We all have drama in our lives, we can’t escape it completely, especially at this time of year. As the excitement and expectations build, so does the stress, and all too often, the drama. Also, there is the age old problem of trying to suppress all the past likes and dislikes, as we try to enforce a family get together into something it cannot be, for Utopia can rarely exist in the same arena as a group of humans.
We can, however, avoid a lot of the drama, and the more we practice, the more we can escape it. Drama, for the most part, is the work of an ego that is desperately seeking attention. This is a distraction that we do not need. Drama is like a fog that clouds your view, your judgment, and destroys your sense of well being. It blocks your ability to learn, to focus externally, and is almost always focused on the negative.
For example, we all know people who, with their load of drama to share, can suck the energy from a room faster than a vacuum cleaner can pull dog hair off a hardwood floor. We also know we will be forced into their company at Christmas. The trick is to avoid getting pulled into the vortex they create. We don’t always get it right, but we can get better with practice. We must, for drama will destroy the joy that this season can bring. You have all seen a face that has been angry for years. That negativity is etched deeply into the face and body posture, and you can be sure there are internal signs of it as well.
Here’s an example: Years ago I was on the ferry boat leaving
and headed for Vancouver . As the
boat pulled away from the dock, I sat back to engage in one of my favorite pastimes,
people watching. I watched as two men entered the lounge and sat next to each
other. One opened his newspaper while his companion relaxed back with a book. A
few moments later the man with the paper began to frown, his face darkened, his
grip on the paper tightened, and he started to mumble. Drawing his companion’s
attention, he stabbed a finger at the newspaper page and spoke. His companion
nodded, then returned to his book, smiling as he continued to read. Victoria
This was repeated several times on that two hour journey. Newspapers are especially crafted, as are news casts on radio, television, and internet news, to draw strong emotion from the reader/viewer. They filled with drama. Over the course of that short journey, the man with the paper continuously had his emotions manipulated by the stories he chose to read while his companion enjoy the trip by choosing to avoid all that drama and read a book that made him smile. By avoiding the drama he was able to have a much more enjoyable trip. It is the same with some people, whether by accident, habit, or design, their entire conversation is aimed at creating drama.
I know it is hard to avoid the drama when it is in the room with you, carried by family and friends, but you must. Become like the large rock in the river, let the emotion and drama flow past you, but leaving you unchanged, unmoved by it all. Only by keeping apart from the drama can you remain non-judgmental, not add to the problem, absorb new information, discover better solutions to problems, and enhance the quality of your own life as well as those you share space with.
This is a tough one, and we all struggle with it from time to time, but keep at it. The rewards are worth the work.
So, have any of you got a secret tip on how to get past the family drama this year?
May your holidays be blessed with great joy and little drama, Prudence