Trusting in instincts

Jeanette - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on September 27, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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In the last few weeks, I’ve made lists, written journals, participated in discussions, and read other peoples personal stories about beliefs. I’ve questioned the reasons behind my morals and values, and wondered why I have certain attitudes and feelings towards some subjects or ideas. After the writing, talking to my peers, and reading other peoples personal accounts of their own beliefs, I’ve been able to form my own. I believe in being responsible and in making good choices. I believe in meaning everything you say and always making your best attempt to do the right thing. However, the most important thing I’ve discovered in my quest to detail my personal beliefs, is that I believe in following your instincts.

When you are following your instincts, you trust yourself to make decisions and choices. Instincts are motivational and impulsive, and don’t require hours of thinking or consideration. In any situation, I believe that your initial reaction is what you should act on, and listening to what your head is telling you rarely has any negative consequences. There have been so many situations where I didn’t listen to myself, and often wished that I’d acted differently, rather than simply accept what was going on around me. I’ve witnessed people doing drugs, I’ve covered for friends that lied to their parents, I hid a drunken friend in my bedroom and I’ve been in the car with a slightly intoxicated driver. I am always aware of the situations I put myself into, and despite the fact that I wasn’t the person taking the drugs, lying to my parents, hiding, or driving while under the influence, I was just as guilty.

In every situation where something I believe to be morally wrong is taking place, my first instinct is to remove myself from the chaos and not subject myself to possibly harmful circumstances. When something is wrong, I immediately recognize it. Whether it’s a gut feeling or the initial reaction of something not being right, I know it. I realize that I don’t always make the best choices for myself, but I am simultaneously able to realize that I am the person most affected by my decisions. My choices are entirely my own and are not typically influenced by other peoples opinions.

I truly believe that in every instance, my instant reaction is right. I know that taking drugs is both wrong and illegal. I know that I shouldn’t help people lie to their parents or cover for them when the lie falls through. I know that hiding a drunken friend only gives the impression that I don’t mind their drinking, and I know that being in a car with a driver who has been drinking is a stupid choice that puts my life in danger. In all of these situations, I was initially against them, but persuaded myself to look past what was going on and ignore what my head was telling me. When I don’t listen to myself, or don’t trust myself when I know what’s right, I always regret it.

There has not been a single situation where I didn’t trust my instincts and didn’t immediately regret it. I believe that people should trust themselves first, more than anything else and I believe this, because I know what is right for myself. I’m not proud of every choice I’ve made, but I’ve been able to recognize where I messed up, and correct it before I let it happen again. Even though I’ve been a witness to several things I didn’t agree with, I’ve had ample opportunities to listen to myself and make better decisions. I’ve left parties when things started to get out of hand, I’ve told people that I didn’t want to see them smoke or take other drugs, and I’ve demanded to be the driver when a person was under the influence.

In listening to myself, I’ve been able to understand my own reasoning and choose to always follow my instincts and trust that I’m making the right decision for me.