Drama abounds everywhere we look.
It’s part of the culture we grew up in, our movies and TV shows are full of it. It’s rare to ever even have a plot that isn’t driven forward by some kind of excessive drama. A lot of the time I cringe when watching these ridiculous misunderstandings and juvenile behaviours. If it is too manipulative or full of deceptions I will not hesitate to turn it off.
Drama is a reactive response to life. Drama occurs when our blinders switch on and we cease to see the broader situational context occurring and we cease to see the other as a fellow human being striving to do their best. When captured by the beast of dramatic impulse all we can see is our own pain, our own wounds, our own stories.
We instantly become a victim of some heinous plot constructed either by the cruel world out there or by our own deep worthlessness inside ourselves. Or perhaps we shun the victim mentality and instead become a victor, ready to do battle with all that stands in our righteous way for you are wrong wrong wrong and I am right, right, right and so I must destroy you.
Drama is all bullsh*t.
Children are dramatic as our first communicative capacity is only available through the expression of feelings. Children are dramatic as they have not yet developed the ability to discern and understand that they have responsibility for their own circumstances. As adults we should know that whatever circumstance we find ourselves in is a result of a series of choices we have made. We always have choice and this includes how we respond to a situation as it unfolds right in front of us.
There is no excuse for poor behaviour. None. There is no justification for a tirade of emotionally abusive vitriol we spew at a loved one when they act in a way we don’t approve of, no matter what it is they have done. And whatever it is they did there is no excuse for that either. Kids make excuses and as adults we look at them and can see straight through it. “His cookie was bigger than mine” wails a child when berated for pushing his brother off the slide.
As adults how many of us do the same thing yet in subtler, sneakier, more devious ways?
Adults don’t do drama.
I think about the cliche and completely over-used scenario of the girlfriend walking in at right that moment when for some reason her man is in the arms of another woman. There is always some innocent reason why that happened to be occurring, yet the drama ensues. She storms off and the man has to run after her pleading “it wasn’t what it looked like.”
This is about the time I turn off whatever it is I am watching. I don’t want to know, I don’t care. I just know I’m watching a bunch of kids on TV pretending to be adults. I’d rather watch a cartoon.
Real adults don’t jump to conclusions or assumptions that just make an ass out of everyone. Real adults seek to understand first. We act with curiosity, even if it hurts. We look at that boyfriend and the woman and we ask what is happening. We listen to their words and if we sense they are lying we tell them so. “I am not sure I can believe you,” we might say.
And because we are mature we have space for the truth even if it isn’t one we want to hear.
Real adults communicate, always—even if it’s to communicate that we need a little time to make sense of our feelings before we can see the other clearly. Real adults seek a sense of shared humanity, to be on the same page even if that page is a mutually accepted disagreement. Real adults orient towards personal growth and take the erratic nature of life in their stride. I could go on and on but I hope you get the point by now.
Personally, I think working on emotional maturity is the most important practice that us humans of the world need to be doing today. Especially politicians.
You are either in the drama or in the dharma.
I choose dharma.
Author: Damien Bohler
Editor: Catherine Monkman