What are you tangled up in right now? What is standing between you and joy?
Negative attachment and entanglement leads to stress, discontent, and poor physical and mental health. The longer we live with it, the harder it seems to untangle. We begin to live the stories we tell ourselves about our struggle, and we get used to the distraction and the drama of thinking about our energy vampires. These soul-suckers look different for everyone, but usually fall into the following categories.
Memories of people and places can be joyful, but reflecting on the past and thinking we can change it, or wishing it had been different is damaging. Those reflections often turn to regret, guilt, and sadness. Energy vampires from the past may include missed opportunities, relationships that ended poorly, or things that you said or did that don’t align with the person you really are.
The past may have joyful memories and offer lessons, but there is nothing that’s happened that can unhappen and giving it your attention never results in change or resolution.
There are great benefits to anticipation and looking forward to future events, but worry is most prevalent when you direct your attention to things that haven’t happened yet. In my experience, the things we worry about aren’t the things that end up happening, and the outcome is never dependent on how much we do worry. Uncertainty, fear, and a vivid imagination can create terrible scenarios that never actually happen. Even if they only occur in your mind, those scenarios become energy vampires.
The best place to be is fully present in the moment you are experiencing. Free of regret, worry, or comparison, you can enjoy each simple sight, taste, sound and feeling for just what it is. When you stay present, future thinking and past regret cannot exist.
One energy vampire that does reside in the present is discontent, usually as a result of comparison. If you always compare and think things can be better or different, it’s hard to find joy in what you have and who you are. That discontent can make you feel like you are less than, or not enough, and with that you’ll feel depleted and unsatisfied.
Prepare to untangle
Vampires trade your precious time, attention and energy for lack of confidence, fatigue, hopelessness, doubt, fear and sadness while standing in the way of joy, love, courage and a full life.
Prepare to untangle and …
- Make a list. Acknowledge what and who your vampires are. Put pen to paper and take a good look at what’s stealing your energy, joy and passion.
- Make another list. What fuels you? Who lifts you? Write down your joy, passions, and great loves.
- Take responsibility and take back the power. Recognize that they don’t have a hold on you, and that you are the one who is holding on. These energy vampires all reside in your mind. They appear in your dreams and your thoughts and distract you from what matters most, but they don’t exist without your hold and attention.
The simplest way to untangle from your energy vampires
Once you’ve identified what drains you and what fuels you, and you’ve recognized that the hold is yours; to grip or release, you can simply untangle with this two-step exercise.
- Respond to your energy vampires with a mantra or silent prayer. Instead of reacting with anger, worry or fear, respond thoughtfully when they appear and simply say, “I release you.”
- Redirect your attention to something that fuels you. Choose three of the items from the second list you made, and take action to bring those things to life. If you want to reclaim your energy, your health, and the joy you deserve in life, give the good things your attention.
The simple serenity prayer in the image above reminds us how important it is to accept and release what we can’t change, so we have strength and courage for what we can change.
Maybe you think that your vampires are more complicated, and that you are too tangled, but what if you are wrong? It may take practice and repetition, but there is no harm in dedicating less time and attention to what drains you, and more to what fuels you.
The energy vampires from the past, present and future will live off of your energy until you decide to.