When You’ve Been Thinking…

I spend a lot of the thinking. Exploring my mind and heart. Thinking about where I am in life and where I want to go. Thinking about conversations and choices. It’s a pastime of mine when I am not busy. I think it’s why I have always enjoyed being busy – less time to get inside my own head. Recently a friend made a comment about how much time I spend in my head, and I have been thinking about that comment. (Cue sarcastic smiley face emoji here.)


Running a marathon with a backpack is tough and may hinder you from winning the race. Don’t let the baggage from your past–heavy with fear, guilt, and anger–slow you down.  -Maddy Malhotra


In 2016, I decided I no longer wanted baggage in my life. I was tired of carrying so much from my past and wanted to be free from it. To remove it from my life and overcome the hurdles that were standing between my current self and my best self. I finally stepped into my head and started walking around, looking at the layout, labeling things I didn’t want to see there anymore, noting what things I wanted to change, and celebrating the things I liked seeing there. I walked around the fortress I’d built around my heart to do the same thing, but taking careful note to ensure the walls were still sturdy. I sat down with my lists I developed and identified commonalities. When done, I started demolition day with zeal, ensuring all that I didn’t want was thrown out in a dumpster.


I started with small mental shifts, behavior changes, and actions that could help me clear my mind and start being more present with each day. I allowed myself to meet new people, open up to com folks I had met but hadn’t taken time to get to know well, and threw out some things that were causing me to feel some type of way about life and love. I opened myself up to new experiences and visited new places, read new books, and starting thinking about life changes I needed to make that would take a little more time.


Once I felt like I was making great progress in the small things, I moved into the broader aspects of my personality that needed to change, such as removing toxic relationships I was keeping around because I was used to having that kind of behavior in my life. This part was more challenging but I was ready for it. I embraced the pain and moved through the shifts with a few issues but not nearly as many as the next phase would take. This was like finding out you had to sparkle some areas to fill holes, paint a couple of walls, and wax some hardwood floors.


While, I am still working through some tics and quirks in my personality and some of the sanding and preparing walls, I realized I could move on to the harder issues. These are the ones that required evaluating how I was living: taking time to sit in these rooms within my brain and heart while really checking structure of walls, placement of windows and doors, and ensuring things we well secured. It meant packing up all that is within the rooms and assessing each item to see whether it should be placed back within the room. This process has been the hardest because it means addressing concerns that have been around for a LONG time. Trauma, ADHD, relationship concerns, fears. Things that take time to remove from your life because you have to understand where they originated and deal with roots. Those of you who have been reading this for some time have seen me deal with these things in some posts. It means changing some of the very essence of what I have always known myself to be. It means digging deep into my childhood and looking at how I got to where I am.



Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. -C.G. Jung



In this last part, I have had to touch on some truths in my life that I have hidden from myself for years. I have had to uncover things I hid so I could fit in to society better and assimilate to the environments I was forced into because of my lifestyle and choices. This part has been hard because it changes me. The first two parts were easy compared to this because they were shifts but still left me the same, but this part took me from being cold and being able to shut down my emotions when I didn’t want to feel them to now feeling deeply and taking on others emotions. I have developed such a deep empathy for others that being the shoulder for everyone is no longer satisfactory or acceptable. I have come to a place where someone I deeply respect is worried I am not giving myself enough time and am spending too much time focused on others. So I started to think about this too.


Had I reached a point where it was so hard to deal with all the things going on in my life, because I had identified feelings I didn’t want to have and thoughts I was scared to think? Was I scared to admit I had allowed myself to cross lines I had always set for myself about things I wouldn’t do (become friends with anyone I could develop feelings for, commit to things, be intimate with others in conversations, let anyone in to my life)? Was I scared that I was changing and would soon find myself living the life I had always known one day I would but always have been afraid to go for because I know me and I know I will mess it up?


And that thinking led me to uncover more truths and rules that I realized didn’t belong in my life. I demolished the rooms and removed walls, replaced windows, and started looking at where doors could be placed. It was in this process I realized some of the things still screaming for my attention. Some things that I am now dealing with and walking through.


Change happens in the boiler room of our emotions–so find out how to light their fires. -Jeff Dewar



The hardest of the emotions to address are the ones we are so comfortable with that we don’t know how to exist without them. Pain, conflict, anger. I have always known these emotions so well. Since childhood they have been my go to emotions. I haven’t known more than seconds of happiness and kindness. I have to purpose myself each day to wake up and choose to feel happy despite my daughter’s tantrums that we are working through. I have to choose to be kind to people who annoy me and think about what it is about them that I don’t like about myself (as that is usually why people annoy you). I have to choose to love when I want to run. Choose to talk when I want to shut down. I have to choose to deal with conflict differently and allow others in. I have to do so much so differently that is feels at times as though I am living in a whole other house than the one I have known so well over the years. But I know the process is necessary.


So in thinking about my friends comment about spending too much time in my head, I realize that it is necessary to do so. It is required for me to become all that I am going to become and all that I truly am. I have to chip away at years of paint and wallpaper that have kept my walls beautiful so people didn’t see the internal struggle as well. You had to really be close to see how messed up I was! But now, well… I am exposed. My walls are stripped down and primed. I am allowing myself to be seen by people who could cause hurt in the long run. I am allowing myself to commit to things that S C A R E me. I am allowing myself permission to be fully who I am, even if that person is not accepted by some. I am reminding myself that the only one I need to please is God.


Being in my head allows me to learn who I am, where I need to change, and why I am how I am. It allows me to scrape the much from my heart and restore the broken pieces and work with God to create this life that I am slowly becoming more and more proud of each day. I still have to far to go with conflict management, forgiveness, and healing some of the places that have long scarred, but I am working on them daily. Through therapy each week, I get closer and closer to being able to love fully and treasure someone else. I am more open to things that one once scared me. I am willing to wait for things I want instead of just taking them, even if it meant people. My faith is increasing and my relationship with God is growing deeper because the more I walk around my head and heart, the more I realize how much He loves me that He allowed me the strength to press through all the situations that brought me to this place.


“Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are.” – Rachel Naomi Remen


Are you avoiding diving deep into your emotions and feelings? Are you avoiding dealing with the thoughts you have? Dealing with them and allowing yourself permission to explore them with a professional can provide you with understanding of why you are the way you are. For areas where this is detrimental to you, there is no better feeling that getting free of stuff holding you back. Letting go of baggage and being able to walk forward without the long-held fears, pain, and beliefs that have held you back is like shedding weight that has long been holding you back from becoming all that you are able to be.


Don’t let another day go by without purposing to step inside your head and heart and remove all that doesn’t belong there anymore. And remember that ONLY YOU can make the choice of what the finished product looks like.


Until next time,



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