Like Shakespeare’s Hamlet, over-thinking might just turn out to be my fatal flaw. While the prince of Denmark came to ruin because he thought too much when it was time to act, my troubles come from thinking too much about actions already taken.

This summer has not been the best for me; some rough patches left me hurt and dejected. I believe there’s a greater purpose to it all, but that doesn’t make it any less painful. What’s worse, my mind keeps reliving it all over and over and over, like a broken cinema reel.

Whether you believe in it or not, the Bible makes a good point when it instructs its readers to “take captive every thought.” With someone like me, who dwells on too many things too much of the time, taking captive every thought turns out to be quite the challenge. Taking this into consideration, I decided I needed to start small. Baby steps.

To begin with, I acknowledged the themes that have been plaguing me: namely, broken relationships and disappointing decisions. Being that these subjects revolve around the feelings of others and past experiences, I recognized that I have virtually no control over them. And yet, I have let them stress me to the point of physical illness (probably because I have no control over them), obsessing day in and day out about what I might have done differently to have ensured more favorable outcomes across the board.

This, my friends, is not a healthy habit. The only positive result of my terminal retrospection was that I was able to name and claim responsibility for my part in hurting and being hurt by others. Using that conviction as a catalyst, I made a conscious decision to accept the past for what it is, make the best I can of the present, and simply move on toward the future.

You see, in the midst of beating myself up over the painful situations in my life, I lost focus on the blessings in my life, positive things that stand in direct opposition to those baddies. Once I realized this, I resolved to actively replace my negative thoughts with positive ones. Whenever I find myself dwelling on my mistakes or how a once-good friend (or two) now treats me like I have the plague, I remind myself of the opposing positive influences in my life—those people I am very blessed to love and be loved by, not to mention the very gift of love itself.

In this way, I am finding a way to make my fatal flaw work for me, not against me. I am learning to not be swayed by my thoughts but rather to consistently and actively opt to direct them purposefully. I can’t change what has happened, but I can choose how I handle myself in the aftermath. I’ve thought it through, and I choose to be.