It’s winter. I truly dislike this time of year. I live in Vermont, and winter pretty much starts in October, and ends in April. If it weren’t for a job, relationships, and lack of money, I would have moved south long ago.
I dread it. The shorter days, the subzero temperatures, the isolation. I tend to feel all alone in life anyway, but when winter comes, it’s even worse. And every year, I vow to make this season better for myself. I read books from authors I admire, I read articles on spirituality related websites. The advice is always the same: Winter is a time to go within, to find yourself and look for answers, and awaken in the spring. Well, I’ve done that. I do this in the summer for God’s sake. I’m always traveling within. Always looking for answers. I think I’ve gone within too far, and I may have gotten lost.
Going within yourself is a good thing, really. I’ve done this and I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve visited the mistakes from my past, and I’ve found why I made them and why I continued to for years. I’ve examined my insecurities and why they’re there. I’ve also learned to take responsibility for my own crap, and that blaming others doesn’t work, and working on myself does. These are all the things I’ve learned while searching for those answers within me. Great. Good for me. But there’s a time when I should stop.
Too much isolation can sometimes bring on too much thinking, which is what happens to me. Instead of thinking about the things I’m doing right, I’m thinking about the things I’m doing wrong. Everything is my fault. I create stories in my mind. I don’t hold anyone responsible for their actions. Just me. This is what happens when I go within a little to far. It’s easy to do. Not just for me, but for countless others who want to better themselves and change for the better. We think. And think, and think some more, and it’s exhausting.
So, recently after some intense thinking that left me tired and unable to do anything else, it hit me that this may be too much of a good thing for me, and people like me. Trying to examine your life and make yourself better is good, but over examination is not. We tend to take the good things we’ve learned and twist them. Overthink them into something they’re not, which leads to more thought. More examining. More critique from our inner voice. I’m not sure about anyone else, but I forget the lessons I’ve learned, and I’m no longer proud of them. Instead, I’m analyzing myself even more, and finding more issues, and, well, you get the picture. Overthinking can be torture, and that is what I do.
So, as difficult as it is, we probably deserve a break from this. We need a vacation from our minds. Maybe instead of winter being a time to go within, it could use a few breaks of distraction. And a reality check too. This is something for everyone to remember, and to remind yourself daily. I’m going to do my best to do this:
I am not the stories my mind creates for me. I am not a victim of my past. I have learned from my mistakes, learned why I made them, and I forgive myself. I take responsibility for my own thoughts and feelings and actions, and I hold people accountable for their treatment of me. Just because I own my own issues, doesn’t mean that everything is my fault, and I can be disrespected. I deserve love and kindness and respect, from myself, but also from others. My expectations of others are no higher than I place on myself. I’m a person that appreciates the lessons, and is self-aware enough to not take my past experiences or my insecurities out on anyone. Since these are rare qualities, I choose to believe that I’m rather a good friend and partner. I’ve worked hard for this. Please appreciate me as I appreciate you.
Soooooo, these are the things I overthink, and I’m done. I’m popping in a Golden Girls DVD and getting through one more cold winter night
Thank you for reading