Let go of drama and focus on yourself. That’s what I’m doing. I wrote last week about creating joy or misery. Over the years I’ve faced my fair share of problems. Three miscarriages, a chaotic marriage and divorce, breast cancer, a terrible boss who wouldn’t promote me, both parents passing away within two years of each other, an abusive sister that went AWOL, unsatisfying friendships, an alcoholic son. My life was so overwhelming at times, I felt like my shoes had led in them every time I tried to take a step.
I sought help in the turmoil
Through all this turmoil I always sought help. I went to therapy, retreats, a personal/spiritual development workshop and read as many self-help books as I could get my hands on. When I was working, I taught the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and other personal development classes. They taught me to be proactive, persevere, set goals, listen for understanding and collaborate with others.
Over the years, all of these things helped me to grow, but since I left my job with the state, I’ve learned to focus on what my needs are. I don’t drive myself crazy trying to do a hundred things a day to the point of exhaustion. I’m reasonable with what I can get done, and I take 10-to-20-minute breaks between activities so I don’t wear myself out. When I do have a busy day, and I don’t get everything done, oh well. The world never seems to end.
I’m a recovering co-dependent
I’m a recovering co-dependent. I stayed in a chaotic marriage for 23 years, listening to my narcissistic and boring husband for hours, days and years on end. I’ve stayed in other unfulfilling relationships longer than I should have. I’ve attracted negative people who used me as their dumping ground. And I’d sit there politely and listen. They’d complain about their boss, their friend who wouldn’t shape up, their alcoholic spouse or relative on and on ad infinitum. Sometimes the situation would get resolved and they’d be on to the next crisis. They were like leap frogs, jumping from one slimy rock to the next. Everything was a crisis and it got old listening to it.
Some people are too afraid to face and live their own lives
Some people are too afraid to face and live their lives. The only thing that keeps them going is creating drama—abundantly. The funny thing was I didn’t trust them with my problems. They were using me to meet their own needs. There should have been red flags popping out at me everywhere.
I used to hang out with people who acted like they were doing me a favor by listening to me, barely acknowledging what I had to say. They only tolerated me and I put up with it. It’s so hurtful when you’re talking about something important and the person doesn’t listen. When you really listen to someone it shows how much you care and respect that person. It lets them know that they are important.
I recognize this attitude of tolerance and negativity and if it’s consistent in a relationship — I get my Road Runner legs on and head off in another direction. My life is not up for auction. I get to choose and I choose people and situations that bring out the best in me. It took me awhile to get here, but I’ll tell you one thing—I am not going back.
And things have changed
And things have changed and I think that’s why I’ve met such awesome people playing pickle-ball. Super nice, fun and supportive. I know what it’s like to be treated well and there’s no going back to unsupportive or negative people.
I focus on what I love—reading, writing, important friendships, playing pickle-ball, my kids and when I have the chance, traveling. I don’t waste my time taking care of other people’s dysfunction. They need to deal with their own problems. I don’t do things for people who mistreat me. I used to, but I learned the hard way. My energy is for me. It’s not to be wasted on people who won’t take responsibility for themselves. I may sound harsh, but I won’t spend my life living someone else’s drama.
Let go of drama and focus on yourself
Find the people who bring out the best in you and drop the rock on everyone else. I know there’s unreasonable people in our lives we have to deal with like bosses and family members, so learn how to draw boundaries. Don’t neglect yourself–spend time on the things that you love and that nurture you. Let go of the drama and focus on yourself.
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Until next week!