Peace in Obsessive Thoughts

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This week I started up a conversation with a stranger in the hopes of learning something new. I didn’t want to talk with this person, per se, but money had been paid to learn at this seminar, so I thought to ask a question or two. I still have my father’s “get my money’s worth” mentality every now and again. (Thanks, Dad.)

I asked my questions and in no time, a longer conversation had begun. No surprises there, if you know me and my subconscious desire to keep conversations going, for no apparent reason. Chatty Cathy? Never heard of her.

A few minutes in, this person said something to me that, upon later reflection, I could NOT get out of my head.

Enter: obsessive behavior #413, thinking and rethinking and then thinking some more.

I’ve been dubbed a person who overthinks things before. But I could not, for the life of me, figure out why I kept replaying this particular conversation in my mind.

“Am I meant to learn something here?” I asked myself.

“Is this triggering something I need to pay attention to?”

“Why would I get reactive to this random thought shared by a stranger?”

“Why is this having such an effect on me?”

I played out the answers to these questions, journaling and considering which seemed to fit best. And what I came up with is this:

Obsessive behaviors, no matter what they are, are sometimes simply excuses to distract ourselves.

Most of the time, I distract myself with online shopping or tidying the house. Those things were pretty much taken care of this week, so I gave myself a different distraction.

The answer to all my “whys” becamse this: “It doesn’t matter. It only matters that I stop the actual process of obsessing so I can take care of that other thing I keep procrastinating about.

And what do I keep procrastinating?

This week I had to prepare for a presentation and I DID NOT want to do it. So, I gave myself the excuse to think about this other thing all day, talking with Hubs about it, talking with my mom about it, talking with anyone who would listen, all under the guise that I was under enough emotional duress that I could not POSSIBLY work on my presentation.

Well, when I finally called a bird a bird and recognized this pattern in my thinking, that thing that stranger said to me stopped playing on repeat. I heard the phrase in truth, honored its truth, and let it go.

So, what did the guy say to me?

“Kim, I’m sensing a little analysis paralysis. I’ve suffered from that, too.”

A stranger noticed my obsessive thinking and called it out. And it bothered me because it was true.

As soon as I heard it for exactly what it was, I shut up the voice in my head and moved on. I got to work. I started to have fun again. And fun always brings me peace.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!