Ever noticed how hard it is to stay that way?
Pollution is defined as: is the introduction of contaminants into an environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. (Wikipedia) Have you ever been feeling really good, had someone turn up and dump every complaint they can on you in twenty minutes, and suddenly you’re feeling absolutely shattered?
That’s emotional pollution.
The thing is, while you can work all you like internally to get yourself to a state of calm, peace and happiness, unless you have a way to deal with the “contaminants” that will come your way, you’re going to find it very hard to maintain that state.
Most people instinctively react by trying to push them away. Don’t get me wrong, that can be an effective cure (sometimes), but it’s a short term one and it doesn’t tend to restore things to how they were before. The ‘polluter’ may go away with their complaints, but that doesn’t fix what’s already done, and may even leave a vacuum of discontent that won’t be satisfied until you’ve created some situation that allows you to vent all the pollution you’ve taken on board – thus polluting someone else’s ecosystem.
I’m going to borrow from Oriental philosophy here, and argue that the most effective reaction is actually no reaction at all. When you’re trying to meditate and clear your mind of thoughts, you know that the ones coming up must be allowed to drift away, since pushing them only empowers them to stay. Watching them as they float through your mind, though, sees them disappear again and your calm quiet mind resume. Meditation is a fantastic way to maintain your calm peaceful state, and I highly recommend it. (Here’s a neat video to get you using the breathing technique to get started)
In the same way, failing to react or even acknowledge that you’ve heard something, gives it no purchase on you or your emotional state. Better, it’s also a good way to cut off further ‘pollution’ at the source – quite often if someone seems not to have heard them, they’ll eventually give up calling. If they push and demand a response to you, and you simply look over, give a passive “oh, ok” and go back to your previous focus; then you’re not feeding or satisfying that call for sympathy and they’ll go elsewhere to get the reaction they want.
Why don’t you try it, (I know there’s someone in particular you’re thinking of) and post back here how it goes?