I’m not a huge fan of personal drama, believe it or not.
That said, it somehow seems to find me anyway. In great abundance, at times.
Don’t get me wrong–as a younger woman, I was every bit the melodramatic enneagram 4 drama queen. Personal drama serves a purpose. It can be a lovely distraction from the deeper things you’d rather not face. It can be a way of avoiding honest self-examination.
The irony of true self-examination is that it generally leads to greater capacity for unselfconsciousness–the state of being at ease with not being the center of all things. It allows us to finally direct our attention outwards, to a world that desperately needs what we can bring to it when we’re not stubbornly trying to bend it to meet the needs of our inflated egos.
I am okay with not being the center of all things. Most of the time. 😉
I had a period of anger and bitterness in the last week, because of something that mostly, took place in my own head.
The part that didn’t take place in my head involved someone offering me up with the conciliatory tone that implied I was a year’s supply of Rice-a-Roni on The Price is Right, and they were the brand. NEW. CAR!!!
…that–sorry!–someone else didn’t win.
At first, I acted like I believed I was the Rice-a-Roni. Maybe I did believe it. At first.
I spent a fair bit of time trying to make certain contestants feel better about getting stuck with the Rice-a-Roni. (Which was painfully awkward for all of us.)
Then I got good and angry. Let’s fast-forward past several angry conversations that took place entirely in my own head. (Because that’s embarrassing stuff.)
After that, I got quiet, honest and reflective. I stopped reacting defensively, and started just … softening my soul up a bit to open up to whatever the truth might be.[This is usually the point at which myopic, ego-driven “personal drama” vision opens up, widens, and you once again have the ability to see the big picture.]
The big picture is that there is no Rice-a-Roni. There is no new car.
There is only each moment of each day, the energy and attention you have in that moment, and what you choose to do with it.
Each moment is a choice to gossip or encourage, to act with integrity or self-interest, to keep your promises or make excuses.
You will not always make the better choice. Forgive yourself. Move into the next moment. Do better there, remembering that eventually all those moments shape your character.
Funny thing about character. It’s like the quality rating for people. Ego can create some darn fine packaging. It can do some amazing marketing, in the old-school, “dazzle them with BS” sense of marketing. But brilliant marketing is never going to make a Snuggie more than a thin, sad little piece of polyester.
In the end, on a cold evening, I’d rather have the amazing hand-stitched afghan my grandmother made, or one of my great-granny’s quilts, even without an infomercial.