The Zen of killing vampires

September begins a month of change. New beginnings, holidays, back to school just to name a few.

Already the change in the air is unmistakable with a crisp bite that has been missing. If Spring is the time for physical cleaning, autumn is a great time for spiritual and mental cleaning and healing.

You know what energy vampires are, right? They are the kind of people that when you talk to them, somehow they poke you with a giant syringe and suck the life right out of you. People, you heard it here first, energy vampires suck.

In my life, I have several energy vampires that I would love to get rid of. Some I can or have. For the rest, I simply have to change my relationship with them, focus on the good in them and see them in a new light. A very zen thing to do when all I can think of when talking to them is my quiet hope that a great big ACME piano will fall from the sky and land on them. Or perhaps Dorothy’s house from Oz. Hey, it already killed one evil witch. What’s a few more?

As for the ones that I can cut out of my life, I already have started. I made the tough choice to resign one client who I can only imagine was put on the earth to be a warning to others. He served his purpose for me. I think I learned the lesson I needed to learn from him and set him free.

Then, there are the very worst kind of energy vampires — the ones that aren’t in your life any longer, but still hold tremendous power over you. Perhaps a former colleague or boss, friend or relative. Someone whom just the mere thought of makes your blood boil. Why are they the worst? Because your relationship with them is entirely in your head, yet they torment you endlessly. Scratch that, you torment yourself endlessly and give them the credit. Let them go.

In fairness, there are others who have decided to cut me out of their lives. One did so just the other day. In the movie “Elizabethtown,” the character Drew Baylor remarks “I have recently become a secret connoisseur of last looks. You know the way people look at you when they believe it’s for the last time…? There’s one right now.” Well, she came over to pick up some things I had been storing for her and said goodbye with a look and a finality that I had never seen from her. The kind that said, “we’re through.” And you know, that’s ok. Her life, her choice. If our paths cross again when she is in a better place, I would fully welcome it. For now, I release the person and the relationship to the universe with no ill will and no second thoughts.

Same with an ex who felt the need to block me on Facebook. In both cases, I’m truly sorry that I came to represent something that they needed to completely remove from their lives, but I know what ever it is, it is more about them than about me. While their actions sadden me, I won’t dwell on their choices nor dig through their psyche looking for an answer to a question that doesn’t need to be asked. Instead, I choose to let them go while at the same time treasuring the good times we had and being sorry for any pain, anger or frustration I caused them.

A former boss once told me that one of the most important decisions you will make in life is deciding who you bring with you on your journey, who is riding in your bus. If someone doesn’t want to ride in my bus with me, for whatever reason, I totally respect that decision. You are always welcome to leave. If our paths are meant to cross again, they will. Until then, best wishes on your journey.

Just as I was about to post this, I got a text from my sister that in just a few short words brought up a hurt from the past that really should be left there about a group of “friends” that turned out to be anything but. I’m not sure what I ever did to their little clique. Yet they still harbor some resentment to me I will never understand despite my best efforts to reach out to them collectively and individually. That word “harbor” conjured up a mantra from “Eat Pray Love” that seems particularly fitting right now: I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore.

Now, that is my mantra, and my wish for myself and you: I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts and relationships anymore.

To all the Jews, l’shana tova. May this be a great year for you and may the holidays bring you the light and direction you seek. To everyone else, happy Fall Cleaning.

Bill

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