To the Over-Thinkers,
I know who you are. I know how you think. I am one of you.
The morning starts, and every decision is a big one.
What do I wear? Who will be there; what will they be wearing; what’s the weather; what clothes are clean; what do I need to wear later this week; what am I feeling; why am I feeling that; maybe I should be feeling something else -
What should I do? What is most important; no who is most important; why is it so important; what does this say about the type of person I am; do I want to be that type of person; how do I change things I don’t like about the person I am; how do I even know what needs to be changed about myself -
You see so many factors in everything. All these factors can be analyzed, have meaning derived, and make a difference in how you live. Or, they could, if you could over-think about all of them—which you definitely think you should be able to pull off.
I know what it’s like to a mind spewing a constant narrative of existence about this and that and the weather and your pair of socks and that new TV show and the new girl and that new idea and that old memory.
But I know what it’s like on a deeper level, too.
I know what it’s like to have a constant steam of thought that you can tap into not only about what’s going on outside of you but also about what’s going on inside of you.
Who are you? Why are you? Why is it all this way?
It can be an unrelenting torrent where you feel like you could get lost forever amid its waves.
I know. (Oh, I know.)
But I have three words for you: it is okay. It’s okay.
I want to tell you this: you can’t control it all. That perfect decision about what you’re going to do and the person that you’re going to be? You can try your best to over-think all the factors and make the best decision, but so many factors influence the way we think about things. So much is going on external to your internal consciousness that you can’t even begin to comprehend. And that’s okay. Sometimes, what you really need to do is stop. And breathe. And remember these things.
Chances are, it doesn’t matter as much as you might (over)-think it does.
If you’re caught up in what you’re doing and miss saying hi to that one person you really want to get to know, it’s okay. Chances are, you’ll have another chance, but if you don’t, it’s still okay.
What’s important is that you stop and don’t let yourself get consumed by what you’re thinking they’re thinking about what you’re thinking about them.
Let yourself be free from constantly thinking about other people’s thoughts about you; it wastes time. Kills your energy. Sucks your joy. And does nothing to the other person.
Instead, act with confidence.
Say hi if you want to and don’t incessantly self-condemn if you slip up. It’s okay.
Remember this: life is good. (Really, it is.)
I dare to even call it messy and imperfect, but it’s perfectly imperfect and messily beautiful.
And you, over-thinker, you think so much. You notice so much.
What if you tried to start noticing much of this: much of what around you that makes you smile, that makes other people smile, that reminds you of the things that make life worth living, and that brings you hope when you think about all that’s yet to happen in your life?
Try thankfulness, over-thinker, and think about that.
Think about the ways that you can see the imperfect mess as perfectly flawed but still full of opportunities to laugh and learn about yourself and about other humans struggling through existence with you.
Think about ways that you can see the people around you (and not just about yourself and your thoughts and your decisions and your thoughts about other people’s thoughts).
Think about how you can serve—serve the people existing with you.
You can think about what they’re thinking, or you can think about how you can meet their needs today, make them smile a little more freely, and make them feel love a little more clearly.
Yes, (oh yes, dear over-thinker), you can think about this.
You can act from what you think about this.
You can put that ability to see and (over)-think deeply to use that makes a positive difference: that sees the world through the lens of thankfulness and sees others through the eyes of service.
Imagine what we could accomplish if we over-thought about that.