What It Means To Be A Sieve And Not A Sponge

Photo by Maxim Ilyahov on Unsplash

In today’s age of information overload, it is easy to be a sponge to it all, and it is easy to absorb all that exposes itself to us.

Well, easier than sieving out all the information, anyway.

It sure feels good to think that all the information has been absorbed well, and it sure feels boring and hard to do the work of sieving out some information instead.

But, think about it;

What’s the point of sponging it all in when it can as easily be sponged out?

It almost negates the act of doing it in the first place.

What could be rather useful, is to sieve out the information that matters, into our minds and let go of the rest;

Just the way a sieve works;

It allows what is useful to fall through its pores, and allows what is not so useful to remain on the other side of its boundary.

Essentially, we can be sieves too;

There is power in letting our minds function as metaphorical sieves.

We think we have got it all sorted, when in reality, we have got most of what we are aware of, in a jumbled heap.

Information is more than just an input into our minds;

It is something that needs to be processed and absorbed, so that our minds can refer to that information to function as healthily as possible.

What is the output then?

It is how we respond in light of the information that we are aware of.

So, what happens when there are more inputs to process than the mind is healthily able to, is that our responses are all over the place.

And with that, we are nothing less than a sponge that takes in all that it is exposed to, and with just a tad more pressure, it gives away all that it took in.

But, if we try to function our minds as sieves, we will realize that it is possible to allow in, only the information that we really need to process in the moment, and gently let go of the rest.

There are two features of a sieve that make it an ideal metaphor for how our minds could function:

1. It is open on one side

To be open is to be accepting of possibilities.

Just the way a sieve is open to all that may come its way, we can let our minds be open to all that comes its way;

In that openness, we allow ourselves to acknowledge and welcome information that we aren’t aware of;

And with that awareness, we allow ourselves to explore what may surprise us;

In that surprise, we are capable of discovering new beliefs and thought patterns that could add value to our lives.

2. It has a boundary on the other side

As open a sieve is on one side, it is carefully crafted with a boundary on the other.

So, while the sieve is open to all that comes its way, it allows only what is useful, to pass through the pores on its boundary, through the other side.

We can be as open as we want, to ideas and information, but all that matters is, that we are aware of which of those ideas and information can truly add value to our lives.

With that awareness, we allow ourselves to hold on to those ideas and information that are truly capable of transcending our existing beliefs and thought patterns, for the best of our well-being.

Essentially, we can train our minds to function as sieves, in a way that it is open to possibilities, but at the same time, it is aware of the boundary which can draw a line between;

What is healthy, and what is not;

What is productive, and what is not;

What adds value, and what does not.

All we need to do is, become aware of what we are exposed to, and what we need to retain from that exposure.

Being humans, we have the capability to be influenced by all that we are exposed to.

However, there is power in treating this exposure as a conscious one, and one that is within our control, as opposed to one that is beyond our control.

We have a choice in deciding what we will expose ourselves to;

And in that choice, we find the answer to what matters, and what does not.

As much as we’d like for our energy to be unlimited, it really is not;

Our energy is limited to what we open ourselves to;

Our energy is also limited in how we respond to what we open ourselves to;

And to use that limitation to our advantage, we must make conscious choices with regards to what we invest our energy in.

Perhaps, we could choose to train our minds to function as metaphorical sieves, to truly understand what matters, and what does not.

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