When I was in high school I used to come home every day with my friend to find our mothers clinging to the television set. It was time for the latest version of a very popular soap opera. I have to admit that I also got just as hooked on the drama as our mothers were. Pleas for something we perceived we needed were met with “Shhhh, after the show”! I suppose there is something intriguing about the suspense of not knowing what will happen next and having to wait to find out the next day, or even worse, after the weekend.
The drama would consist of anything from some romantic interlude, to someone finding out they had a terminal illness. I’m still not sure if the main draw to those types of programs is the plot themselves or if they just take us out of our own real life drama. Actually when things are hard in life, I don’t mind focusing on something else for awhile, but there are only so many scenarios that can happen to soap opera characters. After awhile it gets kind of old to hear about the same issues over and over again, only with different people. It got to the point where I would wonder, “Whose turn is it for an affair this time”? Then what made the whole thing even more interesting were the conversations about the lives of the characters outside of the program. Its almost like we talked about them as if they were really living around us and we knew them. “Did you hear what happened to Susan the other day”?
Its kind of strange how we can find those situations so interesting when they are portrayed in a dramatic presentation on TV, but they are not quite as fun when they happen to us in real life. How many times have we watched a sitcom and witnessed a couple having a knock down drag out argument and laugh at the comments they make? The irony is if they were our real life issues they sure would not be as funny. (Probably not funny at all).
Real life drama is draining. Take the issues off of the television set and put them in our lives and they become heartache and hardship. Have you ever had that one friend who seems to dramatize everything that happens to her in life? The one who has to reenact every single scene with you over a cup of coffee? Basically the way I look at this is when a person shovels out drama about their lives, they are only gossiping about themselves. The whole thing is really defeating and quite draining. I’m not referring to when we need to discuss life situations with treasured friends. We need to share one another’s lives in a safe and secure environment. I mean when drama becomes so addicting that we can almost hear the suspense music in the background when someone discusses their latest real life screen play. I used to know someone who would tell me her latest life’s dramatic events only to move on to another fellow friend and repeat the whole thing to her as well. Unfortunately it did not even stop there. There is not much that is as defeating or exhausting as reenacting our own soap opera to a real life audience over and over again, accept maybe hearing it. Again, this excludes devoted friendships where our listening ears are more important than any amount of gold on this earth. I personally have been given emotional healing just having good friends hear my heart. I can thank them for my secured sanity.
But when life is taken over by the discussing of dramatic events surrounding us, we miss so much of the things God wants for us. I’m not sure what makes creating drama so interesting. It might be the need for attention of some sort. Unfortunately the type of attention is not the healthy kind. It’s almost like when a child acts out to get a parents discipline for attention. There are a whole lot easier ways to go about getting the things that meet out needs. I think creating drama is right up there in the devils workshop with being idle in life.
If you really want to be empowered, make your life a drama free zone. We are only given so many minutes in every day. Lets make every one of them a quality moment! If this does not seem possible maybe becoming a real actress is your main calling! Otherwise, go for the things in life that make it worth living, like giving to others, being a good friend, helping others feel more secure, or just plain enjoy the wonders of the world we have been gifted with!
Pastor Jenine Marie Howry
Jenine Marie Coaching
** Photo credit: HealthUsNews.com