Its common to encourage people not to over think, or to believe that thinking isn’t healthy. “Don’t over think things!” people say. There’s even a song I’m kind of fond of that croons,”Honey don’t think about it too much now…” I’m not so sure thinking or over thinking is the problem as much as what you’re thinking is.
An example: over the last year or two, a relationship in my life has changed, as they often will, and developed a bit of a negative aspect. There were events, feelings hurts, etc. I’ve been having a hard time letting it go and couldn’t figure out why. After the initial hurt feelings, I usually move past things and let the cycle of life continue. But this particular situation has nagged at me and brought out the ugly sides of myself I don’t really like, such as bitterness and cattiness.
The other day I spent a few hours on a Wild and Scenic River kayaking with some good friends. Going kayaking is like going to a really good therapist. Surrounded by the raw beauty of a river left as untouched as possible, I was able to really spend some time thinking and then over thinking this situation. There had to be more to it then the he said-she said part. There had to be a root issue I was dealing with in a not so healthy matter. I want to do the hard work on myself, the dirty, terrifying work that ends up creating a whole person. I’m not content to live my days in a self induced haze of false self-acceptance.
Why was I so upset? What was the root issue? The more I thought about it, the more I could trace my immediate, outward reactions backwards through a chain to the root issue. Insecurity caused me to feel a combination of being threatened and jealous, which led to being super sensitive and defensive. This led to bitterness and holding a grudge.
Insecurity. Most days I’m convinced this is the root of all problems.
This morning I went bike riding with my guru, a very wise man with whom I always enjoy discussing the deeper things of life. I explained this situation to him, and my thoughts from kayaking. His encouragement that we always have to be working on ourselves was reaffirming. We talked about thinking, and the process of it. It’s ok to think and analyze. We need to. If we don’t think or analyze, we risk falling into a rut; a life of straight lines where we are lulled into complacency by the comforts of ‘relaxation’.
Its what we think about so much that’s important. If I had merely stewed on my hurt pride, analyzing every way my feeling were hurt and how it wasn’t my fault, I would remain a bitter, catty person. But I want to become a beautiful person, and not that I’m not one already, but I want to spend my life getting better and better. If that means coming face to face with my insecurities and how they can damage relationships, then I need to spend some time thinking about that. I want to spend time sitting with myself, doing the hard work.
And so now, I’ll spend some time thinking about this insecurity that seems to be causing issues. And I’m sure in a month I’ll be sitting on my incredible porch over thinking a new issue. One thing I know, until you are completely ok with yourself, you will never be completely ok or non judgmental of other people. So now I get to think about how to be more ok with myself.