If you are someone who can't seem to escape the drama that people bring into your everyday life, then it's time for, what I like to call, the Etch-a-Sketch moment.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Etch-a-Sketch, it was a toy in which a person could draw on a sketch pad using two knobs and I guess sand. It was especially difficult to use because you had to be coordinated enough to turn the knobs and make the drawing tool move around the pad the way you intended it to. For kids like myself, and many others, it was impossible to use. But of course back then, it was the 1980s, and our options for entertaining ourselves were somewhat limited. Anyway, one thing that did make the Etch-a-Sketch fun, however, was that when you messed up your drawing (and you would mess up), you could shake it like crazy, the sands inside it would resettle, and once again you would have a clean slate.
The Etch-a-Sketch moment I eluded to earlier, is the moment when, much like with the toy, a person shakes up their own life, and returns to a clean slate. As you can imagine, this can be very difficult for some people. Especially those people who believe that they "need" the people creating the stress to be "happy." This becomes even more complicated when those people are family members.
Here's what experience has taught me. Those people who have managed to find some peace in their life, are those that know how to be alone. These people are content with who they are as an individual, and they are not afraid of being alone.
At first glance, "alone" can probably seem like a pretty scary word, when in fact it isn't. At least not in the way that I'm suggesting it. My use of the word "alone" means a person knows who they are. They've examined their lives from various perspectives, and are satisfied with what they have found.
Self examination, on the other hand, can be scary. Outright terrifying, if you ask me. However, in order to be able to return to the clean slate that I'm suggesting, a person must be willing to start over. And starting over, first and foremost, always begins with one's own self. Can you function on your own, without the approval, or disapproval, of another person? Are you able to identify, for yourself, when others are obstructing your ability to seek happiness? Do you feel comfortable speaking honestly to another person you care about, or do you find yourself censoring yourself, for one reason, or another? Do you still dream? Do you still have hope? Each of these questions are part of one's self-examination, and the answers to those questions can be especially difficult. Also, I should mention, there are other complexities which can exist within these questions, and other questions, that can come about during the examination process. Regardless, in order for the Etch-a-Sketch moment to truly be successful, a person must be able to return to being "alone."
In the end, its about being content with one's self, and the path they have put themselves on. That's why goal setting is so important, as well (See blog: SMART). When a purpose has been established, and the course has been set, obstacles are much easier to identify. If a person wants to lose weight, for example, and is not supported, or encouraged, by friends, or loved ones, then it should become obvious that if "you will not encourage me in my goals, then you will not be apart of my life. Because my goals, and my happiness, must always come first."
It should also be noted that "alone," or square one, does not always mean, by yourself. Some of us have those core family members, and friends, that support us, no matter what. Those people should not be excluded when resetting one's life, because they are necessary parts of the rebuilding process. They make up the foundation to every new structure you build. That being said, when it comes to the people, or things, which bring you stress, if those people, or things, do not mix well with your core group, friends and/or family, then considerations should be made as to whether, or not, an Etch-a-Sketch moment may be required.