I didn’t listen to my Gut last fall. My Gut told me it wasn’t the right time for the Dude and I.

I told my Gut to fuck off.

In return, my Gut decided that not only did I need to learn how to listen, I also needed a big lesson in forgiveness.

Last weekend, I read a book that at some point talked about forgiveness. It said, “Forgiveness is removing your hands from the other person’s throat.” It went on to say that forgiveness is not forgetting . . . it is not NOT being angry . . . it is not having a relationship with the person who wronged you.

Just let go of the other person’s neck.

The book said to forgive so God can do his own work with that person.

Just let go of the other person’s neck.

The book said one may have to forgive a thousand times that first day. But each day that follows will take less and less repetitions, until at last the forgiveness will actually take root. The point is to say the words and get to work on it.

As I lay trying to sleep last night, I said the words out loud. I forgive you Dude.

I got a nudge from the Gut. Fine.

I said the words, I forgive you TatSkank (yes I used their real names.)

I got a nudge from the Gut. Fine. Fuck you.

I forgive you woman who mistreated my father and my family and me.

I said them again and again.

Then I felt better. Hm.

Today, Alex and I drove 4 states to take him to Scout. I got on the road trying to be open minded about the whole nine hours on the road thing. I did pretty well with it.

At the times he was occupied with something else, I continued that “I forgive you” repetition.

Including forgiving myself.

Three hours into the drive, Alex was asleep and I was thinking about other things – and I had the thought “text the Dude [message]”.

I shook my head. Uh. Was that me or you? I asked. I waited. I was pretty sure that wasn’t me. Cuz I was protesting. I’m on a 40 day break. I haven’t finished the house painting (another limit I’ve put on myself.) I don’t wanna. Oh and a lot of WTF?

“Text the Dude [message].”

Okay now seriously – NOT ME.

My hands were shaky.

I felt a little . . . excited . . .

Gut or me . . . Gut or me . . .

I was trying to figure out which of us it was. I was thinking of all those rules I have set to keep me protected. I was also doubting that this was my Gut talking.

Plain as day, a saying I haven’t thought of in years came to me.

“Some of life’s finer moments come from outside the parameters we set for ourselves.”

FINE. Gut was kicking my ass.

So I picked up the phone. Sent the text with the message.

And then forgot about it.

Okay well didn’t forget EXACTLY.

There was none of that back and forth of “will I hear from him” or “did I do the right thing”. I’d done what my gut told me needed to be done and that was that.

No clue why it was so important, but since my whole life is an exercise in listening, I figure I passed this particular lesson.