Sunday, November 17, 2013

rethinking overthinking

The most frustrating thing about being me, aside from beating off all the admirers due to my ravishing good looks, is my tendency to overthink a situation.  Usually I am compelled by my subconscious to reconsider some past event, one that went horribly awry and was nowhere close to the resolution I would find to my liking.

I know these two points to be true:  1) I cannot change the past by thinking about past events, and 2) I cannot alter future events by thinking alone.  The past is done.  Continuing to reflect on those events will bring nothing new or useful to my life.  And the future, well, action trumps thought every time.

My problem is that overthinking is a compulsion for me.  A thought takes hold and rather than let it go, it tumbles over and over, like steel beams inside a cement mixer, clanging and banging, demanding my attention.  To quiet my mind I mistaken treat the invading thought like a puzzle to be solved.  Foolhardily I think that if I "solve for x" I will be able to move on from that thought.  Not so fast, my friend...

What I have to accept is that there are no solutions to many of these thoughts.  I realize that most of them simply circle around, waiting for a moment of weakness to strike.  Talking them out is no longer an option either, as I have broached these subjects in private therapy, support group settings, and one-on-one conversations.  There is nothing more to say.

However... rather than overthinking a subject, I ought to rethink the overthinking.

A few days ago I stumbled upon a new mantra, for when the self-hate or self-loathing or destructive negative self-talk kicks in:

This will not be resolved today.

This does not have to be resolved today.

Not today.

Not now.

Just for today I will put this thought aside and focus only on what I need to exist in the present moment.

This tactic is not me bottling up or suppressing my feelings.  More to the point, it feels like I am a ignoring the neighborhood bully that thrives on attention from his victims.

So whenever that bastard comes around again, I'll stare him in the eye and say simply "Not today, motherfucker.  You won't get at me today."

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