“I love learning. My mind is like a sponge; it just sucks up knowledge.” Whether or not you have expressed this yourself; it is true, the mind literally acts as a sponge, soaking up knowledge from whatever you experience.
But we rarely consider the other half of that analogy. A sponge does indeed absorb, but it also releases; and it releases what it absorbed.
Imagine washing a car with a dry sponge. Spray the car with some water and begin to scrub with the sponge. The sponge absorbs dirt with the water…up to a point. As the sponge fills, it begins to release the dirt, simply redistributing it around the car’s surface.
The mind works the same way. It absorbs indiscriminately; it can’t tell the different between information that is either helpful or harmful. As it absorbs the good and the bad together, it eventually releases the bad along with the good.
From an energy perspective, if you are surrounded by negativity you cannot help but absorb some of it; and what you absorb you cannot help but release as well. Think of it this way, when positive people and circumstances see a muddy sponge approaching, they avoid contact so as not to get slimed.
You are more likely to wash a car with a sponge that you repeatedly dip in clean, soapy water. Well…at least the water starts out clean. As you scrub, the sponge releases soap and picks up dirt. And each time you refresh the sponge it releases dirt into the bucket.
We acknowledge that dirt is part of the process, but we mediate it by refreshing the sponge as we clean; and replace the water in the bucket if it gets too dirty. So, how can we do the same for the mind?
Negative energy—in the form of sadness, anger, anxiety, fear, etc.—is unavoidable; it is part of life. But you can limit your exposure to it by choosing to surround yourself with positive people and experiences; and remove yourself from negative circumstances.
It is a common assumption that negative energies within friends or family have no influence on your own energies. Many people troubled by their own negative emotions or behaviors are surprised to acknowledge that they have surrounded themselves with people of a similar disposition; all of whom absorb from and release upon each other, reinforcing the negative energy.
Likewise, group self-help sessions—for people who all share a similar problem—are analogous to refreshing the sponge in dirty water. No matter how diligently you dip a sponge in and out of dirty water, it will always contain the same proportion of dirt as there is in the water.
The challenge is to immerse yourself in “clean water” (positive energies). Only a certain portion of dirt can be removed from the sponge by just wringing it. So, separating yourself from negative influences only goes so far. Immersion in “clean water” suggests a need to seek out people, work, events and behaviors that resonate with the positive energies you want to absorb within yourself and release toward others.
Some people do this by joining a faith community. Some create a new network of friends. Some find it necessary to change jobs or even occupations.
When in doubt, surround yourself with people whom you wish to be like. Their positive energies dilute and rinse out the “dirt”, allowing you to better strive toward the success you desire.
Identify, acknowledge, and then rinse the “dirt” out of your life. Allow yourself to resonate with positive energies that attract and absorb positive people and experiences into your life.