There have been many times in my life where I’ve been caught off-guard by something or someone. More often than not, it’s my own fault. Typically, it isn’t for lack of knowledge. Maybe I disregarded my Intuition or overlooked some glaring flaw “in the name of Love.”

Yes, usually when I’m caught off-guard (and I’m honest with myself) I can look back and pinpoint the exact moment of error. That is why, I try to keep my eyes open now. I look for things and listen to my gut. Now, I have a saying (and I find myself saying it often), “I see you coming.”

What I mean by that is this: I can see the opposition coming to undo all my hard work. I can see the haters spreading lies and rumors and speaking negatively about me. I can tell when people are trying to set me u and use me versus love me unconditionally and hold my best interests at heart. “I can see you coming (dissension, betrayal, heartache, confusion, rejection, etc).”

Now, don’t misunderstand me. I don’t just stand around looking for these things to come down the pike, but when I FEEL them coming I don’t disregard it.

And quite frankly, if you’re honest with yourself, you see it coming too. In fact, for most of us, when we’re consistently honest and true to our Selves, there’s only one creepy crawly critter sneaky enough to slip past most of our radar…parasites.

Parasites are organisms that feed off of other living beings. They latch onto their prey and eat. The bigger life force is essentially taking care of itself and the smaller parasite.

Now, when I refer to parasites, I am not talking about those creatures that latch onto a bigger being in a symbiotic relationship. I’m not referring to animals that help their larger animal friends by cleaning them or eating away old flesh and toxins. No, I’m referring specifically to those little beings that have no other purpose for being there than to eat away at their hosts, often causing death.

People can be parasites. There are those who latch onto folks who are doing big things in the hopes that they, too will be propelled into greatness. They expect to be allowed along for the ride. These parasites often cause dissension, confusion and rejection in the lives of those to whom they cling. They are always the source of more problems than good. They have a host of issues and they bring all their baggage with them when they hop on for the ride.

Most parasites don’t realize that they actually slow up the process for the up-and-coming. They wonder why it takes so long for people with such great vision, leadership, charisma and class to get to the top. They don’t see themselves as a source of strain for their host. In fact, when such things happen the parasite will often detach from his/her host and find someone new. When the host, by now so run down and worn out by the parasite’s incessant draining (usually some years’ worth) cannot seem to climb up the ladder they once seemed to be responsible for holding up, the parasite will justify him/herself. They’ll insist that they made the right decision because their host wasn’t everything they seemed to be in the first place.

Sometimes, parasites will have a seemingly symbiotic relationship with their host. In the beginning, they work together – one hand washing the other. They host and the parasite tend to each other’s needs. One is obviously carrying more than the other, but each plays their part.

Imagine a small sucker fish clinging to the side of a mammoth whale. The sucker fish cleans the whale, eating away the barnacles and bacteria. The whale is clean and happy, she looks good and stays healthy. But the sucker fish – unbeknownst to the whale, has fangs. When all the barnacles and bacteria are gone, the sucker fish doesn’t stop eating. But now he’s right on top of the whale. Now what’s he’s chomping through is skin. The whale is initially oblivious. Surely that pain is from something else. It is not until the sucker fish has eaten clear through the whale’s outermost layer, into its flesh and right through its vital organs that the big beast recognizes her “friend” is nothing more than a foe in disguise. But by then, it’s often too late.

And this is how it tends to be with people. We have friends who seem to push and prompt us. They want us to achieve greatness and will stand by our corner doing anything they can to help us. But as we climb, suddenly these same friends are our greatest source of strife.

I’ve had more parasites in my life than I cared to admit. In fact, when you don’t know how awesome you are, that’s exactly what happens. I didn’t know that I had so much to offer. As a friend of mine said in a sister-circle meeting one day, “It’s really easy for us to take our own greatness for granted. It comes so easily for us, we forget how much value it has to other people [so we let them take it for granted, too.]”

Well, today I want to help you develop para-sight. I want you to see them coming, with all their baggage and drama and hold-ups. I want to help you recognize and release yourself from the parasites in your life by teaching you how to assign value to your own greatness. The fact is, parasites are always appraising your worth. They are always calculating profit and loss, investments and expenses. Believe me when I tell you, if you have parasites in your life – they understand your worth, your potential and your stock better than you do.

First, figure out if you have parasites:

– Do you have friends who are more work than they are a resource? Are you giving and taking equally or is one of you carrying the bulk of the weight?

– Do you have friends who need to be the certain of everything…even your thing? Any moment you have to rise and shine is a moment for them to steal the limelight?

– Have your friends ever joked about “when you make it” how they’re going to reap all the spoils, suddenly sue you or “use” your name to “get” certain perks an swag?

Perhaps this friend is actually a family member; regardless, they’ve got to go. It doesn’t mean you have to cut them off completely, but you have to change the nature of the relationship. Get to scratching and pluck those suckers off. Here’s how:

1. Know your worth – What are you good at? What do you do naturally? What are your strengths? What are some of the great things about your character that add value to whatever you bring to the table (kindness, generosity, compassionate, analytical, problem-solver, etc). Make sure you’re the one assigning value to you…because you can be sure someone else is.

2. Know your power – Many of us are afraid to wield and hone our power because we fear it will hurt someone. I remember watching Avatar: The Last Airbender (yes the cartoon it’s been a week, I’m allowed to reference cartoons again). Aang, the Avatar, had to master the elements in order. But he was in a rush (which makes sense seeing as how the world was in danger) and tried to learn firebending before his time. He lost control and burned his friend. Shortly after, he vowed never to firebend again. But the fact is, firebending was part of his destiny. He had to use his power if he was ever to become the man he was born to be. He would always be the Avatar by title, but until he actualized his power, he wouldn’t be able to assume the role and perform its related duties. This is how you must be. Once you know what you’re worth, know that you possess the power to create the life you know you’re worthy of living.

3. Remember tips #1 & #2 – It’s harder for people to take advantage of and use you when you assign value to yourself, when you think highly of yourself and have confidence. When you accept your power and feel comfy in your own skin you have no issues with setting boundaries and drawing lines in the sand when needed. When you know your worth and claim your power, you treat yourself with Love and respect and demand the same of others by your action. In short, there nothing for parasites to cling to.

So today, I give you the gift of para-sight that you’ll never be bugged by parasites again.

Good luck and Namaste.