Letting go

I’m a lifelong overthinker. At times it seems like a good thing to dwell on matters, giving them a thorough vetting. The problem comes when the thinking takes me to unhealthy places. The places where I doubt myself in spite of giving a solid effort to most things. The places where I allow myself to think I’m no good, not worthy, or less than acceptable.

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I’m a human being and therefore not perfect. I don’t know where my perfectionism came from, perhaps a byproduct of overthinking (or the cause?). A half century plus of living and I continue to wrestle with it in my daily life.

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Regret accompanies the overthinking lifestyle. And regret is not helpful as it keeps the mind and soul mired in the past. I’m working daily to live in the moment, one decision at a time. When I do that, I move forward with positive energy and synergy toward my life goals. I’m also working to forgive myself when I make mistakes because beating myself up serves no useful purpose but sets me onto the treadmill of regret.

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Freeman Patterson, in his book, “Photography and the Art of Seeing,” wrote in the preface to the third edition, “Letting go of yourself is an essential precondition of real seeing.” When I let go and stop overthinking I allow myself to relax into the awareness of beauty created by light, water, and soap suds. The pictures don’t have to mean anything. They can simply be.

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And in my daily life, I don’t have to fit into every society-defined box or perfectly meet every external expectation. If I allow myself to relax into awareness of other options, I find myself pushing past self-imposed limits. And that’s a thing of beauty.

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