Tasting the Acorn

Analysis paralysis and my inner voice of reasons

April 04, 2010

I've just experienced dawn breaking through my window on a crisp Easter Sunday morning, but I wasn't really paying attention. The birds sing their sweet song, yet I barely acknowledge their presence. You see, I'm lost in my own head, fighting with myself in an attempt to see clearly.

What does this mean?
What did that mean?
Did that really happen the way I remember it?
If I do this what might happen?
Is it worth it?
What are they thinking?
What are they feeling?
Why?
What does it all mean?

An old friend pops up from the past. Memories, long since buried, resurface and invade my thoughts. Past events, reprocessed with an updated attitude, take on new meaning.

I laugh at my former self and wonder what could have been had I known then the truths I know now; if I could have kept a clear head and an open heart how different my reality could have been.

And then the now; the ever present present. As I look, I see, I'm still doing it. My head is clearer, but my heart still confined for its own protection. Like an over-protective parent I don't let it out without constant supervision, and at the slightest hint of danger I quickly pull it back within. Exposure control is key.

A friend recently labeled me her voice of reasons, and it really is a fitting title. For any given event or proposed action I can come up with a number of explanations, intentions and potential consequences. This can be immensely helpful because it leads to an eyes wide open approach to life, but, usually, my ego steps in and cocks it up with a giant dose of irrational fear.

I analyse and analyse and analyse. I think about all the possible motivations for events, and the multitude of things that might happen for each possible action, and I assign probabilities. I weigh them up on a giant set of scales in my head and see where the needle points.

I analyse until I get so scared of all the things that might go wrong, all the pain that could occur, all the vulnerability I feel about the things that might happen. I work myself up into a frenzy of fear, all in my mind. I create it, and I yield to it, and I completely fail to conquer it.

But it's all crap. I'm scared of my own shadow. I'm scared of things that haven't happened yet. I fear the loss of the things I decide are important, but are they really important? And, more to the point, are they really at risk?

So I sit here in bed far too early on this Easter Sunday morning, sucking on a maple syrup lolly (which is awesome, thanks Katie), analysing to the point of paralysis; wondering what could be but failing to take the next step to find out.

And apparently, instead of simply taking a step, I write about it. Grr!

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