At what point in the march toward maturity do we stop looking back at our actions, our words, wondering why we did that? We started out careless and free, but then we all had to grow up and think about consequences. Yuck!
Actions that felt right at the time they were taken but they get reviewed after the fact from the perspective of personal principles and societal views.
You look at something you did on a whim and the afterthought is “What was I thinking?” Or, “That is definitely not me.” You second guess yourself.
Whatever you did is not bad. Nor did it hurt anyone. Not even you. It is something that if someone would have told you that you did it, you would look at them with mouth agape and point to yourself “ME?”
These are actions that you review after the fact, running the scenes through your mind like a motion picture, and can too easily distance yourself from them. Not take ownership of them. In fact, there might be scenes that if someone had taken video you would be tempted to cut those scenes right out of the picture. The actions are those of another person and are not the types of actions that represent you on a regular basis. They don’t represent the person that you present on the outside.
“Nope. I didn’t do that. That must be someone else.”
These are actions, if done by someone else, that you might find yourself envying that person for their free spirit and their ability to jump into actions for the moment and not over-think the consequences or the opinions of others. But, you might just as easily condemn that person for the same reasons.
These are actions that you might read about in a steamy romance novel or see in a movie scene, portrayed by actors who get paid the big bucks to put it in a public arena.
These are actions that you wouldn’t want your children to know about…or at least not until you are old and wrinkled, waiting for the end, and need to share the thought if only to prove that your existence mattered at some point.
These are actions that you wouldn’t want your mother to know about. These are actions that when you did them in your 20s they seemed appropriate because that’s what that age group does. After all, their brains are not completely formed yet. These are actions that you don’t attach to someone in your age group. People with fully formed brains don’t do things like this.
These are actions that belong in a diary and shared with no one.
These are the actions that if you over-analyze them, the thought can bring you low and make you question your own worth.
These are actions that made you feel good, actions that felt right, and when you look back on them you still smile secretly.
These are actions that, if you allow yourself to go there, can be a tremendous source of comfort because the very part of what makes you think back and question what you were thinking is the same part that represents freedom of thought and action.
Because when you took that action, you were free. Free from condemnation, free from overthinking, free from all the burdens that have kept you down up until the time when you took the action. You were flying high and living your life in the moment.
These are actions that if you had stopped for a second to actually analyze whether you should or shouldn’t proceed, you probably would have stopped and made another choice, but you would have secretly regretted that you had missed the moment.
Missed an opportunity to connect on a higher level with a friend, missed a chance at a lifelong memory, missed a chance to live the life that has been given to you by the grace of God.
I have a tendency to over-analyze my life. I over-analyze my thoughts, my actions, sometimes every second; I can be really hard on myself over it all. The rare moments when I can do something free of the burden of over-analyzing are precious and few.
I take these moments now not in shame or regret, but as cherished keepsakes of the few moments when I was free.
As I proceed through my days, days when I will not be so free and will have to think things through, I will bring out these keepsake moments so that I can remind myself what it feels like to be on the other side of that burden.
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