As Our World Turns

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I feel the most overwhelmed when there are issues around me that I am unable to remedy. I am so sensitive to chaos, turmoil and crisis, that my mind becomes constantly preoccupied with how to fix things. Drama can be so draining.

If you have a life that is anything like the rest of us, there are always things that get our panties in a twist. Life is full of complications and we will find ourselves smack in the middle of them, throughout the years, whether we like it or not.

Writing about this reminds me of peering into the lives on, ‘Dallas” or ‘Falcon Crest’, ‘Days of Our Lives’ or ‘The Young and the Restless’. Are our lives really any different than the outrageous characters we may have followed in the past?

What can we do to stay sane throughout our lives and how can we avoid all this drama?

I can’t help but hear the booming voice of Tony Robbins in my ears, as I think of this topic. I have been to a couple of his live events and listened to some of his programs and I always learn something new. ‘It is in our moments of decision, that our destiny is shaped’ is one of his phrases that is coming to mind.

When everything seems to be swirling around us, we feel like we are in the middle of a soap opera and we can’t seem to grasp whether we are coming or going, I have found it most helpful to stop and write some things in my journal. It is a powerful moment, during the process, when I make a decision about the situation and then actually do something about it.

Although this process may seem very simplistic, it can be quite complicated. We can take days, months, years or even decades to really make a decision. We can think about making a decision for an endless amount of time but the evidence of making a decision is not until the moment we take new action.

It is remarkable how many of us complain, wallow and suffer in anxiety, stress, frustration or depression for extended periods of time and yet do nothing to change the circumstances that are creating the problem. We hope that things will work themselves out and often avoid the work required to remedy it.

As human beings, we have hope that people will change. We hang on to toxic relationships, people, circumstances and issues for much longer than is healthy for us because we believe that there is a slight chance things can get better, or we don’t have the energy to deal with it.

I like that we are optimistic and patient, waiting for change; however, it is certainly disheartening to watch individuals tolerate abusive behaviour or toxic, unhealthy environments, in the meantime.

At some point, there needs to be a line drawn in the sand, which clearly lays out our limits, or we end up throwing up our drama over everyone who crosses our path. We become angry, toxic and negative ourselves and no one wants to be around this.

We sit around wanting other people to do the changing and yet, this is a useless waste of our time and energy. We can only control ourselves and our reaction to what is happening in our little bubble.

It is helpful to identify who or what is the common denominator in the drama. Sometimes, it is eye opening to realize that we are actually the problem. Perhaps we are repeating patterns from our past or reacting according to what we have always done. Perhaps we are failing to see that we create the drama by being too passive, too stubborn, too aggressive or too accepting.

Since we can’t change anyone else, unless they are willing to do the changing, we may as well focus on what we can do. What must we decide to stop tolerating? What must we say when confronted with ongoing conflict? What action must we take to avoid, change or accept repeating patterns that are playing out, before our very eyes?

Let’s stop making excuses about who else is at fault and accept our own responsibility for what is happening around us. Let’s work on bettering ourselves. Let’s admit when we are wrong. Let’s apologize. Let’s establish our boundaries.

This can be quite empowering actually, because it is much easier to change something that we had control over, in the first place, and admit our part, than it is to change someone else.

Reflect, decide, act, repeat….

‘If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem.’ ~ Richard Bach