Friday, June 06, 2008

Energy Vampires

(sigh) We have way too many of these in our community.

Lest I depress you, please see the earlier post on Good Teachers for a joyful antidote.

Circles are not meant to be the place where we play out our drama and trauma. I tell my students to "Bring your best self into circle and leave the whining at home".

Real trouble happens, and everyone needs a bit help now and then or a shoulder to cry on, me included. That's what support groups, therapy, self help books, meditation, journaling and personal introspection, and sometimes medical help, are for. Our Priestess can be our role model, coach and a guide. She is not there to fix us. In most cases, that is well within in our power to do. It's our journey - not one else can walk the path for us.

It's important to note that we can wear out our friends (and our welcome) with the same old complaints. At some point, we all have to stop talking about what's wrong and start making changes in our lives.

There are mystical words of power to use in such situations: They are

* I can * I will * I choose *

Sometimes, all we can do is get through the day, and that's OK. We all need to take small steps some days, so we make the choices we can make there and then. At other times, we need to focus on the big picture and not let our busy lives distract us from what is really important. That is when we bring forth our will to it's furtherst extent and say "This is the life I want." But it is the small, daily choices that make that life possible.

The path to recovery and healing has many tools and many facets. Some wisdom is often very simple. I like this one: "Success means getting up one more time then we fall down." Seriously. We get up again, we take what we learned and we move forward. That's how it works.

Or, we can can find a rut and furnish it. Our call.

Much of what I need now on my spiritual path, I learned as a kid: Get up. Put one foot in front of the other, fall down, laugh, cry, play with whatever you find in front of you, check out that potential new friend over there, watch how the big kids do it, pet the kitty, hug the dog, get up again. Toddlers are very Zen.

To those among us who are sympathetic listeners I say this: If someone asks us for help and we give good advice (or better yet, avoid giving advice but ask the right questions) and we constantly hear the response "Yes, but...." then we are hearing people who do not want to change, they just want to complain. Bless them, and let them go. They have some more learning to do. In such cases, we are do one any good. In fact, by enabling them (1), we are simply getting in the way, and wasting our own precious spirit in the process.

Here are some helpful tips for dealing (kindly, firmly and compassionately) with Energy Vampires.

Energy vampires are everywhere and it's important to have as good and positive boundaries as we can so they don't suck us dry. If we have such people in our life on a regular basis, then it's time to ask, "What is is about me that attracts these people?"



As Eli H. Newberger notes in his book The Men They Will Become, there are two sides to this coin. The term enabling indicates behavior that tolerates, sometimes ignores or denies. or even promotes self-destructive patterns of behavior by another person. Enabling interactions include explanation, problem-solving, and empathy. Constraining interactions are distracting, devaluing, or judgmental of another person's behavior or opinions.

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