WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN DRAMA COMES KNOCKING?
Have you ever met someone who seems to have a dark cloud that follows them at all times. It hovers just over their head, sometimes a reasonable pale grey and sometimes a threatening, black mess. When disaster strikes they get hit exceptionally hard. When they get sick they get really sick. When they are short of cash they are broke. When they lose a friend they are completely devastated. The cloud that follows them likes to be dark, it wants to be fierce and it enjoys the difficulties it witnesses. The cloud likes drama, hell maybe the cloud is drama.
The problem is there really is no cloud. Some people have a lot of drama in their lives. I don’t know if they actually like it but they invite it in.
Who is it?
Oh hi, please come in.
They have a default program that repeatedly makes the same decision in times of crisis.
For most people when they get sick they nurse themselves back to health by getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated and taking care of themselves.
When people have a black cloud over their head get sick, maybe their default program is to stay up late eating junk food and watching bad movies. They don’t get enough sleep, they eat junk and they get sicker. Their friends advise them to get a flu shot, visit the doctor annually and to get outside for some fresh air but they continue to follow the program. They get sicker and every time they get a cold it seems to take longer to recuperate.
They miss so much work they get fired. Now they are sick and seriously short of cash. They miss a car payment and then another and their car gets repossessed. This makes finding a job even tougher and now they are behind on the rent. They borrow money from their friend to pay rent but can’t pay it back and now their friend is ticked off and walks away.
So now this person is sick, unemployed, broke, homeless and has no friend.
Who is it?
Oh hi, please come in
Personally, I hate drama. It serves no purpose in my life. However there have been times when I invited it in. I had what I thought were good reasons but it always made things more complicated, harder to manage and more painful. On the surface I thought my reasons for opening that door and saying “Oh hi, please come in” when drama knocked were valid reasons but they were not. Letting drama in was my default program.
My friends would shake their head, remind me what happened the last time I opened the door and I would acknowledge their fear and their concern and ignore them by following the directions on my default program. The cloud above my head would get darker and darker as drama upset the balance of my little blue kayak.
Drama may be a specific person or type of person who you have such strong feelings for that you overlook the fact that you really aren’t happy when you are with them. Drama may be a shiny new credit card or your favorite store or the latest iPhone when you are in debt up to your eyeballs. Drama may be a bigger house or nicer car when you can barely pay your bills with the current payments. Drama may be the yummy chocolate cake chock full of sugar and carbs staring at you from the kitchen counter when you were just diagnosed with diabetes.
Default programs are patterns of behavior we repeat without having to think about them. They might be good for us or bad for us but we just engage in the behavior as if we are on autopilot. If we can learn to recognize our default program that come attached to the black cloud we can change it. Change is oh so powerful as shown in Change a little, change a lot.
We have to put effort into changing a default program by recognizing the behaviors and deciding in advance what to do differently the next time drama comes knocking. What can we put in place BEFORE we hear the knock? DURING the knock? AFTER the knock? As we learn what works we establish a new, healthy default program that has no black cloud attached to it.
When it feels like your life is in chaos, when the calm lake turns angry and rough and when you look up and only see dark, ominous clouds, drama is coming. Be prepared for quiet knocking at your door. Remember it will get louder and more insistent, this is your default program booting up and preparing to launch seemingly on its own accord.
Don’t open the door. Don’t open the door even if you feel like you have no other option. If you don’t see your options consider the fact that you and only YOU can change your default program. It will take some work but people do it everyday. Start doing the work now so you will be better prepared for the gentle knocking at your door. Choose health, wealth and happiness for goodness sakes by replacing the dark cloud with sunshine. It is more fun to kayak when the sun is shining!