When you think about your life, as it is now, what do you see? Are you in charge of what goes on? Is life kinda sorta how you want it to be? Do you actually KNOW how you kinda sorta want it to be? Do you spend time creating the life you want?
Or do you find most of your energy is spent on avoiding the things you DON’T want, with life little more than a series of dramas which require you to be in a constant ‘reactive’ state - quelling each drama as it occurs, and doing all you can to prevent further unnecessary drama, not to mention the pain that usually follows?
I know somebody (no judgement here – I too have been in this place - I still go there sometimes) who just BREATHES ‘reactive’ mode. Every happening in this person’s life seems to be an emergency reaction to another unexpected happening. It seems that every minute of every hour of every day is spent problem solving, putting out fires, culling so-called emergencies.
And a recent (very harried) conversation with this person got me thinking about my life, and one of the main differences between how I used to live it, and how I live it now.
Prior to my divorce I was very much in the ‘reactive’ camp. I was always ‘busy’ and actually took pride in telling people that I was stressed – I felt it to be a badge of honour. I know now that living this way was little more than a defence mechanism. I was scared to create the set of circumstances – the life – that I wanted. I didn’t know how to do it. I thought that my sole purpose in life was to simply be where I was ‘needed’.
So I filled in time and kept myself super busy reacting to the life that seemed to be thrust upon me. I sometimes still do it. The difference now is that I’m aware of it. My divorce taught me that life is precious, and way too short to be spent living it purely in ‘reactive’ mode. Now, I am committed to spending time on creating the life I want – a life without unnecessary drama and pain.
Here is how YOU can quit reacting to unnecessary drama in YOUR life:
Stop REACTING. Start CREATING
I believe that until (if ever) we become aware of it, most of us live life in default, reactive mode. We react to circumstances as they happen to us. We do everything we can to avoid certain situations and problems occurring - then reacting as best we can once they do occur.
We spend so much time and energy reacting, there is very little of anything left for creating.
We are not taught in school to instigate and create, not really. We are taught the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way of doing things. We are taught what to do when something goes ‘wrong’ – very rarely how to create something meaningful in the first place. Of course, things will go wrong – this is life.
Yet if we have taken the time to think about and create what we actually WANT – rather than spend our time merely reacting to and fixing the things we DON’T WANT – it makes more than a little sense to think that in time, less things will go haywire and there will be less problems to solve. We will be living the life that is best for us – a true and authentic life that we are in charge of, with the circumstances of our lives created by us, for us.
For a very good portion of my life, things always seemed to be going ‘wrong’. I would no sooner fix one ‘wrong’ or solve one problem before the next ‘problem’ happened. Truth is, drama feeds off drama and until we start thinking about what we do want – rather than what we don’t want – there won’t be much room for positive change.
Use your POWER
If you’re anything like me, you have spent a good whack of your life believing that you are ‘powerless’ to the forces, situations and people around you. But this is simply and unequivocally NOT true.
We always have the power to decide on the direction of our lives, though a lot of us have been taught otherwise. As adults most of us come to believe that we must look to external forces (relationships, jobs, the powers that be) for a sense of validation and security. We feel that we’re not capable of living life on our own terms – of creating the life that is best for us.
Learn to take back and USE your power. Learn to listen to and TRUST your intuition about what is best for YOU. Accept that you already have everything you need within you. Because once you accept this, you become the powerful creative being that you were ALWAYS meant to be.
Know that NOTHING lasts forever
This is one of my all-time favourite sayings… I have saved the best for last!
Here is the thing: one problem will always replace another. If all we are doing in life is reacting to drama and solving problems, what have we really achieved?
I remember vividly as a young girl a week or so spent worrying and stressing over a particular drama, then unwittingly forgetting about it as it was replaced the following week with a new and different drama. I spent several days and precious mental energy on the new drama before eventually coming to the realisation that, in all likelihood, the new drama would also solve itself - or at least pass.
In time it did, and this resulted in a profound life lesson for me – NOTHING LASTS FOREVER. EVERYTHING seems important and drastic and an emergency at the time. Most of it is not.
And this is truly a beautiful thing.
Are you in the habit of reacting to unnecessary drama? Please, share your story in the comments.
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