Ellen is a fit, fabulous, midlife gal who has successfully raised four children into various stages of adulthood. We know each other because she is nanny to a client’s twin six-year-old boys. She is also a single woman who would like to meet the right guy to spend some of her free time with. She has been reflecting on what she did “wrong” in her last relationship, the one marriage she had for many years. As a girl on a mission to be her best she’s doing the hard work of reflection, reading books on personal development, and clearly defining what and where she needs to grow. She wants to be less reactive and more of a listener, more open.
In short she said, “I’m divorcing drama this time around.”
Brilliantly put thought I.
Midlife seems to be a catalyst for purging what no longer works. We are more confident, we have lots of experiences under our thongs, have learned many lessons.
Add all of those things up and you have a shorter fuse for what no longer works. Drama is one of those things. It shows up in the form of missed planes, car problems when we need to be somewhere, recurring arguments with people in our lives, and so on. How do we divorce drama though? Isn’t it just a part of life?
It is and it doesn’t have to take a big toll. Some is avoidable if we practice a few basic things.
Let me introduce you to Joan. Joan is a very active midlife mama with a penchant for drama. She was at one time puzzled by “how these things happen to me all the time.”
Sidebar: Notice that when we use the phrase “happens to me” there is no responsibility in there. One of the first steps in divorcing drama is to take responsibility for our part in the thing. We can only control our actions and ourselves right?
OK back to Joan. Joan had a habit of ignoring the little voice inside that on occasion has something of value to say. The results were often dramatic events that slowed her down or took her out of her active life. A broken ankle helped shine a light on the reality of the situation. Every time Joan came home after dark she cursed her way awkwardly along a garden path and up one step because the path needed a light. When friends came to visit, she would say, “One of these nights someone’s going to break a leg. I’ve got to get a light out here.”
Money to get the light put in was not an issue. Making (not finding) time to hire the person to do it was.
One day, arms full of grocery shopping, Joan tried to navigate the step but missed it. The way her foot came down caused it to twist to one side and down she came with the extra weight of the shopping. Snap! She heard the bone crack. Instant drama. I’ll let you fill in the “what could have been different” part of Joan’s story.
Joan started taking care of those tolerations that Dramacool potentially could result in drama and her life felt much more in control.
What about people who “make us” angry or frustrated? Is it possible to keep them in our lives but detach from the annoyance factor? Of course it is. We are conditioned to say things like, “you make me so mad” or “you ruined my day.” Really? Here’s something you’ve heard and may or may not agree with but if you work on it you’ll find there is a freeing truth in here. No one can “make” us feel anything. Our thoughts about a situation, a comment, or an action produce feelings in us-most of them are habit-and voila, someone has “made” us feel such and such.
Who controls our thoughts?
Unless you set out to create an issue with someone if you can take a deep breath and just let the words in without giving them a negative meaning you are in a power position; no drama allowed here.