Invitations to Chaos

I get a lot of invitations to chaos. You can substitute the word drama if you prefer but to me they mean very much the same thing. When I am involved in drama, my life becomes chaos. I don’t accept the invitations today because I want to live in love (a topic for another time) and have joy in my life.  

I used to think it was so much easier to live in chaos and drama because I never had to think about my behavior, I never had to be present in the day and I never had to feel my feelings – I just ran on the adrenaline of each and every little problem I was either faced with or told about.  Yes, you heard me “told about” I didn’t need the little problem to be mine to have it run the day for me. I could take on another person’s chaos or drama with a vengeance!

Today I am trying not to live in chaos but calm – so I have noticed I get a lot of invitations to chaos. I don’t think it is possible to avoid chaos and drama entirely; however, I try hard not to accept the invitation to it.  The easiest invitations for me to turn down are the ones that come from people who live in a constant state of chaos.  These are obvious to me because I recognize the life style (having lived in it for so many years).  It is a life style where there is one drama after another that interferes with the routine of daily life and gives us good reason to stress (because as we all know, stressing out about an issue helps it so much – NOT).  Once the dust settles, another incident occurs it may or may not be a dramatic incident but it is made into one!  So I say something like “I am sorry you are going through this, I hope your day gets better and you can get some rest” and then I begin the fight against my co-dependent need to fix the person’s problem. I encourage my co-dependent self with the knowledge that jumping in and becoming a part of the chaos and drama team won’t solve anything for these types of people (formerly known as, my people) but it will take away my calm (which may be needed when a real serious problem arises).

I struggle most with the invitations that seem harmless and are subtle.  A small suggestion or comment from someone like “did you see what so and so did” or “I can’t believe what so and so said.” These invitations when accepted can derail me for a whole day, week or even more.  Last Monday I got a subtle invitation to chaos. I belong to a group and in this group, members sign up each day to speak by placing their name on a calendar.  A woman came to me and said “did you see so and so put his initial on every single weekend day for the entire month.”  I said no I hadn’t and she added, “well, he can’t do that he is trying to control who speaks each weekend by reserving the days and then picking the speaker.”  I paused (oh – the value of the PAUSE) and I took a deep breath and I said I can’t go there, I can’t get involved, I can’t control his behavior and I can’t afford to spend my day angry at something I cannot control.  

You see the thing is, I was nervous and I was full of fear in that moment of pause – I thought OMG, what is she going to think of me, she is a strong woman with no qualms about sharing her opinion of others and often to the entire group – I was full of fear! The “pause” gave me the extra moment I needed to walk through the fear into freedom and love. The freedom to live my day the way I envisioned; free of chaos, drama and resentment.  It turned out to be an amazing day, it was my friend’s birthday and I was able to be present for her because I wasn’t perseverating about the man who put his initial on a calendar (sounds silly now).  Truth is the initial was G and as it turned out the weekend days were being reserved for guests.  Our group gets a lot of guests in the summer time.  It was a nice jester that I would have missed had I joined the chaos and drama team.   

Don’t be fooled my friends, comments like “did you hear what she said” and “did you see what he did” are little invitations, hooks, to reel you in to be a part of the chaos and drama team!!! Walk through the fear of another’s opinion – save yourself and save YOUR day, don’t bite!!!!   

3 thoughts on “Invitations to Chaos

  1. Accepting an invitation to someone else’s chaos is a fundamental choice based on our susceptibility to codependency. Good that you’re examining what you suggest has been a long-standing pattern of social interaction. I usually fall back on the serenity prayer then proceed with an open mind and open heart but with very clear boundaries (rarely expressed to the “offender” – can’t change them) about how far I’ll let myself be drawn in. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. So, keep up the writing – a positive and therapeutic way for you to express yourself, explore/understand your feelings and, most importantly, grow. And any criticism you receive that is not supportive? Toss in the trash immediately and perhaps say a brief prayer for the critic. SK

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