Are you Addicted to Drama?
As humans, we all love a good story. A witty yarn. Some meaty gossip. It’s in our blood. But just how attached are we to these hand-me-down communication patterns and social triggers, and what can we do to identify and then clear them, once and for all?
You may have already identified some attention-seeking cyclic stories in your own life and be taking steps to extricate yourself from their grip, but for many people, separating from the foundational things that have made us feel safe, strong and justified our behavior (to ourselves) for years, is a daunting and difficult task. Even just thinking about who you might be after resolution lands, can cause some to go into a state of panic, and then further denial. We get attached to being attached!
Yep. It takes guts to admit and then own, where we need to work.
Personally, I am no stranger to drama. I’ve had a lot in my life, often self inflicted, and at other times, I’ve just been so close to the bloodied action, that I have become unwillingly embroiled in the storm, guilty by association if you like. And yes, I can admit that at certain points I have felt empowered by the charge that continual drama and conflict offered me, because it was all I knew. Whether it was on a day to day, month to month or annual basis, it was mine and I knew it, inside out.
My drama was like an old familiar friend that always had my back, and regardless of whether I was actually right or not, it showed up guns blazing to help me prove my point. But it always ended in tears – and not just mine – because where I believed I was supporting myself by keeping these issues alive, I was actually enabling my shadow and my ego, and giving them permission and power, to keep running my life.
Where I thought I was being magnanimous by giving the other person the opportunity to ‘step up’ and do the right thing by continually extending the olive branch for example, what I was really doing was (unconsciously) clinging to an unrecognized and unresolved deep need within myself to be seen, heard and justified.
It took me a long time to end that particular relationship and get free from the addictive lure that repetitive pattern had seduced me with so cleverly. Once I realized I had been living the ‘same shit-different story’ and how that had formed the basis of most of my relationships and governed how I filtered everything about life, it was time to get seriously free.
The moment you take on someone else’s opinion is the moment you take on their energy.
The exact second you unconsciously ‘agree’ to what you have heard or witnessed, and make it your own, is where defenses fly up and addictive drama expands. Once you receive it, allow it to affect you and then react to it, the drama embeds, and it is that very unconscious agreement, that allows the wounding to spread.
Yes. The moment you take on someone else’s opinion, and let whatever they have said or done (or not said and not done), get under your skin, is the moment their energy infects yours and their drama becomes yours. Their shit becomes yours. In that very second.
And you won’t even notice it either, because you’re so enmeshed in the story that you can’t see the wood for the zen trees. Instead you’ll feel any number of emotions, as well as out of sorts in some unidentifiable way, like you’ve just swallowed something and once its hit your stomach, you realize you actually shouldn’t have eaten it. It doesn’t agree with you. You know it’s not yours and you want it out.
So why do we make the stories of another, our own, and what do we think we can possibly gain from agreeing to take on someone else’s baggage?
The ironic and contradictory two-fold answer here is: all of us are continually binding and breaking karmic contracts with each other, so when we buy into familiar drama and find ourselves ensconced in the same shit, we gain very little on the human level, but at the same time, we gain everything on the spiritual one.
We gain nothing in the sense that our emotions and heads obviously get more embroiled and frustrated by the particular situation, but at the same time, we gain everything from the experience because it creates the opportune space for our heart to awaken and for deep self understanding and ownership, to rise. The burden becomes the beautiful gift.
It’s all about divine timing and embracing our humanity; one experience at a time.
Our willingness to own our shit and accept responsibility as to how we are co-creating said drama, is what creates the initial space for healing. Once we see ourselves from this higher more objective perspective and choose to honestly hold ourselves accountable for our part in whatever play we find repeating, then we are able to start unpacking the behaviors and beliefs inside ourselves, that have led to the development of the addiction in the first place.
So how do you identify whether you are addicted to drama or not?
Consider these questions:
Do you find yourself at the center of arguments or tiffs, on a regular basis?
Do you deliberately put yourself in the center of altercations?
Do you experience repetitive troubles and stresses at home, at work or within friendships?
Does it seem like life is always a struggle for you?
Do you find it hard to connect with your joy?
Is everything getting too hard and making you feel like you need to take desperate action to re-balance your life?
Do you worry about what others are doing and judge them for the decisions they make?
Do you get involved in gossip or concern yourself with the affairs and activities of other people?
Do you always come up against the same relationship issues and blocks, again and again, one partner after the next?
Can you relax doing nothing, or do you have to always be doing, achieving and actioning?
Do you notice your health deteriorates when stress escalates?
Can you forgive easily, or do you hold a grudge/always point the blame to someone else?
Do you always take things personally?
If you answered yes to more than 5 of these, it’s time to take action. You can consider yourself mildly to seriously, addicted to drama.
So how can you clear these negative patterns and stop feeling like you’re stuck in a recurring scene from The Bold and The Beautiful?
We need to practice forgiveness, for ourselves and the other person, or people, connected to the particular drama that keeps repeating itself. Whether it’s just an ongoing dialogue inside our head, or an actual 3D conversation that stretches across weeks, months, even years, we need to forgive it and let it go, and what I am about to share now, is a sure fire way to help you stop any negative patterning of your own, once and for all.
We need to release the other person (or situation) from the responsibility of making us feel a particular way. From the responsibility of having to say or do (or not say, not do) something that we believe they should, in order for us to feel safe, happy, whole and justified again.
This belief that we can’t feel good again until they do or say something and admit their fault or say sorry, is what keeps us imprisoned in the story and stuck in pain, unable to move past whatever the situation was (perceived or real).
Once we speak to this need inside ourselves to be right, to have the last word, to the little person inside that relies upon the words and actions of another in order to feel good about themselves, and reclaim our own response-ability, we start taking our power back. We start realizing that no matter what anyone else says or does, or doesn’t say or do, actually has bugger all to do with us!
EVERYONE has their own stories going on, their own filtration systems and their own agendas at play, 24/7 - it’s a vital step in our evolutionary process as adults - but it's also imperative that we each understand and accept the truth, in our own time, that everyone is responsible for their own choices. Always.
But still, we take things so personally don’t we? As individuals, and as a collective. It’s the first of four cathartic agreements that humanity still needs to master obviously: Don’t take anything personally, be impeccable with your word, never assume and always do your best. ("The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz).
Take a moment to reflect honestly on these and acknowledge where you may struggle, with one or all of these spiritual principles. Guaranteed there is something that happens every day for you, where these wise suggestions are challenged. Someone criticizes you, and you blame yourself for being inadequate or not enough. You hear yourself telling a white lie in order to avoid being exposed for not being ‘perfect’. You make assumptions based on either gossip, the past, popular beliefs or your own unresolved wounding, and hence misconstrue the real story or intention being shared. You don’t show up fully or give your all to a task, a relationship or even a yoga practice, because of illness or injury, expectation or sheer laziness, and hence, you end up feeling guilty for not showing up to support yourself (or said situation/person), as you/they deserve.
Our egos make us do some pretty stupid stuff, and all in the name of self preservation.
All we can ever do as humans walking our unique paths, is to keep walking forwards, stay aware, own our shit when it surfaces, and strive to be better the next time. To set the (daily) intention to be more conscious, more compassionate, and more of our true selves.
When we do that, we clear not only the drama, but our core addiction to it, in all its forms.
The only way out, is THROUGH, remember, and while it’s no easy feat I know, it is the only way to grow and liberate ourselves from the binds of this materialistic, 3D world we find ourselves in.
It’s the only way to shift the name-the-pain-blame-and-shame-it energy that IS drama, into heart centered reality that creates harmony and happiness, every damn day instead.
Don’t do drama.
And let everyone else DO THEM.
That’s how we roll now as spiritual awake light warriors leading the way through this new earth maze.
Work on yourself, let others do the same and don’t sacrifice yourself for anything less than what your soul desires, deserves and dreams about.
Vibrate higher. And then some.