I don’t like being left alone with my own thoughts for extended periods of time. Don’t get me wrong. I need alone time. I crave it, actually. But only for brief periods between “non-alone” time. Only to clear my head, refocus, regroup, and breathe. Any more than that and well…I start thinking too much.
It’s so easy when you have too much time with only yourself to start over-thinking things. To think about the awful, the fearsome, and the dreaded. It’s too easy to entertain thoughts that take you away from all that is good and joyful. You’d think it would be the other way around. You’d think that the more time you have alone, the more contented you would be. But the problem with “more time alone” is that it’s ALONE.
You have time to think about your mortality. Your weaknesses. Your flaws. You observe others who seem to be living a very full and vibrant life and you feel yourself fall so short in comparison. You watch the news and take it in – the “what if’s.” And you start to feel so mortal. So inept.
The thing about having too much time alone to think is that you start forgetting what it’s like to really live. You forget how to live and engage without thinking about every corner you might have to go around first. You forget how to instead of graphing out the costs, just riding them as you get to them. You may know you have weaknesses, but instead of dwelling on them, you focus on helping others because you are engaged in their lives and invested in their well-being.
Yes, time to think is good. Needed, at times. Vital. But too much time? The pendulum starts swinging the other way and you can think things are bigger than they are. Stronger. More powerful. And you end up feeling so very small.
God did give us wonderful brains. But we need to be careful that our input doesn’t outweigh the output. And we have so much output to give!
Give yourself time to think once in awhile. Then just live and love. And leave the over-thinking to the One who holds your live in His hands. Your mind will thank you.