Getting caught up in the drama of our lives blinds us from reality and seeing the simplicity in the moment. As I am writing this up on the rooftop deck of my friend’s apartment complex, I’m amazed at the beauty of the day (pictures included). To my right is Lake Michigan and the sandy shore line that hugs it. In front of me, is the view of John Hancock and the Magnificent Mile. A carpet of green trees and bright rooftops lay below. A blue sunny sky looms above. A white bikini clad young woman lies to my right, sunning on a black wrought iron chaise three chairs over. I could see how easy it would be to be so caught up in the events of my life that even the serenity and wonderment of such views can be overshadowed by drama’s stories, grieves and hurts.
The difficult and painful events that have occurred in our past and our fears about the future blurs our vision and keeps us stuck in a quagmire of deceit. So caught up are we in the drama of our lives that we often times fail to notice how blue is the sky or green are the trees or so white is the bikini. Our bodies might physically be in the “here and now” but our minds definitely are not.
Drama binds us to the past and holds our future captive. We tend to believe that our responses to recent events are based on present feelings when in fact they represent unfinished, unresolved and uncompleted emotions. We often don’t see that drama keeps us in the condition of the past here in our present. Kept limited to our dramas, we never heal and we never grow. What we can learn from new experiences never present themselves because we dilute the lesson with drama.
A drama is a deep and very personal story of what the “event” meant to us. It is an engineered story of the “what is” by giving the “what is” a personal meaning. An example: imagine you are driving down the expressway at a safe speed. Someone in a sports car races behind you, quickly swerves to your lane and manages to cut you off before driving away. The reality of “what is” is that someone is speeding and quickly swerves into your lane. The personal story or drama that you just created at that moment can be “What a jackass! He must think I’m driving too slow and that I am not a good enough driver. At this moment we take the event personally. Another reality: your spouse walks away from the marriage. Your drama is: “I am unworthy of love” or “I can’t trust anybody anymore, I will just get hurt again if I remarry.”
How we can “grow” away from drama is to recognize the difference between what is reality and what is drama. Reality is just an event separate from any emotions (I got fired from my job / I got divorced). Drama is our personal story, the reason, we make up of how the event affects us and what it means to our lives (My boss is a real jackass / I am unlovable). We always want to create meaning in everything that happens in our lives. Healing and growing starts by understanding the difference between what is reality and what is fiction and then just accepting the event as it is (I no longer have a job) without the drama.
I know easier said then done. Often times it’s in Dramacool the story and the personal meaning behind it that makes life interesting but when the story repeats itself time and time again in a never ending cycle, the event never dies. It consistently repeats itself in similar situations even after years of the original occurrence; old feelings of hurt are resurrected. (I text her but she didn’t text back. She must not like me and anyone who doesn’t text me right me right away in the future must also mean they don’t love me as well. Love blows!). Drama doesn’t allow us to grow into mature experienced adults rather we remain emotionally stagnant at the age it’s occurrence.
The dramas in our lives are created by made-up untrue beliefs while denial shrouds the real issues. We get to awaken from the drama when we accept the fact that we have the ultimate power to turn around our lives. If we are able to create negative thoughts and emotions then we are also able to create a positive spin on the same event. Change the thought and emotions into something positive that will empower us and inspire others and in turn we get to take back control in our lives. By accepting the event as what it is will free us from the emotional bond as it demonstrates that only our jobs or relationships are ending and not our lives. This can be done by writing out a list of what is happening without attaching the emotions associated with it. In the case of losing a job your list might include: