Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lesson #36: Drama-rama!!!

Last week we talked about "the roller coaster." Most of us have areas in our lives where we experience ups and downs. This is normal, of course, as life itself  has its ups and downs. The world naturally experiences floods and droughts, sweltering heat and frigid cold, peace and war. Today, however, I wanted to take this concept a step further, and discuss our human relationship with drama.

How do we define drama? I decided to look it up in the dictionary because, frankly, I love to throw the word around so much  I was afraid I'd lost touch with its actual meaning. The dictionary defines drama this way: "a series of events so interesting, conflictual. vivid, etc., as to resemble those of a play." Yep, that's my definition too.

You probably know people who are very dramatic. We all have an aspect of this in us. Some people express drama through clothing, makeup, tattoos, piercings, etc. Some express it through risk-taking behaviors like motorcycle racing or skydiving. Others express it through language, music, theater, writing, art, or dance. Still others unconsciously act it out in their lives through conflicts in relationship, chronic career or financial trouble, or constant battles with health, substances or emotions.

Take a moment and think about your friends and family members. Who is the least drama-oriented person you know? This is probably someone who thrives on balance, and actively avoids high conflict situations and people. Some might consider this person uninteresting.

Next, think of the most drama-centric person you know. This is someone who goes from one life crisis to another, either real or imagined. Or maybe the crises are purely psychological, involving swings in mood, love and hate, joy and sorrow.

Where do you fit into this spectrum? Where were you in your teens and twenties? (A naturally turbulent time). Where are you now? This is important to look at because the energy we spend engaged in unnecessary drama could otherwise be channeled into creating happiness and success in our own lives and in the world. Not only that, drama is stressful, and who needs more stress in their lives?

Why do we do it anyway? What do we get out of creating chaos in our lives? The "benefits" inherent in the drama are known as secondary gains, and include (but are not limited to) the following:

1.   Alleviating or preventing boredom
2.   Attracting the attention of others
3.   Soliciting care, sympathy or help
4.   Appearing interesting or exciting
5.   Providing an adrenaline boost
6.   Avoiding facing our inner world
7.   Avoiding taking responsibility for ourselves

This is a time of great external drama. In addition to the age-old stresses of war, famine, violence, etc., we also have modern-day "earth changes," extreme economic stress, and prophesies of global destruction.

Given all of this, there's no question that now is a great time to settle down and work on achieving as much inner balance as possible. Please take a look at how (and why) you might be stirring up trouble in your life, and consider what you might be able to do to change this pattern.