Cue the swelling music, a vivid sunset over sweeping hills, one single tear streaming down Vivien Leigh’s face as she dramatically says, “After all, tomorrow is another day.”
This iconic final scene from Gone with the Wind is the ultimate example of high drama. The romance, intrigue and intensity of her journey seem to give more clout to this hopeful phrase. As if she finally deserves to return home and win back her love. As if the end result will mean more because she had to struggle to achieve it. As if tomorrow will be better only because today was so bad.
Have you noticed that our lives play out like a dramatic movie? Just like Scarlett O’Hara we endure a life where the plot twists unexpectedly, hurdles are ever present, and the effort to maintain a happy life is the status quo.
What is creating this roller coaster of life experiences? From my perspective drama has become ubiquitous with relationships, careers, family dynamics, life… you name it. After all, how often do we create a struggle to achieve a goal? Or create upsets in relationships to inject them with passion? Or gloat that we overcame a huge obstacle and thus are worthy of praise?
I’m sorry to say that we have begun a love affair with drama.
Unfortunately, drama isn’t the most expansive lover. It’s the kind of lover that creates more upheaval in your life then forward momentum. It devours all of your attention causing you to neglect everything else in your life. It exhausts you with its ups and downs and constant need to make everything hard.
All that considered one would ask; why do we love it so much?
We only chose something repeatedly because we see some value in it. What has your love affair with drama given you? A sense of accomplishment, made you feels special, intense addictive emotions, great stories to tell at cocktail parties, sympathy and support from others? Or have you decided that life without drama isn’t exciting, fulfilling or valuable?
What if there was a different way of living? One where you turned away from the destructive love of drama and cradled yourself in the arms of peace, ease and lightness?
Creating an easy life doesn’t have the same spark and charge that a drama-filled one does. It may seem anti-climactic to get everything you desire without a fight, to find your way around or through roadblocks with no force or to choose to do what is easy and fills you with a sense of calm happiness. But would it be more generative in the long run?
How would you truly like to be spending your life? Dealing with drama or maneuvering yourself towards bigger and better possibilities every day?
Here are some beginning steps to ending the love affair with drama and moving towards the easy life:
1. Give up the fight.
Most of us are fighting for or against something. A job, relationship, way of life, money, status… The fight is exhausting and creates more drama then results. When you notice yourself fighting ask – is this worth fighting for? And – if I wasn’t fighting for this what else would be possible? You may be surprised that many of the things you have been fighting to maintain are ready to die out and change. You may also see where the fight has been blinding you to other possibilities that are within easy reach.
2. Start creating.
How much drama are you creating because you are bored? We have so much creative energy that if we aren’t using it in generative ways it can be turned against us to create drama. Do you pick fights with loved ones? Procrastinate tasks? Chose partners, jobs and behaviors that you know aren’t healthy for you? Is this in some way to entertain yourself or use up your energy? Start to explore more generative actions. If your energy wasn’t going into drama what could you be using it for?
3. Follow the lightness.
In my view point life should be light, easy and ever expanding. Next time you meet a choice point take a few seconds to sense of energy of your options. Which one is lighter? Which one makes you more relaxed? Does one feel easier to you? If you began to choose in the direction of lightness you will be an open invitation for more ease in your life.