Acknowledge Upset, Stop Drama

What is drama?  Perhaps it is just a big distraction from your ability to move on from an upsetting event.  Here’s my best take on how to acknowledge upset, avoid drama, and continue living your life.

Masks with the theatre concept

That is drama.  Any extreme of emotion and/or the rapid change between them is drama.  Why do we need to create drama?  I don’t know.  But perhaps here’s how.  An upsetting event happens such as a big fight, emotional blow out, huge let down, betrayal, etc.  The upset sucks and is real.  With upset you can and should look deeper into it so that you may learn from it.  That being said you can’t learn everything from an upset because it probably involves another person and or just life itself which can behave as another person too.  You must look deeper at yourself and how you contributed to the upset.  Particularly useful is how you will prevent future situations earlier on to avoid repeated similar upsets.  I think the key here is to prevent situations earlier on.  Generally an upset is confusing because you feel powerless and bewildered.  This probably happens because the seed for the upset had been planted long ago and your inner voice was aware of the mistake but you choose to avoid and ignore it for a while.  Then the upset explodes and you are blindsighted and confused.  So the tip is to stop momentum earlier on when you see it heading for a mistake or a repeated mistake.

Now, after you’ve reflected and grown and changed yourself to the best of your ability (or at least set the intention to change yourself) then you should move on.  Surely, the amount of time and energy you spent dealing with the upset has taken your attention away from other matters and life simply requires more upkeep than to go a few days, weeks or even months without attention.  Enter the drama.  The drama is what keeps you focusing on the upset.  The drama is just a big distraction from the other parts of your life that need your attention.  The upset happened and it sucked.  But you learned all you could and will take preventative measures in the future.  Now, let the drama subside.  Don’t wear either of those drama masks.

Here are some tips to stop the drama because inevitably you’ll be sucked into your own creating of drama.

  • Group therapy is more effective than one-on-one
  • Physical exercise, a heavy session
  • looking at the other areas of your life that need attention

Other than that I really don’t know because I struggle with letting the past go.  When I figure out how to really be mature and not become entangled in drama after an upset I’ll let you know!

Middle Yin and Middle Yang

“I can’t believe she did that to me!”  –  “I can believe that she did that me, it makes total sense”

“What a jerk!”  –  “I get it, I understand their behaviors”

“I need to forgive her”  –  “I’ll never forgive her”

“I hate myself”  –  “I don’t hate myself”

I don’t know.  What is bothering you?  Say it and then say the exact opposite.  Lakes and mountains.  Heaven and Earth.  Fire and Water.  Wood and Metal.  Yin and Yang.  Where are you leaning more towards one area?  As an exercise take that area and say the opposite like some of the examples above.  They are quite generic as only you can make it specific and useful.  The idea is to be middle yin or middle yang.  The more stable of the areas.  You see, in the I Ching you read hexagrams, which are 6 lines, really it’s two sets of 3 lines.  In each 3 line set you want to be the middle line.  The not exaggerated view point.  Try to see those situations that really drive you nuts from the exact opposites.   Look at this picture:


The exaggerated highs (full yang) and lows (full yin) are to be avoided.  So if you find yourself exaggerating some of your thoughts on a particular topic, like the experience of your last relationship, then try saying the exact opposite exaggeration with the goal of bringing your perspective more towards the straight line.  Middle yin and middle yang.

If your life can be represented by a string of a finite length then the more exaggerated the highs and lows are then the less your length it will be able to cover ie; a shorter life.  So the more you can keep your life steady and stable (it will never be a straight line as that doesn’t exist in nature) then the longer your life and health will be.

Look for what’s right

If I could live every moment seeing only the things that are right, the things I’m doing right, the things to feel good about, to feel proud of, to rejoice in…I can’t even imagine how much improved my life would be.  What really is the use in looking for what’s wrong?

In every moment you can see ways in which things are right or ways in which things are wrong.  Where your default setting comes from may vary and I don’t think it’s a simple answer or simple solution.  I realized tonight in a bikram yoga class that a large part of my seeing the negatives comes from a competitive mindset.  A gal in class was doing poses better than me and I noticed that – instead of noticing how well I was doing on the poses myself, my commitment to coming to class, and my general physical well-being.  How silly right?

We are taught competitiveness early in life and definitely in music.  What if that is a sick way of teaching children?  Instead of competitive how about thinking impressive.  Instead of finding all the faults how about praising the good things.  Build your strength and transmute your weakness through ..well I’m not sure about that.  Some very wise people (Master Ni, Master San Gee Tam) remind me, force me, shove it in my face at times, to be aware of and look at my severe shortcomings.

So there must be a balance.  A person who never slows down to examine themselves and consider their issues probably spells trouble for themselves and those they interact with.  However, maybe it is best to always see the good in your daily life.  Never compete since you’ll always just be trying to see who’s better and how you lack.  And set aside time daily for examination and working on yourself.

glass half full

Truly the glass is half full and half empty.  But there are humongous implications to your mental health and social well-being depending on which viewpoint you take.  Clearly, half full is the best choice.  Appreciate what’s good in every moment – there’s a lot of it.