I have learned something very interesting this week. Drama cannot exist in a vacuum. If someone tries to bring drama into my world and I refuse to rise to the occasion, as it were, the drama dies a very quiet death. Since I’ve discovered that I like excitement in my life but not the excitement generated by drama (unless, of course, it is confined to the area behind and, perhaps, slightly in front of, the proscenium), it is essential to allow the brain to engage before reacting to idiocy. I’m still a bit on the slow side in this regard, but even throttling back the reaction a bit after the fact is still effective. It appears that a rant against a calm surface may as well be a rant against a brick wall in an empty room. Thus I have discovered that in order to keep drama to a minimum in my own life, I must find my calm place when dramatic beings seek to encroach into my space and be, in a zen kind of way, that brick wall in an empty room while they rant themselves hoarse. Not only that, if I refrain from becoming part of the drama, efforts on the part of the ranter are far less effective when attempts are made to pull outsiders into their rant who might then expect me to respond. I’ve also learned that ranters really do NOT like to be told that their rant was inappropriate!
The obvious advantage to this approach is that I don’t get pulled into whatever their drama might be, but the less obvious benefit is that, days later, I can look back at the whole thing (if I even choose to, of course) and laugh at how ridiculous it was. I am also very grateful that, as long as it may have taken for me to figure this out and stop getting sucked in, I did finally realize that I do not have to be a player in someone else’s scene.
We all have a certain amount of control over the roles we choose to play in our lives. Some we choose by default because we have lessons to learn, and because we have not yet learned the one which teaches us that it’s ok to decline a role. Others we might play because in the rush and excitement of the moment, we get caught up and forget to read the role through before we accept or decline. And granted, there are times, no matter how much we learn, when we give in to peer pressure, or just wanting to hang with our friends. Either way, as I’ve said before, choices aren’t “smart” or “stupid”. They are simply choices made when we reach some kind of crossroad which requires us to choose. It could be something simple like “Cheerios or Fruit Loops?” or something with a far more lasting effect like “Jump off the bridge or drive carefully down the mountain?”. Either way, the decision we make will have an effect on us. And more, we get to choose what will and will not affect us in the long term.
I was asked a couple of times this week how my writing is going. I had to answer that I haven’t touched the book in awhile, and am feeling a bit guilty about it, but just haven’t felt that I had anything relevant to add right now. Although I am managing to keep up this blog, again, it’s not a daily occurrence right now. But I’ve chosen to focus attention on other things, like, for instance, my remodel, and have redirected my energies at the moment. And because I’ve left it for this long, I’m going to have to re-read what I’ve already written to get myself back in gear, but I feel the muse awakening so I suspect that a few pages will be added sooner rather than later.
Another lesson I’ve learned this week: There are some things which elicit a passionate response which should be written about immediately so as not to lose the emotional strength of the matter, while others should be left to percolate at least overnight, and possibly longer, until they can be put into perspective. Those are the ones which would end up as a rant if processed immediately, and while the occasional rant is healthy, some are best tempered with a little time and rational thinking.
I find myself feeling a great deal of gratitude for the opportunity to learn and recognize the lessons I’ve been given recently, and to recognize those I learned over the years, but didn’t necessarily acknowledge. I am reminded of the line from one of my favorite songs: “Life’s a dance, you learn as you go. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.”
Love and light