I came across a Facebook post today by Louise Hay that said:
“I no longer need any negative drama in my life. I choose only good experiences from now on.”
Now Louise is a bright lady, and normally I agree with much of what she says, but today I just can’t.
No Drama – Ever!
Let’s start with the phrase “negative drama”. Drama is drama, and it is never something to aspire to – in either it’s “positive” or “negative” forms. We’re all familiar with the “negative” forms of drama – investing in other people’s issues, blowing things out of proportion as a way of not dealing with the deeper issue, etc. But there are “positive” forms of drama too. The person who works herself to death because the company “can’t do without her”. (This is never true, BTW – unless you are the owner of a start-up or the sole employee.) The “I’m far too busy being successful” person who won’t look at why his personal life is falling apart. These are ways in which we engage in drama around seemingly positive experiences.
Basically, the definition of drama is anything – positive or negative – that removes you from yourself.
Positive vs. Negative
So, my next issue with the statement is the second sentence “I choose only good experiences from now on.” Well, either Louise is more of a master than anyone I know – including Christ and the Buddha (who had some pretty “bad” experiences in their time) or this is just a little naive in its phrasing. Now I’m sure that Louise had in mind what I’m about to say, but I wanted to make it clear, because not everyone has this perspective.
There Is No Good or Bad – Only Experience
Things that happen are not inherently good or bad – they simply ARE. Any judgments we make are entirely ours and are based on the perspective that we are coming from. Which means nothing can be inherently good or bad – it is just good or bad FOR US. And even this is a short-sighted perspective since we cannot know what will be in five or ten years and how this particular experience will have impacted us in a way that might seem “bad” now, but which will ultimately result in something very “good” happening later. And even that doesn’t hold because that “good” thing might result in another “bad” thing at a future date. So there is no way to inherently assign a quality to an experience. Experiences simply are. Nothing more, nothing less. And the more we can stand in acceptance of what is, the less drama we will engage in. This isn’t to say that we can’t say we enjoyed or didn’t enjoy something or be happy or sad about it. But keeping a longer view, helps to put things into perspective.
For instance, if you have a fabulous date with someone today- someone who you think you could create something long-term with, you enjoy that moment with the knowledge that you’ve been given a gift in the moment that may result in more gifts down the road – or not. And if tomorrow, that “perfect person” disappears off the face of the planet, you feel sad and feel your grief at the loss of what might have been, and you keep in mind that you’ve been given a great gift – one of being able to see yourself anew through the lens of this emotion and that down the road that gift might result in more gifts. You see? One is not different from another.
The secret is to maintain your perspective in both the “now” and in the “all-that-is” at the same time. This way, you are present to everything in the moment, while at the same time taking a longer view perspective that allows you to see possibilities that the “now” may not hold. The key to everything is acceptance. Accept what is. You cannot change this current moment. You may be able to change the next one (or not), but the current moment is what it is. And the sooner you accept it, the happier you are.
Those are my thoughts for a grey Wednesday. Hope you’re having a good one. Would love to hear your comments.