Dealing With Emotional Dramas
Drama occurs all around us. We don't think of ourselves as a drama queen or king. "isn't that a movie?" isn't that a neighbor, co-worker, friend, or in-law? For artists, drama contributes to their creative production. There is a darker side. One we don't want to admit to. At least not easily.
We add drama in order to make life or situations more interesting. Artists like to do this when their creativity is blocked. Drama adds fizz to imagination. We also create drama when we're bored or need to shelter our feelings.
Drama, thought of as a serious narrative for fiction, can also be serious emotional muck that zaps both creativity and success. Like quicksand, we don't know you're in it until you can't move your legs.
A friend, let’s name her Jane, phones and pulls you in with her BMW (gripe, moan and whine). She curls your ear about life not going according to her plan. You have just become stuck in her drama. You pat your foot and think about what else you could be doing. The critic justifies staying with: "She’s your friend. She listens to your BMW." Afterwards, your energy sags.
Drama is easier to see in other people, it is harder to see the muck we create for ourselves. Here is a process that will assist your awareness and propel you forward:
Step 1: Recognize when the drama is appearing or when it did appear. Do you drag yourself out of bed? That’s drama. Do you moan and groan about something? That’s drama. Our inner critic has a natural ability to ignite drama when you don't want to do something. Did you give an excuse for something? That’s drama. We're you late because you weren't sure you wanted to go? Drama! Excessive emotion is drama.
Step 2: Acknowledge the event as unnecessary. When you acknowledge it as unnecessary and you are in a dramatic moment, the shift begins.
Step 3: Identify what part, or whole, is "just" your part? Weed out the other players. See only your part. Decide: Are you going to continue or change it?
Step 4: Begin the transformation. Write or carefully think through what occurred. If you see the drama unfolding before you, and it includes other players, stop, don't continue just to save face. Once you decide to transform it, declare it out loud three times.
Let me share with you one of my changing events...
My fought my own thoughts as I moved down the isles. "Yes, I need these? No, I don't really need this?" Justifying with the great price. I stared at items without seeing as my thoughts fought. "Should I or shouldn't I." At the checkout counter, I couldn't let go of the items so the cashier could price and bag them. Slowly I let go.
When it came time to pay, I stopped, looked at her, and explained that I changed my mind. I apologized, slightly embarrassed. Not so surprised but delighted from my explanation, she said thank you, she learned something to. I said, "Me too."
I sat on the mall bench in disbelief for quite some time. It was one of those memorable moments. One I still remember very clearly today. It took time to process what occurred but I did see that my spending process changed significantly. It was one of my shifts in seeing my drama.
Step 5: Make a conscious choice to let it go.
Step 6: Take action. Talk with someone about it -- a friend, clergy, or coach. Just do it. If you prefer to write your way through the process, do it. Process it lovingly. For when you see the drama as if it’s a television soap opera "an out of body view" this particular drama behavior ends.
Step 7: Repeat this phrase three times: "And this has passed. I now move forward in joy and success."
Enjoy the less dramatic you and watch your new success unfold.
Your Assignment, If You Choose To Take This On
Make a list, 1-10. Close your eyes and revisit the last 24 hours. See where the drama occurred? What was your contribution? Was the drama getting the kids to go to bed? Did you procrastinate on something and then create drama to get you started? Write down even the smallest memory. Even the appearances you're not sure of. Choose one. Start with Step 1
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