For Lent, I am giving up drama.
Chocolate is looking like an easier choice.
I recognize this is an unorthodox thing to relinquish and I can’t claim to have chosen this discipline on my own. It came to me from that mysterious space in my soul that I have learned to recognize as the Holy Spirit. And it is rooted in ongoing work with my Enneagram type.
If you aren’t familiar with the Enneagram, I would definitely recommend some reading and exploring. Start on this website and then read a book such as Richard Rohr’s The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective. From there, look for someone who is teaching it because it is best learned in the way it has been passed down: an oral tradition.
Those of you who know the Enneagram: I reside in the 4 space. “The Individualist.” “The Artist.” Or as a friend put it to me this week, “The Drama Queen.” (That stung a bit!)
Now let me just say in my defense, that I don’t think most people see me as a drama queen. It is rare that I allow my internal drama to surface to the outside. But it is usually simmering there nonetheless – a pot of hurt, slights, anxiety and victimization waiting to be stirred up.
For every other type, it is good to dig deep into their emotions and process them. For the 4 it is a trap. We feed off drama (our own and others) to get an emotional connection and to claim our unique space in the world.
Giving up drama is like giving up a drug. This week I’ve seen how I use it to cover deeper pains of abandonment and inadequacy. Drama keeps me trapped as the victim and strips me of the power to act because I’m too busy licking wounds and processing the world to realize I can be an agent of love for someone else.
Just like any addiction, drama is my coping mechanism and before I know it, I’m looking for the next hit. So, I find I’m confessing a lot which is where we’re supposed to be in Lent anyways.
What does your personality or unique way of being in the world ask you to give up? Control? People-pleasing? Anxious thoughts? Perfection? Anger?