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 hand-me-down communication patterns, social triggers and gossip and what can we do to identify and then clear them, once and for all?
You may have already identified some 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 them feel safe, strong and justified their behavior (to themselves and to others) for years, is a daunting and typically 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 - admittedly 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, 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.
You may have heard of the phrase "familiarity breeds contempt", however? Just because something feels comfortable and safe, doesn't automatically mean it's good or positive for us.
My drama was almost like a trusted friend, you know, the one that always has your back, and regardless of whether I was actually right or not, it would show up guns blazing to help me prove my point. It always ended in tears though – 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 to run rampant and giving them full permission - and the power - to keep controlling 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) running a program that kept me clinging to an unrecognized and unresolved deep need within myself to be seen, heard and justified. To be right.
It took me a long time to end that particular relationship and get free from the addictive lure that (my own) 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 to date 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 you 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 and "addictive" agreement that only serves to spread the wounding.
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 sh*t becomes yours, in that very second.
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 foreign 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 hooha, 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 simultaneously 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.
In a nutshell it’s all about divine timing and embracing our humanity.
Our willingness to own our you-know-what 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 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 take things too personally (both directly and indirectly)?
If you answered yes to more than 5 of these, you can consider yourself mildly to seriously addicted to drama. It's now time to change that dear one.
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?
Through the practice of forgiveness, that's how. 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 or 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 we have given them (unconsciously), 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 story and stuck in pain, unable to move past whatever the situation was.
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!
WE are our own authority.
EVERYONE has their own stories going on, their own filtration systems and their own agendas at play, 24/7, and then some. It’s a vital step in our evolutionary process as adults, to accept this truth and understand that everyone is responsible for their own choices - always - alas, we insist on taking and making things personally don’t we? As individuals and as a collective. It’s the first of four vital 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." (Don Miguel Ruiz)
Take a moment to reflect honestly 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 - or gives you genuine feedback with no ill intent attached - and you blame yourself for being inadequate or not enough instead of discerning the action (the "do") from the "doer" (you). You hear yourself telling a white lie in order to avoid being exposed for not being "perfect" because underneath there is some part of yourself that you still haven't accepted and healed. 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, fear, 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. All these things are surface presentations reflecting a deeper core (or cause) imbalance.
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, be accountable 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 not only clear the drama and our core addiction to it, but we also open up the space to start talking, walking and living, our dharma. The only way out, is THROUGH remember and it’s no easy feat I know, but it is the ONLY way to grow and liberate ourselves from the binds of this material, 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, DO YOU. And let everyone else DO THEM. That’s how we roll now as spiritual warriors leading the way through this new earth labyrinth. Master yourself, let others do the same and don’t ever sacrifice yourself for anything less than what your soul desires and deserves and is here to dream awake.
A great support for all the above is yoga - of course - and my next 10 week offering starts Monday April 19th for those who are in or near Avalon and wish to join my awesome crew of wise women. I also have spots during the week for shamanic healing sessions, both online and in person. Email for details on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've been super busy recording my next series of podcasts and have 5 more lined up for next week, including birth pioneer Jane Hardwicke-Collings (shamanic midwife), Ed Gilbert from "Police for Freedom" and an Israeli politician (will disclose who on the day for obvious reasons). In the meantime, here is the link to my latest with the amazing Dr Christiane Northrup. It was such an honor to connect with this beautiful soul, an icon for women's health, to share some giggles and realize we are cut from the same conscious cloth. Hope you enjoy this conversation, it's one of my favorites so far.
And this, for a good laugh. Heads up: lots of swear words.