Paranoia or Instinct?

As many of you will know, we almost bought a retail outlet in Cornwall this month.

Fortunately, fate conspired to steer us away from potential disaster and probable financial ruin.  However, for weeks, we ignored those niggly wiggly feelings in our stomachs.  Why?

Why do we, as rationale, intelligent human beings, ignore our gut instincts?  Why do we stay in failing relationships, negative friendships and/or soul-destroying jobs when something inside is screaming at us to leave?

The blame lies with our ditzy hearts.  The heart is like a love-sick teenager; unable to see what is in plain view; devoid of rationale. Who cares what danger may lie ahead, the heart feels too warm and fluttery to give a damn.  The heart seduces our logical brains into submission, like a big-busted barmaid hypnotising our drunken husbands.

I spent weeks researching which toys, teddies, sweets and fudge to stock in our beautiful harbour-side shop.  Sure, from time to time, I was a little concerned about making a living from a seasonal business, but to hell with logic, my heart had fallen in love with the dream.

I thought little about having to work seven days a week; not seeing my husband or children; having no holidays; dealing with irritating customers; being able to make enough money to pay the exorbitant running costs, plus my investor.  I just wanted to play shop.

I have done this many times in my life.  Skipped away with the dream and not hanging about long enough to listen to the doubters.

As Crowded House wisely chirruped: “Separate the fiction from the fact.  I’ve been a little slow to react.”  I’ll say.

Currently, I’m writing an article about an inspirational man coping with his earlier-than-planned visit from the Grim Reaper.  He is dying from cancer and has merely weeks to live.  He has accepted his inescapable fate and lives each day with serenity, peace and acceptance.

As we parted company, he embraced me warmly and told me that no matter what decision lays before me, I must always listen to my inner voice; my gut, for it never lies.

How ironic then, that a week after meeting him, I was totally oblivious I even had a gut.  It may have been protesting loudly inside me, but the noise was drowned out by my mischievous heart who wanted me to sell toys and treats to Cornish holidaymakers and locals.

As we prepare to relocate our family to Padstow, I’d like to say with certainty, we are making the right decision, but I can’t.  I am excited but terrified.  Is the apprehension nothing more than jitters about the unknown path before me, or is my inner voice trying to tell me we’re making a mistake?  And how do I know the difference?

Have you ever sat in an airport departure lounge wondering whether your plane will explode upon take-off?  Do you imagine terrorists taking control of the cock-pit?  Or, lightning striking the fuselage causing the little oxygen masks to drop before you?  Will you be able to use them? Why didn’t you listen to the safety briefing? If you land in the sea, can you stay in the water long enough to survive?  And what about the kids? Etc, etc, etc.  Are these queries just irrational but understandable worries or is your intuition subconsciously telling you not to board that plane?

I don’t know. I am not sufficiently spiritually enlightened to distinguish between instinct and paranoia.  If you are, I’d be grateful if you could drop me a line.

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4 thoughts on “Paranoia or Instinct?

  1. Ooh – what a close shave! Yes I always think those thoughts before boarding a plane, then I accept my fate will be what it will be and do it anyway! Instinct is what happens in the body – it’s a physical feeling – whereas paranoia is head centred. Once I entered a business relationship with an organisation that was bad news in the long run – pity at the time I didn’t pay attention to the ma-hoo-ssive headache I had at our first meeting. Should’ve listened to my body!!

  2. A lucky escape, my friend!

    I’m no more enlightened than the next guy, but there are some interesting books on the psychology behind this sort of thing. There’s also a way bonkers theory (by a possibly mentally ill chap) that we’re all living in a giant hologram and that all our decisions are being made for us by beings on the other side, in which case it would make no odds!
    (Why these beings would plant the idea in this guy’s head that he should tell us about them, I’ve no idea.)

    I’d guess your angst about the shop was trying to tell you something, but your butterflies about the second move are what Douglas Adams would call “perfectly normal paranoia.” 😉

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