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Spring Clean Your Relationships!

Spring – a time when life begins anew.

After this past winter, I am hungry for spring. One way I prepare is to take stock, and to clean up what is staying and say goodbye to what it’s time to get rid of. We can do this with our relationships too. Don’t worry – I will not advise you to get rid of anybody! (Dumping your relationship is usually too simplistic, although if you know you need to say goodbye, please do so.) Very often, we mistakenly end relationships because things are difficult and everyone is miserable, so we think if we get rid of that person, it will solve our problems. (Nope.)

Let’s keep our spring cleaning confined to our own stuff.

We wouldn’t decide to go to someone else’s house, open up the cabinets and start pitching the Tupperware, even if it was all stained and warped and you couldn’t find the lid. (Oops. Sorry, got a little carried away.)

Here are some questions to ask ourselves while spring cleaning:

  • Is it time for me to let go of some of the judgment I have for this other person?
    Do I still need to hang onto it? If so, why? If not, can I forgive them and free up energy to live my life?
  • Is it time for me to forgive myself for something I have done to this other person?
    Can I treat myself with kindness and understanding, and can I learn something from what happened?
  • Can I let go of expecting this other person to…
    • heal my wounds?
    • be there for me?
    • understand me?
  • Can I let go of the burden of healing this other person’s wounds?
  • Has being there for this other person become a burden to me?
    Can I let go of it? Can I keep the regard I have for this other person without being responsible for solving his/her problems?
  • Can I let go of trying to fix, educate, or improve this other person?
  • Can I let go of trying to be good enough to be acceptable to this other person?

Spring cleaning makes room for the new in our lives. We get rid of the old to have space for the new. The same thing happens in relationships. When we let go of old thinking, there is room for something new feelings; there is room for change. We don’t always have to get rid of the person to have a brand new relationship! Just like we don’t always have to rip out the kitchen cabinets, but now, please excuse me; I really do have to go take a look at my Tupperware collection!