Do you have someone in your life that drains you? Every time you are around them the situation is always about them, their issues, their victimhood, their chaos. We all have people in our lives like that. People who are toxic, lost, chaotic, broken, severely traumatized, or narcissistic. Some of us have people in our lives who go beyond that and are significantly mentally ill or toxic to the point that they have lost all source of reason. Some people are Energy Vampires, or people that suck all of the energy out of the people and even environments that they interact with.

There was a point that I had someone like this in my life. Over the years I soaked in new-ager mythologies about how “we create our reality” and that everyone was an extension of myself. I believed that somehow my emotions and beliefs and woundings created this person and their mental illness, their victimhood, and their inability to not only be unable to take care of themselves but a lashing out and toxicity towards anyone that tried to get them help or was compassionate towards them.

In my own life since I was relatively sane and stable I tried to have compassion for this person. I tried to see them as an extension of myself. I tried to reason with myself that they didn’t understand what they were doing. But I realized that in doing so I was harming myself.

It is great that we take responsibility for ourselves, for our lives. Most of us do not. Most of us are still fully asleep in our own lives and not able to take much responsibility for our lives. We feel victimized by our lives, our circumstances. Some of us begin to awaken and we begin to believe that we have total responsibility for our lives. In fact, we are the creators of our own world, and anything that goes wrong with it is because we are not thinking right or acting right.

It is our fault, basically. This type of thinking is yet another illusion, and it is problematic. It is wonderful when we begin to take responsibility for our lives. We really should. Most of us don’t. But there is another layer, that of the people around us creating their own lives, our communities creating the reality of our communities, and our world creating the reality of the world. We are not the center of the universe. We dream our world into existence only to a certain extent. And beyond that we dream our world into being as families, societies, and the world… and beyond that we are part of divinity, and divine flows, and sometimes stuff just happens.

Most people do not awaken to this. Most of the world is asleep. And those who are awakening like to believe that they create everything. It is empowering to do so– to believe that you are in total control of everything in your life if you just think and act right. Unfortunately, this is a myth. We are not the center of the Universe. We do create our own reality, but so is the person next to us creating theirs. And they may be broken, toxic, asleep, and harmful to you and your wellbeing.

The truth is that even if you think right you may be mugged, that the starving five year old doesn’t need to take personal responsibility for everything. Some things that happen, in fact many things that happen, are not because of us or our wrong thinking or acting. It is because of community, societal, or world dreaming… it is because of spiritual divine flows and reasoning and stuff just happening. We are not in control, and we are in control… but only to a certain extent.

It took me a long time to cut this person out of my life because for so long I wanted to believe that if I was only more compassionate, or if I ignored them, or if I tried to reason with them or understood with clarity that they would change. I tried new age reasoning that I created this person, I had compassion for this person, and what ended up happening is that they took advantage of my compassion. Every interaction with them sucked me dry, it made me feel terrible, and I felt responsible for their feelings and their brokenness because I am sane and stable and they are far from it.

While I suggest to everyone that they see if they can mend their relationships, especially with family, and work through ancestral and personal traumas (the whole taking personal responsibility thing) it is important to note that there are people out there that no matter how much you heal yourself will not heal. You healing your own thoughtforms will not bring someone out of mental illness. You healing your own addictive tendencies will not cause anyone else to stop being an addict. We are responsible for our ourselves, our own beliefs, our own traumas… but other people have their own that we really have nothing to do with. Again, we are not the center and sole creator of the Universe. We just are not.

When you get to a point of clarity about what you can and cannot take personal responsibility for it is a choice to have certain people in your life, even if they are family or close friends. A relationship should be an equal energetic exchange, meaning that you give and receive 50 percent in a relationship. A lot of relationships don’t do this– it may be 60/40 or 30/70. A lot of these relationships can be worked with and healed. But there are some relationships that are 10/90 or 0/100 and these are toxic and can be harmful to us. With the clarity of how we feel and what we are receiving from this person, we can make a logical and compassionate decision to not have a toxic person or an Energy Vampire in our lives.

By saying this I am not saying to abdicate responsibility for an autistic child, or a mentally ill family member, or a friend who is an addict. But there is a questioning process here of how much of an impact they have on us, how much energy we are willing to give, how much of our own sanity we are willing to give. If it is an autistic child this may be a much greater percent than an addict. I cannot tell you what to do in your own life. But what I can say is that it is worth questioning if the energy vampire friend, the narcissist who is unable to listen you or anything you say, the mentally unsound family member who creates nothing but violence and chaos, or the work colleague who you feel extremely drained by are people who you wish to extend your own energetic reserves, emotions, and general sanity for.

Ideally all of our lives can be peaceful, and filled with people who bring energy and beauty into our lives. As we awaken we may notice that the people we once held as friends, the family members who once pulled us into their own issues, and the work environment we once disliked but couldn’t put an exact reason why are toxic or even dangerous for us. We may naturally find ourselves parting from these environments. This may be a painful process. We may find how we have engendered these people and places and need to take personal responsibility for our part in creating them. But we also may find out that these people and environments are toxic all on their own and decide that the best decision is to sever ties from them.

I will say that it is typical in the awakening process to see the patterns in everything and everyone… except our own… especially at first. To see everyone around us and even the world as a toxic and horrible place. At this point it is healthy and relevant to look back at ourselves and heal ourselves. Later we can remain with people who have trauma and issues and even the worst energy vampire/ taker of energy in the world and be okay. But it is our ability to make that conscious choice of who we want to interact with, who we want to have in our lives that is key. And it is okay to let some people and situations go if they are not serving us.