So you are lying in bed, ruminating over something that you have gone over again and again.
Is there something in your subconscious that makes you think you will solve it or come up with a whole new way of looking at it?
Do we actually think that going over it for the 99th time will lead to some closure on it? Or that the 100th time is the charm?
I don’t know, and I end up doing it , time and time again. But lately I am thinking that the thinking itself might be counterproductive sometimes.
I heard Ajahn Brahm (a Buddhist monk) say that something is only a problem if it can be solved. You know. ..like a math problem that you can come up with a solution for.
So, if it isn’t something that you can come up with a solution for, then it’s not a problem, by the definition of the word.
So why do we spend our precious time, that could be put to better use (like sleeping) trying to solve the unsolveable? Are we looking for a way to change the nature of that situation or event, into a solveable situation ?
If something is not a problem, then what it is?
It’s just the way something is.
It is how things are, even if we don’t like it.
It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances.
It’s something bad that happened
It’s somebody else being who they are, whether we like it or not.
Some things we have no control over, and other things we wish we had control over.
We can’t change other people, or the nature of another person. We can’t change what another person wants, or how they behave.
We can’t change the past, including things we wish we hadn’t done, and things we wish someone else hadn’t done to us.
There are plenty of things that we have no control over, and cannot change. Yet, we go over these things, trying to generate better feelings about them, by trying to find ways to control them.
Then, there is that urge to figure out other people.
Why did they say that?
Why would they do that to me?
What did I ever do to them?
How can they behave that way, or think that way?
Again ….things we have no say in.
We desire to make reality fit into our own paradym. We want things to make some kind of sense and to have an explanation we can live with.
We want other people to behave in a logical manner. We want other people to behave in an ethical manner and valued manner.
That could be why we go over and over the same things, and let the same thoughts play out in a loop, over abd over again.
I think that we need to look at it and ask ourselves, “Can I solve this? Is there a reasonable possibility of a solution?
Or is this a non – problem, and rather a difficulty that just exists with no action needed from me?”
If you have gone over and over it, and no solution you can think of will actually work, then it might need to be tossed into the non – problem pile. And we can move on to actual problems that we have the power to fix and solve…..or better yet we can simply let it go, and sleep.
Ask yourself “what is more productive?”
Is it to keep repeating this loop of thoughts that I have repeated 100 times? Or to assign this particular loop to its proper box on our mental shelf ?
Then we can use the time in a way that supports us better overall.
After all ww are somewhat logical beings, even though emotion tends to drive our behavior, including our thinking behavior.
At the very least, we can decide that the thing isn’t going to go anyplace , if we do something more productive or more self supportive right now.
So, since it’s not going to go anywhere, and we can’t come up with any new thoughts about it, what harm will happen if we just set it on that shelf?
Goodnight all ….and pleasant dreams.
2 thoughts on “Do We Think too Much ?”
I listen to Ajahn Brahm too, he’s so wise 🙂
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Dear Annie and Others in Pain: So much of what you say about problem solving is correct.
I have spent decades in therapy for CPTSD.
We can NOT undo the problem. The helpless child was hurt.
We CAN listen to and comfort the bleeding child. Cookies… Warm milk… soft hugs when wanted…. Compassion … Together.
Yes … it is worth unworking this problem.
Many cultures – and still many people – believed and believe the Earth is flat.
I believe our Earth is a Sphere.
I have worked back to that Child in agony …. and am unlearning and Re-Learning that I am Human… can love and can be loved. I am becoming a Whole Person, not just the Flat Stomped-On Child.
Sending you warmth. TS
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