Dry Sponge Theory

OK indulge me on this one.  Pretend that you are a sponge sitting on the edge of a sink.  Everyday, someone does the dishes, and you can hear and see the water running.  But not a drop touches you.  Everyday you long for that 1 drop of water that will make you feel better, but everyday none comes your way.  You feel worse and worse, drier and drier and drier.  You feel worthless and hopeless and recognize that you will never ever get that drop that you need.  One day, someone decides to get you wet and immediately you feel incredible relief, yelling out “ah this is what I’ve needed all these years. This is the thing that makes me feel whole.  This is the thing that make me feel good about me”

 When people have unmet needs they feel like the dry sponge.  They go out searching for something  or somebody to fill that need.  The need could be anything–love, security, attention, approval etc.  They could seek out this fulfillment in healhy ways, but more times than not, they use addictive-like behaviors to fill the need.  Once that need is fulfilled they sound like the dry sponge   “ah this is what I’ve needed all these years. This is the thing that makes me feel whole.  This is the thing that make me feel good about me”.  And just like the sponge, once that need has been filled, they want it again & again & again.  The dry sponge theory is in full operation.

Obviously, sponges are not that important in our daily lives–they sell them in cellophane in stores often in packages of 4.  Our “dryness” or unmet needs can not be replaced by a new sponge–it needs work.  It needs honesty. It needs discovery.  It needs change.  These changes are hard to do  without an impartial other to hear them.  If I had a great awareness of an unmet need, I could work on it myself,  and do whatever exercises might be appropriate to make change effective.  This however assumes  that I know what that need is. If in my best efforts to fill a need I keep doing a particular behavior and don’t like the outcome, I might need a third person to ask the obvious question. “why do you keep doing  what you are doing since you have such pain about it afterwards?”.  That objective third person might be able to guide me through the awareness and the opportunities for change.  The biggest changes however need to come from the inside out, not the outside in!!  I can’t keep looking for “the water” to make the  sponge wet.  I need to find a way to make my own “water”–examining how I can fill that need in healthy, productive, mature, and rational ways.  In what ways can I affirm and validate myself as a good, healthy person without others or other things doing it for me.  Ultimately we need to have an unlimited supply of water, that is self created in order to fulfill ourselves.  Once we have  done this we can use sponges for cleaning up dirty sinks.

One Response to “Dry Sponge Theory”

  1. Theresa Says:

    Absolutely brialliant description of what so many people in this world experience – I being one of them. Thanks for the eye opener. I hope to clean my sink soon !

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