Down with the Drama

Down with the Drama

Life is dramatic, yes. Sometimes it is bright and sunny, and the next moment it is all stormy and cloudy. But why are people so dramatic? There were two different instances in the past one month where for the smallest of triggers, people around me picked fights. And then, it didn’t stop there. In this era of technology, one registers their protest by storming out of WhatsApp groups, blocking and unfollowing on social media and cutting off every other form of ‘connection’.

A few days pass by and they realise the foolishness of their short tempered behaviour. Now, sheepishly they agree to be re-admitted in the groups. And all is well; memes and GIFs flow freely as if nothing happened. In between a person exiting the group and re-entering, there is so much that happens offline. Some cajoling, some compromising, some repentance, some large-heartedness. This, I believe, after speaking to many others around me, has become a common occurrence. Shame has become a veritable doormat for the volatile persona.

Similar events occur at home as well. My brother and I break into little battles over chores, we lose temper and use unwanted words. The very next day, sheepishly, we rely on each other for some favour or the other. My mother goes on a melodramatic tirade to get us to do things her way. Even if we show a simpler way out, it does not work. There has to be some sentimental edge to even daily conversations. For things as mundane as deciding the menu for the next day, we are made to question our whole existence. Oh, the drama!

So, why do we garnish our daily lives with a liberal dose of anger, jealousy, shame and regret? Why do we so willingly throw ourselves under the bus of emotional volatility?

It is but human tendency to seek identification – whether it is with the world outside or with the Self within. The world outside, however, is fickle and unpredictable. When we sense that things are not going our way, we are compelled to express our anguish. The greater the attachment, the greater the sense of loss. The greater the sense of loss, the louder the drama. Think about your greatest heartbreaks and outbursts. What connects them all? The intense attachment to the subject.

When we gravitate towards the Self within, we will find ourselves mitigating the external volatilities. It doesn’t matter if our best friend finds a new friend. It doesn’t matter if our colleague receives more praise than us. It doesn’t matter if we are stood up on a coffee date. Perfectly at peace, content with being ourselves, we can cut out almost any drama from our life.

In spiritual parlance, this is the state of equanimity of mind. A dispassionate look at the world, which makes us question ‘so what?’ irrespective of the tidings of the day. Honestly, it saves a lot of time and heartache. Next time you catch yourself or others around you being dramatic, ask first what is the root of the attachment? Once you snap yourself away from that, the drama ceases to be. Instead, focusing on little acts of seeking, allows us to be comfortable with who we are; secure in our love for God and our Self. To be sure, this lifetime is too precious and unique to be wasted over multiple soap operas, of the real kind. So, down with the drama and all for Rama!

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Chinmaya Udghosh