Lately, I can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong. That something bad is about to happen. Like a dog sensing an approaching storm I sense wrongness in the air, I feel it in my bones, in my thoughts, in my troubled dreams. Call it what you like, intuition, premonition or a gut feeling — the sense of impending danger is strong. — Something bad is about to happen!
SOMETHING BAD IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN
Back in my teenage years, my father owned a used lumber company and I, when not in school, would help out whenever I could. This usually involved going to prearranged sites with a few other workers and heavy-lifting lumber manually on the back of the company’s straight-truck.
On one such occasion, we had just finished loading a huge pile of long loose 2 x 4’s and 2 x 6’s from a field behind a trucking transport company. When the last piece was thrown up high on the already massive load sitting on the trailer, I had my doubts. It seemed obvious to me that the truck was overloaded, the pile too-big and too-high for the size of the truck.
Still, I was a teenager working among men and so I kept my opinion, to myself. Kept it, even after I was the one chosen to climb up on top of this huge, haphazardly thrown pile of uneven lumber and secure it with binders. Long heavy chains secured to each side of the trailer, thrown over the load and tightened by cranking an attached binding steel lever.
So, atop this mountainous load I carefully climbed and started tightening the binders. The chains and the wood itself creaking and groaning as the tension increased. Worried the wood might be splitting, I looked down at the crew chief in charge but he kept signaling to bind even tighter and that’s when the sudden flash of impending danger fell over me.
A gut feeling — that something bad was about to happen!
The feeling was so strong that I immediately stopped binding and set the lever to lock. Still in a crouched position, I was just starting to rise when the first of the three load-secure-chains — snapped!
The sudden release of pent-up tension snap-whipped the heavy chain free, prompting the other two to follow, whistling like Buzz-saws as they cut through the air.
An instant later, a massive rolling avalanche of tumbling lumber ensued, scattering the men on the ground like frightened children. Shouts of “Look out!” ringing through the air.
As for me? Well, I was no-longer atop the pile of falling lumber.
Nor was I laying injured beneath the fallen load.
In fact, I watched all of this happening safely on the ground and from a safe distance. Somehow, mere seconds before it happened and without conscious awareness of what I was doing, I leapt from the top of the pile literally flying through the air and landed safely away from the trailer. Safe from the exploding load and the whipping of the chains that once held it.
Between the leap and the landing, I have no memory. But the shock of amazement in the faces of the workers seeing me on my feet unharmed and away from the danger, said it all. They thought it a miracle!
But I knew better. I’d been forewarned!
Something bad was about to happen!
So, was it my Guardian Angel, or did my brain simply take charge of my body before I even knew what was happening that day? Either-or, the gut feeling I had in advance most-likely saved me from serious injury. Yet how crazy is that? Having a feeling that something bad is about to happen — and then it does?
According to science, not crazy at all! Simplified, their explanation has to do with the way our brain observes our surroundings, calculates, then predicts outcomes based on memory and experience. Using our senses, it sees things we do not, thus sensing danger before we ourselves are consciously aware.
In other words, we are all blessed with an early warning system that triggers when our brain senses something isn’t right. Something out of the norm of our usual experiences that may be of risk to us. The message, then passed on to our consciousness in the form of emotions; uneasiness, suspicion, even fear or anxiety.
A Gut feeling is born!
The unconscious inner-workings of our brain in sensing danger, is one thing, getting the message to us in a strong enough manner so we react, is another. In my case, the sense or feeling of imminent danger was strong, even overwhelming. Yet gut-feelings can be, perhaps usually are, more subtle and less alarming.
A distrust, unease or nervousness of a person, place or situation. A nagging feeling that something isn’t right that you just can’t put your finger on. An intuition or bad feeling about an upcoming event followed by a strong urge not to attend. Just a few examples of alert messages in the form of gut feelings.
On the flipside, our gut feelings can be more urgent and persistent. A sudden suspicion that you are being followed or heading towards danger for example. Perhaps accompanied by goosebumps or an immediate urge to seek safety. Much-akin to our inherent ‘fight or flight’ instincts, this is your brain warning you that danger may be imminent. Followed by an automatic enhancement of focus and alertness.
Still, not all of us react to, or even trust our gut feelings. And those that do, not all of the time! After all, if we responded to every single feeling of “something doesn’t feel right” we’d never have the courage to leave the safety of our shelters and sate our curiosities of this beautiful world we live in.
Then again, there are many that believe that one should never ignore their gut feeling. It is, after all, an inherent primordial warning system that’s there to keep you safe. Perhaps not 100% accurate in predicting immediate danger, nor all of the time, however in the long-run more intuitive then not. Ignoring these subconscious warnings they say, is akin to rolling the dice.
TO HEED OR NOT TO HEED
So, do you roll the dice when it comes to your gut-feelings? Do you ignore them or trust them reacting with caution accordingly? Perhaps you even have a story of your own, an incident or event when your gut-feeling proved to be true? It may take some searching in the old memory-melon, but my guess is that ‘you too’ have had occasions or incidents of foreboding danger — unexplained.
Perhaps we should all listen more closely to our warning system when it tries to alert us of possible danger. When an overwhelming gut-feeling arises, maybe its in our best interest to heed its alarm.
After all, it’s there for a purpose, tried tested and true. Utilized by our prehistoric ancestors to better their survival yet still functionally available in all of us today.
So the next time your Spidey-senses are tingling.
And you get a gut-feeling something isn’t right.
Will you heed its warning?
Something Bad Is About To Happen!
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