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The Truth about Energy Vampires

In the world of empaths, clairsentience and other psychic powers, we often talk about energy vampires.

It is said that these are the people who suck you dry. The narcissists and the addicts, the people who push our buttons, activate our wounds and drag us into the messy places where we don't know how to hold our boundaries and protect ourselves.

I am not arguing that these people exist. I advocate for anyone who senses energy to learn to hold and protect their boundaries; it can literally be a lifesaving skill to have. My beef with this trend toward pointing our fingers at troublesome people is twofold.

First, the people who push our buttons, or trigger us, are major teachers and gifts in our lives. Being triggered is like someone taking highlighter to an area of life where we are unhealed, fragmented, unsafe, unprotected. Of course it is wise to create space between people who habitually trigger us so that we don't need to suffer, but it should not stop there. We must go back to the pain, to the story that we tell ourselves about the other person, this enemy of ours, and we must reclaim our power and learn to hold our energy in integrity even in the presence of one who activates our wounds.

For example, I am repeatedly triggered by a woman who I interact with regularly. I have created space between us and I have communicated with her directly about the ways that she is unbalancing to me. I have also looked deeply into the wound that her mode of being seems to irritate. She is like me. She is out to save the world. She is fierce in her passion to help others. She is tireless, has big ideas, and is terribly ungrounded. I feel all of my own deep fatigue when I look at her. I always feel like she is pushing me to do more than I am willing to do. Every time I leave her, I feel depleted and violated. Being with her is so exhausting for me because I can barely manage her energy and my own wounded energy at the same time.

Her presence in my life is a huge gift, and I limit the amount of time that I spend with her to preserve my sanity and to prevent me from punishing her for my own pain. She shows me the work that I still need to do in my own life.

The second problem that I have with the current understanding of energy vampires, is that we often overlook the most costly energy drain of all, which is a lack of integrity. This is truly the basis for the loss of energy with energy vampires as well. We are not able to hold our boundaries with these people, which is how we lose energy. This is also true anytime we are acting out of integrity with our own truth. We are losing energy by keeping up the charade, and we end up feeling depleted, dirty, or like we've been duped.

A great example in my life came from a time when I was volunteering for an organization that I didn't really feel like I resonated with. The energy it took for me to hold my tongue about things that I didn't agree with was a huge loss for my life. All of that energy could have been used more productively in partnership with an organization that I really jive with.

In my journey, the greatest teacher for how to deal with energy vampires in all forms is the great mother Kali. She is a Hindu goddess who is fierce, wields swords, drinks blood, and doesn't take anyone's shit. She is a great teacher for someone like me who needs to learn how to hold her boundaries, how to say her piece, and how to cut away the deception that "good girls" are taught to cultivate in order to please everyone. It is this deception that slowly drains us of our life force.

Putting yourself in a circle of white light is really nice, and it may even work for a time, but if we stop here we are really missing the bigger opportunity. Energy hygiene is so important and things like smudging, chakra alignment, crystal grids, meditation and breathwork are all essential pieces of keeping our energy body strong-but the true lesson of encountering energy vampires (as people or as inner processes that rob us of our integrity) is to learn to identify and hold our boundaries. To fully embody our sense of Self, and to protect that Self with the same fierce love that we would use to protect our own child.

Our energy body constricts when we are faced with a person or event that is not in alignment with our truth. Staying in the presence of that person, or in that circumstance, without expressing our Truth causes symptoms that we can feel in our bodies. Our necks stiffen. Our stomach tightens. Our heart rate goes up. Our stress hormones start to secrete. The animal body senses danger, and if we ignore it, we promote stress related diseases. If we do not feel safe to express our truth, then we must escape the situation or person, and take our learning with us to process in a way that feels safe for us.

Ideally, we are always working toward greater compassion for ourselves and the world around us. Sometimes the greatest act of compassion is just getting out of the situation gracefully. Sometimes the greatest act of compassion is speaking up, standing up, and fiercely holding the boundary.

Yes, use your energy clearing practices. Yes, identify the people in your life who trigger you or make you feel depleted. Yes, create space between yourself and these people and situations that challenge your peace of mind. And, don't stop there. Find the wound, communicate your needs and hold your boundaries. We are only half divine, the other half is animal and we are tasked with healing the divide.

If you are looking for more information on energy hygiene, I highly recommend this free e-book by local healer, Jen Frey:

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