Emotional drama is inevitable. Whether we struggle with it is a choice. And believe it or not, it can be our best friend if we choose to be schooled through it.
To illustrate, last week I had two coaching sessions. The first one on Monday felt easy and comfortable, and although the coach was direct and honest in her challenge to get clearer about the language I was using related to a project, it was a very positive and uplifting call.
After the call, I was ready to get down to work.
Then on Wed I had the final session of a series with another coach. Though much of the subject matter was consistent with Monday’s call, I felt totally flattened after it was over.
I felt small, like I’d been chastised like a little kid. Nothing I said was right. I didn’t know what to say in response so finally I just ended the call.
Afterwards I was ready to quit, and I mean everything.
I clearly created some emotional drama around the second call!
What was I going to do about it?
While emotional drama has a bad rep, I don’t think there’s anything wrong or bad about it.
Clearly if I fall into the trap of blaming someone for my situation, it’s not going to end well. However, emotional drama is a tool that provides me with contrast.
It points me back to my own spiritual essence and invites me to look at where I need to expand my awareness.
Emotional Drama is an Invitation
I’ve had a little practice with drama, so I accepted the invitation and spent some time (in my flattened state!) thinking about and feeling into why one call was encouraging and the other was not.
We don’t have to look far to see a typical response to drama. It can be an addiction or a way to just stir things up, and it can be very harmful when acted out. Usually people need a lot of help with drama resulting from serious trauma.
But I’m talking about day to day emotional drama.
It’s very tempting to get angry and blame someone else for our own internal conditions and feelings but in the long run, it isn’t productive. Anger lowering our immune system for several hours is just one of the ways it hurts us.
I did take a few minutes to imagine all the things I could have said. Maybe that’s a necessary part of it, but even as my imagination was running wild with different scenarios, I knew that blaming the coach was not the answer.
Emotional Drama Can Lead to Victim-hood
Blame and victim-hood are first cousins. They live in the same house.
Think about it. If I blame someone else for how I feel, I’m giving my power away. I’m saying I have no control over my life or my responses to what happens in my life. Someone else does.
If I take that approach, I might as well put a big V on my forehead and go sit in a corner.
Because I write a lot about women being both fierce and feminine, I spent time thinking about all the ways in which women are fierce, and what that looks like for each individual woman.
How does a fierce woman deal with emotional drama? It’s an interesting question, isn’t it?
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Curiosity led me to search for images of fierce women on a couple of image sites. I got back images of female warriors and athletes.
Those kinds of images are true but they limit us as fierce women.
A Powerful Approach to Drama
Several woman of my acquaintance are totally fierce badass women and I love that about them. Though fierce and badass would not have been words I used to describe myself until very recently (I’m more of a quiet badass), I’ve learned to stop comparing myself to these women.
With only minor lapses now and then.
There’s a good reason for the three images of women in my website banner and I call those three women Powerful, Mindful and Joyful. The word fierce applies to them all and particularly to Powerful who looks like she’s taking a stand for what she believes in.
Powerful is my model for taking emotional drama and turning it into gold. Her very stance says I’m available to learn what I must learn. Powerful is ably assisted in the process by Mindful whose gift is awareness, and by Joyful signalling the destination to reach.
It took some time, in this case several days, to deal with how I felt, to see my part in it, and to reap the benefits from it. That’s the fiercest thing we can do about emotional drama – to take that V for victim off our foreheads and put an F for fierce there instead.
Now a week later, my energy has started to return and I feel lighter overall.
At the end of this inward journey, I’ve come to two conclusions – and not for the first time.
1) Being fierce and honest and direct must always be tempered with self love and compassion for others.
2) My role is to do exactly what I did – examine how I created the situation for my own evolution. The fact that I can do this doesn’t mean I’m above anyone else. It also doesn’t mean I’m not going to have a little rant!
It just means I have this knowledge and I use it to the best of my ability.
I share this with you simply because we will never see an end to a culture where blaming others for our emotional drama has been normalized unless we as individuals practise this approach.