I was thinking this morning. And by thinking, I mean overthinking. Thinking about my current desires. And thinking about how I think about them. It’s really a never ending stream of overthinking.
Fortunately for me, this naturally resulted in an over-thinker’s dream – a thought I get to beat to death. What was the thought? It is the same one I’ve been mulling over for weeks. Thoughts about moving on from my ex and embracing a new (casual sex) relationship with someone I’ve admired for quite some time. Only problem is, while I’m thoroughly overthinking it, I’m overthinking it the same way I always have. And the whole point of this path of self awareness I’m on is to switch that up. So I’m going to take a new approach to the overthink .
Before we begin I do want to point out the bonus of all this overthinking. And that bonus is time. Overthinking buys us the time we need to give our emotions time to settle and wisdom time to rise to the top.
Overthinking – Old vs New
You may recall, every inch of my body said to jump in with this person. After the ridiculous debacle of my ex, all the suffering that relationship caused proved one thing. I am ready to feel passion for someone again. I am also ready to have someone feel passion for me. I’m all about the reciprocity these days.
Because I was busy overthinking, it took a little time for me to realize that I was letting my sacral chakra guide me. Don’t get me wrong. It feels amazing. But I know, deep down, where this type of relationship would lead us. And there was a deeper truth between us which I needed to honor.
Justification is Not Truth
I’m really good at justifying pretty much anything that I want. True, I’m a worrier, but can also throw caution to the wind at the appropriate time for the momentary pleasure. Oh. I always regret it. But the moments of pleasure are always worth it in the “short run.” But if I threw caution to the wind in this instance I wouldn’t be honoring the truth that I feel something deeper for this man. And I’d also be making a lot of the same mistakes I just finished making a couple of months ago.
So, in the course of this “casual” exploration of whether or not he and I could have a sexual relationship, I was honest with him. I explained that he is someone I regard enough to explore such a proposal, but in doing so it also means I like him more than just for sex. That’s a slippery slope for me. And while I am definitely inspired to take this path, I know, because I have learned, that I will want more. Maybe not right away, but more, nonetheless.
The Vulnerability of Honesty
My admission of these feelings put me in a very vulnerable position. I could lose this offer all together, as well as a friend I’ve had for quite some time. But my successful overthinking showed me that I didn’t want this offer as it stood. And I wouldn’t be fair to myself if I engaged in another relationship where I sacrificed my greater wants for something which would inevitably become less. Being honest with myself was worth what was at stake.
Equally, it wouldn’t be fair for me to put him in the position of wanting more from him if he didn’t have more to give, either. Much to my surprise, my admission was not met with a farewell. It was met with the exact opposite.
He feels the same way.
Overthinking the “So Now What?”
So the two of us like each other. And by the way the two of us expressed this, I knew it wouldn’t be hard for either of us to “flip the switch” and go all in. But I knew this before – when I fell asleep on his chest and was roused by the way he kissed the top of my head. He’s tender and caring toward me. But there are red flags which are marking the obvious pitfalls ahead. And after all this work in the darkness, I need to embrace my wisdom, rather than ignoring it.
The Obvious Pitfalls
I know this shouldn’t matter, but it does in relation to his maturity. Yes, he is mature, but he is younger than me. And it’s pretty obvious, at least to me, that he’s at a point of transition toward a newer version of adulthood. A transition I have already navigated and come through. And since he and I are similar, I’m positive that it’s going to be a bumpy ride when he makes the decision to let some elements of his life go. Which includes his old mercurial ways, some old relationships, etc. I’m in full support of however he comes to and goes through this, but unlike what I did with my ex, I do not want to have to guide this life change. Mostly because it’s exhausting and frustrating…and impossible to be impartial.
And so after weeks of overthinking, I decided to let him go. And I relinquished the control which comes with my old codependent tendencies. I’ve embraced that if he and I are meant to be, then we will “be” when we are our best versions. The proverbial path will rise up to meet us both.
Overthinking the Lessons
Looking back over this process, I’m almost a little startled at how easily all of this work on myself was almost disregarded. But I must still forgive myself for being human. And so I have decided to overthink this in a more productive manner, so I may come to a conclusion which feels better. After all, feeling good about decisions is how our wisdom evolves.
I have come to realize that while the idea of him feels amazing, I am allowing the same old illogical, chemically fueled decision making techniques to cloud my judgement. I am fitting the persona I know him to be to build my vision of my desired relationship. And I don’t truly know all the details of him well enough to know that he is even remotely capable of being this man I have made him to be in my mind. So I had to slow down. Stop even. And allow him the space to grow without my influence.
We all make emotionally fueled decisions. Paying attention to the best case, until we can no longer avoid the other realities. It’s what I’ve always done, too. But we need to be objective if we are to break this cycle. And the time it took for me to overthink this situation gave way to me realizing that I was beginning to make assumptions about this person which perfectly fit him into my idea of what I wanted.
If you overthink things enough you will eventually see that overthinking is an act of mastery. Because overthinking is a way of approaching thoughts from different directions. Without regard for the typical linear process of one thought leading to another. It’s a constant second glance from a different angle at a particular thought or situation. And if you allow yourself enough time to overthink things, your emotions can settle down enough before making a decision. This is how you gain objectivity.
Linear thoughts reinforce the idea of maintaining control through carefully considered processes. But if we are to turn overthinking into an art we must release the illusion of control and allow our deeper wisdom to permeate these processes.
Even though I am quite pleased with my decision, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t sting. Because my truth is that I would like to take a chance with this man. But my bigger truth is that I don’t want to start out by having so much to consider, or have feelings to deny. So while I find myself without him (for now), this result is actually quite trivial. I have just proven to myself that I have gained so much along this journey. And I’ve been able to apply that wisdom in a manner which makes me feel good. After all, feeling good is proof of the proper application of wisdom. And it is what builds confidence.
So while I wish that things were different, I accept that there is still a possibility for he and I…some day. For now I take comfort in taking a huge step. I have deviated from my norm. I had to be bold and risk a great loss. But the greater loss would be succumbing to my old ways and sacrificing so much of myself for such a fleeting experience.
A Life Less Ordinary
So let’s take this as proof that overthinking can move us toward a life less ordinary. But we should be aware that less ordinary is also unfamiliar. And humans don’t like “unfamiliar.” While we begin to overthink the dissonance we create by deviating from our norms, and are tempted to return to our old, familiar ways, we should remind ourselves that surrendering now means returning ourselves to the fate we claimed we wanted to change.
I’ve come to realize that while I’ve often admonished myself for overthinking things, there is wisdom in the overthink.