I bought a pool for my kids this summer. Not a swimming pool. A splash-and-get-wet-and-cooled-off pool. It holds just over 300 gallons of water. No filter included.
We had the pool set up and filled with water for less than 24 hours. The kids had been in it twice and, already, there were bugs, grass, lint, and hair floating all through it.
Necessity is the mother of invention. So, being the oh-so-creative mom that I am, I stretched old pantyhose over a wire hanger (wire hangers are good for anything except hanging clothes) to make a pool skimmer. Then I set my focus on cleaning out every floating contaminant from the pool.
Filters are our perspectives on life.
I was thinking, while skimming, how it is that we all have filters in place in our lives. Or, at least we should.
A healthy perspective that guides us in life. Filters for information, filters for advice, filters for gossip. Some things we filter heavily, so we won’t be swayed by misinformation, opinions, or crowds. Accept the good, deny the bad.
You use filters to keep you focused. They keep your mind from getting clogged with useless information, irrational emotions, and negativity. We’ve all been taught, garbage in, garbage out. What you allow inside, eventually comes out.
While using my homemade pool skimmer, I quickly noticed a problem. It wasn’t long before there was so much gunk in the hosiery that it was coming back off in the pool.
The thing that I was using to clean out the pool, needed to be cleaned out.
Introverts have big, deep, thick filters. We take in a lot and release very little. Often, our filters are so effective that we offer them to our friends. We let them pour out their emotions, troubles, struggles and we filter it and give back to them only the useful take-aways.
Every once in a while, introverts get gunked up. Things start back-washing. You find yourself confused, without direction, and feeling very weak where you thought you were strong.
Some believe that introverts are more prone to depression than extroverts. While that’s not always true, extroverts are better at releasing, sharing, talking about what troubles them. Usually with a good introverted friend.
Clean it out!
If the introvert is the filter for the extrovert, who is the filter for the introvert?
It may not be a person. Sometimes it’s a good cry. It might be a creative outlet like a journal entry, a painting or sculpture. You may be lucky enough to have a strong friend or counselor that you can confide in.
The result of a gunked up filter is a skewed perspective on life. Consequently causing cynicism, skepticism, negativity, hopelessness and ultimately depression. When you hang on to the negative things that have caught in your filter, eventually you only see negatively. Then you start back-washing negativity.
Keep your perspective on life healthy and clean. Stay focused on the things that matter. Dump the junk. However you do it, clean out your filter regularly.
Smart people use a filter. Wise people clean it out.
Are you a filter for someone else? How do you release the negative things that build up in your life? Share your comment here.