It was morning and I didn’t hear the whistle blowing. I didn’t get a good night sleep and the next day not even a sauna-sized Starbucks Caramel Macchiato could wake me up.
But some dirty nasty drama could.
On my way to the copier, my work friend began by saying “he cheated on me again.” I nodded and she took this as an invitation to fill me in on more lurid details. She claimed she wasn’t going to take it anymore but wanted to hang out with him to make him suffer. And then she bit her hangnail on her pinkie and made it bleed. On the copy paper. Woo Woo.
Again, I ignored the train in the distance because I was curious as to how this work acquaintance was “gonna make him suffer.” Another gal overheard the conversation and jumped on board about how she made her boss suffer by erasing his computer files because she suffers daily, being overworked and not seeing her family.
The hangnail friend would not be one-upped and upgraded to first class. We all know that person. That coworker. That family member. That friend… Woo Woo.
Out of politeness, I ignored the roaring of the train. The work friend continued on by how she was going to fake a pregnancy to scare her husband…
Now, it was too late. I missed my stop. Here’s the real kicker. I don’t hang out with these folks. They didn’t come to get counseling. They were just in my workspace and they came looking for a travel buddy on the drama train.
With one moment of clarity, I did what any sane person would do. I went to the bathroom. I didn’t have to go. But sitting in an empty, quiet stall, I found a moment of peace and wondered. What just happened?
Then it hit me. I had just bought a one-way ticket on the Drama Train. It stunk more than the ladies room.
Have you ever taken a ride? Willingly? Unwillingly? But more importantly, do you know how to jump off the Drama Train?
We all want to change the way we feel. We all want to be happy, but drama is a pattern. And it’s sensational and exciting. You can bond with others. With drama you can relive the painful past, piss on the present and freak out in the future.
And it might be awful but it’s never boring. It makes us feel significant because something unjust in our world happened to us.
And while it makes us feel special, we don’t realize that our drama stinks up and down the tracks of other’s lives and daily experiences. And long term, it causes derailment in all areas of your life.
So, what to do?
GET OFF THE DRAMA TRAIN. NOW.
In the fast pace of life, we don’t realize that our environment can control us if we don’t control it. This environment could be your home, work or even life.
Here are the 4 ways to Get off The Drama Train
Mindfulness is simply awareness of where you are in this moment. Before you start your day, start warming your own engines. Set aside five minutes. You can do this. Take a few deep breaths.
- Breathe in Gratitude. Think about the IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE. Imagine if they weren’t. Feel the contrast. Know that they are here in this moment and really feel grateful that they love you. When you are in gratitude, you can’t be angry or worried. By shifting to gratitude, you are also shifting your habits.
- Think of one thing you want to do for yourself. It could be getting that cup of coffee. It could be playing a round of Candy Crush or Candy Crush Soda. Whatever it is. Practice that intentional kindness to you.
- Do one kind thing for someone else during your day. If you don’t want to engage with people, there are a lot animals and causes out there that could use your help. DO IT DAILY.
When you start to rev your own engines of creating that environment of gratitude for others and yourself. You start to exist in a happier state. And you start to create the habit of happiness on moment to moment basis… and all those moments make up your life.
But what happens when you derail and end up on someone else’s tracks. And this person or even a group of friends or family want you to board their Drama Train?
You say no thank you either in your words or actions. You can change the subject and if they don’t want to then walk away. In some case, you may lose travel buddies because they were used to you when you put up with the drama, and when you added to it.
Life is about change and constant growth. So, it they get mad that you won’t ride along, let it go. And if it ever gets too much, then let them go in love. As Joseph Campbell said, “If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on the kind of track, which has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.” Your potential is waiting. Woo-Woo. Namaste.