When people think of pollutants, they think about chemicals, radiation, or even rocks being thrown in a stream. No matter how natural or unnatural the pollutant is, at the end of the day, most people define pollutants in purely physical terms. This really is too bad because the real pollutants that we have to worry about in our lives are not things that we can detect.
Think about it, if you can detect something, you only need to look at a sign. You only need to come prepared. Maybe you would have to wear a hazmat suit. Maybe you would have to wear a biohazard “hot suit.” That’s pretty much the long and short of it.
But the problem is the most dangerous pollutants in our lives are things that we cannot see. These eat away into our sense of purpose. These pollutants and toxins distort our sense of personhood. They change our mindsets in dangerous ways. No matter how you define, and regardless of the angle from which you look at these issues, it’s bad news. But if you’re still unclear, here are the three most common forms of invisible non-material pollutants.
The sooner you let go of these, the better your life would be. If you’re feeling stuck, frustrated, desperate, or simply depressed, maybe it’s because you’ve exposed yourself to these invisible non-material pollutants. Just because you can’t readily see them, doesn’t take their danger away.
Spiritual pollutant #1
When you are constantly comparing your looks, your wealth, your physical traits, your personality, or anything else to somebody else, you are polluting your mind. Your filling your life with junk and you will eventually have nothing to show for it.
You spend a tremendous amount of mental and emotional energy going through the comparison, but you know full well that the outcome is all too predictable. The outcome is you lose. The reason why people compare themselves in the first place, is because they’re comparing something that they don’t have to something that somebody else has.
They’re being envious, but they do it through comparison. Still, it all leads to a sense of inadequacy. You obsess more about the things that are missing in your life, instead of the things that are going right.
Spiritual pollutant #2
The Buddha said that the root of all human suffering is desire. There’s a lot of truth to this. When you spend a tremendous amount of your time coveting or designing things that other people have, what are you doing to yourself?
First of all, you are reminding yourself, yet again, that you feel that your life is somehow, someway deficient. There is something missing. There is something incomplete. There is something wrong with your life. Do you think any of this is empowering? Of course not.
The second thing that you do when you’re constantly desiring is that you are directing energy from creation to envy. Envy is not creation. You’re not building something. You’re not focusing your creative powers to where it should go. You’re not planting. Instead, you’re thinking about stealing. You are thinking about how you’ve been left behind because somebody has the things that you desire. You’re beating yourself up.
Spiritual pollutant #3
one of the worst ways we can spend our time is to focus on the past. The past already happened. It already hurt, it already cut, it already did a number on us. Why do you want to keep reliving it? Now, a lot of people tried to play games with themselves and say, “Well I try to remember because I don’t want that traumatic event to happen again.” Well, fair enough.
But the problem is when you pay close attention to what you’re actually doing, when you’re remembering things from the past and compare with what you’re actually feeling, you’re not learning; far from it. Instead, you are reliving the memory because you’re trying to do something about it, without doing something about it.
I know it sounds stupid, because it is. That’s like trying to change the weather by walking around and chewing gum. There’s no logical connection. Just because you feel bad about your ex-girlfriend, doesn’t mean that all this negative emotional energy and catharsis is somehow, someway going to change her. She’s moved on, she is living her life. It’s high time you lived yours.
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