Are You Taking On Other People’s Stuff? by John Cali

Lately many of my lessons (or reminders) are coming from my dreams, particularly the vivid ones. Last night I had yet another vivid dream.

In the dream there was a large gathering at my house, including friends and family from my past and present. They were noisy and argumentative, talking almost nonstop about all their complaints and problems. It was utter chaos.

I was not involved in any of the conversations—I was just a passive observer. But I was feeling all the negative energy and turmoil. The dream seemed to drag on for hours, and I was physically, mentally, and emotionally drained from it all.

Then I woke up.

Here are Spirit’s thoughts:

Many of you reading this are more sensitive to energy than most humans. That’s not a bad thing, but sensitivity comes at a price. As one of John’s favorite teachers says, “The price of sensitivity is sensitivity,” How true!

You sensitive ones are likely to easily pick up on other people’s thoughts and feelings, often without consciously realizing it. This is where you get into the difficulties John did in his dream. As he said, he “was physically, mentally, and emotionally drained from it all.”

So what’s the solution?

It certainly is not to be less sensitive. Your sensitivity serves you well unless you let it drag you down by taking on other people’s “stuff.”

The key here is discernment.

Pay close attention to your thoughts and feelings, especially when you are in situations such as John described in his dream. Chances are your uncomfortable thoughts and feelings have nothing to do with you. You’re simply picking them up from others.

You do not have to be physically with, or even close to, people to pick up on their energies. This can happen a great distances, especially with those you love.

When you recognize all this—and you can train yourself to recognize it—you will free yourself from others’ “stuff.”

We’re not saying you should not care about others, especially your loved ones. But we are saying you cannot help others by immersing yourself in their sadness, grief, anger, turmoil, etc.

You help others best by putting yourself first. Unless you love yourself first you cannot truly and fully love another.

Related links:
Being True To Yourself
Are You Trying To Save the World?
Detachment: The Road To Inner Peace


Do you take on other people’s stuff too often? Why? How can you change that? Please share your thoughts and comments with us below.

What other subjects would you like us to talk about in these posts? Please email me at:

20 Responses

  1. Claire

    Hello John,

    Thank you for this story and spirit’s advice…

    Thursday, I had this one of the I Ching :

    “A noble self-awareness and a seriousness full of logic and without compromises are the essential capacities if we want to serve the others. The one who denies himself to execute the will of a superior weakens his own position without helping durably the other one. It is bad. To serve without making litter of oneself is the first condition to produce to the people of the services of long-lasting value. ”

    Happy resurrection to all ! 🙂

  2. Joseph k

    This is very interesting
    I would recommend the book personal power and awareness a guidebook for sensitive people
    Channeled by sanaya roman ,or you can get bits and pieces on their website
    The book goes through ho to deal with the unseen energy all around is ,ho to work with it
    How to deal with telepathy ,sensitivity and energies in general , how you can let go off any energy that does feel right to you
    I think being aware of energy can warn you in advance , for instance. Slight feeling of dread near a place you can then make sure to avoid it for your safety
    Using energy guidance wisely can help you avoid danger and upset in places ,people or situations
    To live in the world and aware and sensitive to energy can be like being a sort of energetic warrior, reading the signs and transmuting or being transperant to energies, another great sanaya roman book also deals with this -Spiritual growth
    Also they say the energies right now can be quite intense after the 2012 energy shift
    There’s talk of the higher energy of the shift ascension being more intense higher purifying energies and can be hard for some people to handle ,especially when they dont know how
    I’ve certainly been receiving a tremendous amount of insights and revelations over the last while particularly
    I suppose being sensitive you need a good healthy environment to function well
    I’ve found a quiet place in the country I live in now suits me these days
    And another book I got recently by an American psychic Lisa barretta called the book of transformation deals really well with all these topics ,the kind that have been discussed here
    Such as indigos,the quickening,psychic energies etc etc
    It deals with the pros and cons of being open psychically and how to deal with it
    And she alas about grounding ,the chakras and other things that can help with ascension symptoms etc etc
    I think also being sensitive to energies is like having an energetic GPS or compass
    That can help you navigate through life and create a good life ,with awareness you can go from being a dingy being tossed by the ocean to a great ship steering steadily
    Certainly looking into these things that affect you can be very helpful
    There’s another lady psychic lila beck who has a Good site with helpful matierial on this kind of thing, she’s also well respected by others in the field and in medical and scientific areas
    She certainly knows her stuff, het book is called into the light , i think is her site

    Also I think being sensitiv like that to energy can help you discern what to do ,where to go and when etc like knowing to avoid that bar or that area at that time, and a good feeling about a plac can attract you to it and that could lead to other things
    Also it’s intriguing to think that we live in a world of energy and in an energetic soup
    So. Think if you are able to control and handle your own energy it can help you get through life
    It certainly is a paradigm shift to see the world as a responsive interactive world of energy
    Rather than a static ,inert ,isolated mechanical universe
    I can understand the dream situation there as well
    Dreams can being good warning signs and foreboding before something gets unbearable in real life
    I think also its quite natural to go into retreat mode until you’re ready to face the world
    Or better still create you ideal world to live in from your centred space
    Thanks for the good advice and vibes as always
    Happy Easter and good wishes to everyone
    Have a good one!

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Joseph, for the wealth of information.

      Blessings and Happy Easter to you!

  3. Conshana

    There are those I call, “Psychic Vampires”, and they operate both consciously and unconsciously. Dealing with them takes a lot of courage and strength, and sometimes, the only way out is to leave the situation. And yes, I know how that can hurt – I’ve had to do it for my own spiritual health.

    I try to live by the “Four ELS”,,, Love, Live, Laughter and LIFE”,,, and pretty much in that order.

    And to take the lesson from the past, but leave the experience behind – Seems Micki has a good grasp on that concept. My appreciation to her, for her courage~!

    A Beauteous and Blessed Easter to All
    I AM Conshana

  4. Jeannie

    Isn’t it odd I had a similar dream but mine was about carrying loads that not meant for us.

    Lately more than ever I get teary about something in a book or something in a movie or it is something about someone I see. I guess the more open ourselves the more we let in or is it simply we are becoming more conscious of the things settling in our thoughts like old clothes and furniture. Discernment is the key and the thought of is it mine or someone else s load I am carrying.

    This is very timely , thank you John

    love and hugs

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Jeannie. Our dreams are great places for us to learn and remember.

      Happy Easter!

      Love & hugs,

  5. Chuck

    A good question to ask oneself is…Is this energy mine or someone Else’s? Especially if all of a sudden you are not having a good feeling or emotion. This negativity comes from people and spirits and can effect you in all areas of your life, especially if you are a person that is seeking and making progress.

    I use releasing techniques to let go of the energy and state that this is not my energy I return it to the one who so kindly gave to me and send it back with love & forgiveness.

  6. Sarah D

    Thanks for this post John and spirit. It’s probably the thing I struggle with more than anything. I have always been hyper sensitive since childhood and this has led to immense anxiety at times. In fact it’s got to the point where I find it so hard to deal with other people’s energies that I have anxiety attacks. The only way of overcoming the discomfort for me is to be alone.

    I read that mindfulness meditation is a positive practice, and I have seen a strong link with the fact that I’ve been missing meditations (I’m in the midst of a big house move and am staying with my mother and family) and an increase in sensitivity and anxiety. So it will be good to have my own space again.

    There must be ways of becoming more resilient to all this chaotic energy without becoming a hermit?

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Sarah.

      I think the key to being, in your words, “more resilient” to others’ energy is daily meditation. That works well for me.

  7. Patricia

    Thank you John for this message. I have been sensitive my whole life and have been very hard on myself because I believed everything was mine, until I discovered otherwise. My heart felt like it had a burn hole in it from this torturing lack of discernment. Would Spirit care to give some instruction has to how to how to discern more clearly what is ours and what is not?
    Thank you John for the words and messages you share weekly – they always answer a question I am asking or align to something I am experiencing. I am so grateful for the bigness of Spirit 🙂

    • John Cali

      You’re most welcome, Patricia!

      You’ve asked a great question — thank you! I think it will make a good blog post or newsletter article. So I’ll print out our little exchange, and add it to our file of upcoming posts.

    • Chuck

      Ask yourself why you are feeling the way you are feeling. If you say I don’t know? Then it is probably not yours. But if you can link the feelings to thoughts of your own then you will know it is yours and you can release it if it is negative also.

  8. Micki

    Hi John,

    I do relate to this so much, as you know I am a Carer for a Man that has seen, done and experienced a lot in his life, and he has a lot of negative thoughts and ways and I do listen to a lot of it and at times feel very uncomfortable and sad at the same time. He is beginning to realise that the past is the past, to learn from it and not live it, but there are still times when it all comes up again. I must admit I now put myself in a different place when he starts and just let him get rid of what it is he needs to say and then move on. Hence my garden and my wonderful 4 legged friend.

    Life is good and we have fun and I try to let him see the joy I have by communing with nature and it works most of the time.

    We do have choices John and I choose to be happy 🙂

    Take care and love and hugs to you.

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Micki, for sharing. Yes, I know your situation, and how challenging it is. But you’re handling it with the greatest love and compassion, and I deeply admire and respect you for doing such a loving service under less-than-ideal circumstances.

      As you said, we have a choice to be happy — or not. Like you, I choose to be happy, no matter what.

      Lots of love and hugs — and Happy Easter!

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