It’s useful for me to think of the spirit, the soul, as being the sum total energy of a being. It is enough energy to last your entire lifespan (unless an accident cuts it short). Consciousness is the process that allows us to focus that energy for our survival. There are things in life that take away that energy (disease, people) and there are things that maintain it (productivity, people).
There was something that always happened to me that left me inexplicably without energy. I would be worn out and inefficient. For some reason, all sorts of people would open up to me. Strangers would just tell me random stories about what they’d done. Friends would confide secrets to me. It’s like I had a banner over my head that said I was trustworthy. I began to feel like a priest with the way folks were confessing to me.
Recently, I found out what this was and what it meant for me and my energy. I felt drained because these people were behaving like vampires. I’ve previously written about the tendency to pass emotions to another person (Emotional Wave) and I’ll elaborate here on a specific instance. Emotional vampires don’t always realize what they’re doing. Others intentionally leech on another person. Both groups are dumping their emotional baggage on you. However, the effects don’t last because of course you can’t actually give someone else your emotions. This is a cycle that must repeat itself for the person to feel relief. It can become an addiction.
The unaware enabler is left feeling drained because they now have to use their energy to hold information inside or to try to help the other person feel better. This is why gossip helps no one. Each person just sends the burden down the chain until everyone is feeling worse. Misery loves company, right? Disease is the physical component of an energy drain; sucking away your strength until your body has no more fuel left.
On the other end of the spectrum there are ways to maintain your energy. These are the things and people that invigorate us. Energy drains are forceful and involuntary, resulting in your energy bring used for purposes other than your survival. Energy maintenance comes from voluntary and productive actions. It results from helping people freely and doing the things that make you happy.
Some people are energetic about their religion, others about their job, and yet others about certain issues. Most of us only have about 70-80 years (as far as we know) of energy and it is pertinent to know how to best make use of it. Those that die happy are the ones who maintain their energy for their own survival. This doesn’t mean they leave others behind. It simply means that they know their limits, accept their responsibilities, and make the best of what they actually have. They know they aren’t super men but they also know that they can be plenty effective doing what they do best. They know that other people aren’t worth more or less but just as much as themselves.
The maintainer (I’m surprised that’s actually a word) wastes no time with what they have no power over. That list of things includes other people’s emotions and problems, the world at large, and information beyond their scope. They are open to the world without being weighed down by it, they are productive and take care of themselves while remaining generous, and they treasure their time on earth because they know the clock is ticking and that their life matters.
What do you think? What are ideas, issues, or things that detract from your energy, your spirit? What are the things that energize you and how can you make it better? Did you ever feel like you had to save the world? How can you effectively help others and take care of yourself at the same time? Which areas of your life could use some maintenance?