Note From Mary: I loved the title of this article … had to pass it along to you.
Here’s to divorcing drama. 🙂
Gregory Anne’s Article:
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. 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 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.
My fifteen-year-old step-daughter visited recently and brought with her the kind of drama that teenagers can’t help. It’s a “he said-she said” kind of game done in public thanks to Facebook. One day she was upset about something a guy posted. I asked her what she thought would help her move past this problem. She answered, “I just want to feel happy again, I don’t want to be upset.” Ah, the beauty of a coaching moment was at hand. “Can you change what’s done already?” I asked.
“No” she replied.
“Does what he said change you in any way?” I prodded further.
“No” she answered looking a bit relieved.
“Is it worth putting more time and energy into his comment?” I added.
“Well, not really,” she answered shyly.
“Do you agree that he can’t make you feel bad if you don’t want to?” I pushed on.
“Hey, you are right” she brightened as she answered. “I don’t have to tolerate his being mean and by letting it go and not answering him I can feel better now.”
Another potential moment of drama saved by divorcing from it.
So what are the keys to divorcing drama that in turn will allow peace in your life, give you back a whole lot of wasted time and energy, and put you in the position to live life the way you want? Take responsibility for your part. Is there something you could do now that might contribute to drama if left unattended?
(Think car repair, lighting on a dark path, buying the dress/outfit well in advance of the big event cause you know you’ll be stressed and unhappy waiting ’til the last minute). Detach from other’s sometimes thoughtless words and actions, breathe, and vow not to go to the drama side.
You alone control how you feel and how you act based on those feelings. It may not always be easy, but it’s always available.
About the Author: Gregory Anne Cox is a certified life coach who has been dishing up all-you-can-eat servings of women’s health and nutrition information for years. Her Weekly Midlife Myth Busters audio postcards give short bites of information that will help transform your daily choices so you live your best midlife. Sign up for free. You can find out more at MidlifeWithAVengeance, send her an email, or call her at (631) 728-2456.
Gregory Anne is also one of my Platinum Impact clients.
For details about Ultimate Impact, visit:
Who knows, maybe we’ll be sharing YOUR story with 10,000’s in a future issue of SoulFULLY Living…