People talk about so-called “energy vampires,” those people or situations or things that seemingly drain off our energy. You hang around them and you leave feeling tired–so they must have “sucked” the energy from you, right?
Nope. They don’t exist. That’s just a way to put blame on something external–that thing, out there, over there…that’s the cause. Not me. Not my choices.
I say this with love: We can all grow up now and start taking responsibility for our ‘stuff.’
We choose who we hang out with.
We choose how we judge them (which is really what results in the energy drain–we’re so busy thinking about how nutso they are or evaluating their choices, we go home later feeling drained…and then blame it on them! They’re just being themselves, you know).
In the rush to define who is and isn’t an energy vampire, most people forget how draining it is to resist practicing compassion for others.
We choose whether we blame.
We choose the to-do list.
We choose what we spend money on.
We choose where we work.
We choose whether our house is organized.
We choose whether or not to work out.
We choose whether or not to be informed.
We choose whether or not to be present.
Some of you might be reading this at exactly the right moment…perhaps you’re around a lot of people who you’d say are definitively “energy vampires.”
But again, the invitation is there to see if you want to be in charge of your experience, or a slave to theirs.
it’s all a choice.
For some people, that’s an immensely confrontational statement. Please (please!) remember that I’m saying it with gentleness. Also, I’m saying it to be helpful. Why? Because…
When we recognize that we choose, we are free to make different choices. For instance, choices not to hang around people who just aren’t a match for our psyche or soul, even as we recognize that they’re just as tender and fumbling and human as we are. If you stop saying that something external to you is the issue, it won’t mean that you have to put up with the person. It’ll just free you up to make a more empowering (and energizing!) choice.
make a list, check it twice.
Make a list of the various things in your life that you choose that might not be your best choices because you notice that choosing them means you’re feeling tired, drained, agitated.
what would you like to choose? Consider that “letting go” is not always the best answer. Sometimes (usually with relationships) “letting go” is just a form of running away, because we’d rather stop returning phone calls than drop down into our hearts, get present to what we feel, and try to work something out with someone.
So before you declare that you’re quitting your job, your boyfriend, or your stillness practice, be willing to investigate the in-between spaces where there might be workable solutions to your concerns.
Create stillness in your heart in knowing that you didn’t avoid or run away or tune out–you got present to what you need and then spoke into that.