like to agree with you. It is intrusive to have to go for tests, to be told you are not OK. I try to hold my breath, and pretend I am somewhere else. It seems they are my enemies. I don’t like giving up control of who I am, what I’m doing and where I am. I wish I could have been with you, and we would have giggled and played a game we would have created together. Since I am not there with you, I will hold a sacred place for you, and you will know this. Everything is going to be OK. I am so sorry they hurt you, but delighted you found a balance and harmony. You might say, in that struggle you won!

    • 1sojournal says:

      Annell, thank you for this, bunches. The image of the two of us giggling and laughing, perhaps inventing stories about the people around us, made me laugh out loud. I will take the image of that sacred place you have created with me to my appointment shortly. You may not be there, but you will be. Thank you, my friend,


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