Over-thinking things is a capital offense (in terms of mind-alteration) that I am continuously and obnoxiously guilty of.
It is an art form in my world.
It’s not always a negative thing. Sometimes it’s fantastic in the way of business practice. I can imagine the outcomes, I can weigh the differences, I can imagine the most efficient way to arrive at a desired outcome.
Also, it can, at times, save me money. I can’t begin to explain how many times I’ve walked across department stores with selections folded across my arms (yes, both of them). I’ll fall in and out of love with an item, returning it to the shelf after 20 minutes of wandering and wondering. Why? Because I couldn’t imagine how to match it with something already in my closet. Or I could imagine wearing it…and someone thinking I look ridiculous.
Practicality isn’t always the driving force behind my constantly moving thoughts, though.
A lot of the time, it’s fear.
I live in constant fear that if I miss something, if I fail to consider some aspect of a situation, if I allow myself to simply believe the topical nature of happenings, that I will have missed it. And by “it,” I mean any number of terribly negative things.
I’ve spent a good amount of my life believing that people are, in most ways, genuinely good. To a certain degree, I still believe this. I look outside of my bubble and I examine other people’s relationships (romantic and otherwise) and I can’t possibly imagine anything negative happening between them. I can’t imagine one doing something hurtful to the other. I can’t imagine mishaps or disagreements or resentment.
Inside of my world, however, it’s a constant mental tug-of-war with people’s potential motivations.
I am constantly asking myself if people could genuinely be interested in who I am or what my ideas are. I am terrified to be the first to walk out of a room in fear that comments will fly about the way I look or how I act or things they’ve heard about me.
Additionally, I can dwell on these things until I make myself sick to my stomach.
It’s like that in my relationships, as well. You might think that falling in love and proclaiming your feelings of having done so would settle you into a secured relaxation.
For me, I fall right into some off-beat paralytic state where I completely lose hold of all the things that made them love me in the first place.
I start to over-analyze the things they say, the things they do, the way they are. If they steer from the path I’ve grown to know and love I’m suddenly aching in my chest, waiting for the demise of our relationship. I’m bracing myself for something that I don’t even know will happen.
I do that in friendships, too. People express a want to get closer to me and I turn into an awkward mess. I say and do odd things and then I go home at night and think…and think…and think.
It’s a painful process. One that I haven’t really put too much thought into considering until, well, right now, actually.
My motto when approaching a lot of things in life has always been to do my part to the best of my ability and in the best way that I know how. I always try my hardest to exercise positive intentions and overall just…good (don’t take that as some holier-than-thou nonsense, there’s no doubt I can be a real ass-hat sometimes).
Say, for a very generic example, giving money to a homeless person. I don’t know what they are going to do with that money. They could take it and buy drugs or whatever else and now I’m suddenly a contributing factor to their delinquency. However, I can’t control that. So I just do what I know how to do…I give. And then whatever decisions they make from that point forward is between them and whatever divine entity they believe in.
I’ve never been able to apply this to my relationships, though. I can’t just give and then let whatever happens, happen. I want to sit around after I’ve given what I could and watch. And as soon as they make the wrong move or disappoint me in some way, I want to stand on the nearest chair and proclaim that I knew it all along.
However, “knowing it all along” doesn’t ever make me feel any better than being blissfully ignorant to people’s potential intentions.
And so, when reading the below quote by Miss Mother Teresa this morning, I had a moment of clarity.
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
Sometimes, the very best thing that you can give yourself is to actively be, give, and do anyway.
Just. Let. Go.
(even though it seems impossible)