You’d never believe it…but I had a thought today. Now, most know that doesn’t normally happen to me. Sometimes I fear I’m an idiot. But today, as I sat at my desk waiting to take my lunch, I had a realization.
My stomach started to rumble (embarrassing), and it occurred to me how miraculous that is. Like a serious, walk on water, miracle!!! Lemme explain…
[Cue bright light, harps, and unknown deep voice from above]
No, not miraculous in the “I see angels and holiness” kind of way. I’m not supposed to talk about that anymore. Plus, as my family will tell you, my stomach isn’t pleased with me pretty much ALL the time. I consume food like…umm…a small army. So I’m always some form of hungry.
But think about how odd hunger is…
Shouldn’t Hunger Come When We’re Hungry?
Logically, it would make sense we would feel compelled to seek food when we actually need it; when we’ve run out of our store of energy; when we NEED food or will die without it. But it doesn’t happen like that. We feel hunger long before that, at a state when we are actually entirely okay, and could still survive without anything to eat for days more even (provided we had water and at least the HOPE of Taco Bell).
Yet we recognize that twinge in our stomachs as hunger and seek food. Even babies. We are never taught it. It’s instinct. We feel the hunger (though no food is needed) and then seek food.
Why? Because the body knows it must act BEFORE it runs completely empty; BEFORE it will no longer be able to expend any energy AT ALL to find food, like a gas tank blinks before E, because when E is reached there is no hope of replenishment. It is stuck where it’s parked, like we will die where we lay – should we run out of energy entirely.
It comes from our days as hunter gatherers, I guess, when getting a meal required slightly more exerted energy than grabbing the car keys and driving to your nearest Cheesy Gordita Crunch dispensary. Because (like we all know), if you’ve gotta wrestle a buffalo to the ground in order to eat (as I manage from time to time), or face another day in a snowy cave without food, you better have the strength and energy to finish the job. Because the weeds under the snow aren’t as appetizing.
Instinct and Choice
Hunger, though, is miraculous…in us and every animal.
With no thought, teaching, or guide, we innately know to trust that instinct for our own survival.
But what other instincts ought we to trust? What other signals ought we NOT ignore?
Don’t we ALWAYS know what is best for our survival and our happiness, as our stomachs know when we need food, and our throats know when we need water?
Would our minds and bodies be so perfect in keeping us alive, yet so clueless in helping us choose the path to that survival – how we should spend our life, where, and with whom?
It seems instead we fight ourselves. We hesitate. We fear.
When we are tortured by difficult choices in our lives, it’s because we struggle against that instinct. Our fears and needs collide, and in that conflict lies our mental and emotional anguish.
“What should I do? What should I do!!!?”
You KNOW what to do. SOMETHING in you is telling you. But you’re afraid.
Trust your instincts.
But try not to stuff your face.
Is it an interesting idea? Are you gonna trust your instincts a bit more, or are you a cold, calculated planner? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!!! And please share this junk please! People need wise junk sometimes…