Rev. LaWanda Smith Long, MDiv-Lead Chaplain, Cancer Treatment Centers of America
We have all heard the phrases “listen to your gut, or pay attention to your gut.”
We all have experienced those gut and intuitive feelings that seem to be trying to tell us something. Many times we ignore those gut messages because they cause us to pause and ponder. We dismiss them as nothing and refuse to listen to them.
What are those gut messages? As a chaplain and minister, I would like to assert that sometimes those gut messages may be an inner witness of God’s voice speaking to us about hidden truths about what is going on in our body, soul or spirit.
As a mnemonic device, I use the word gut as an acronym: G.U.T, as in God Uttering Truth. In honor of colorectal cancer awareness month, I want you to consider trusting your spiritual G.U.T. God speaks truth to our inward parts. God speaks truth to our inner being where we have a sense of peace and tranquility far from our worries and fears.
I invite you to explore those G.U.T. messages by listening to your body, your soul and spirit. Quiet your spirit to hear what God is trying to tell you on a practical level about your health and about your life.
Perhaps your spiritual G.U.T. is telling you to go to the doctor and check out that unexplained symptom. Trust your G.U.T. and go. Sometimes your G.U.T. may say to get that second opinion about a diagnosis or treatment without feeling guilty. Trusting your spiritual G.U.T. will help you find your voice and become a participating advocate for your health and wellbeing.
After you listen, start to talk. Talk to your family about medical issues that may run in your family. Talk to your doctors about symptoms you are experiencing, no matter how embarrassing the description of the symptom may seem. Communicate with others and stay connected to those who can help you.
Stay connected to your loved ones, your faith community, friends and medical community. Most importantly, stay connected to you. Stay positive and maintain a spirit of hope.
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