As we head into March there is always that great anticipation of the newness of Spring. Spring begins officially on March 20th this year. As we begin to shed the layers of winter and look forward to the longer days with the warming sun, let’s consider how these activities can serve as symbolism for our emotional health. Let’s look at three areas that can serve as our points of reference.
- Cleaning and organization
- Anticipation of change
- Embracing optimism and hope
Typically around the end of February I begin to look around my house and make decisions about what should stay and what should go. What clothes have my kids outgrown? What household items can be donated or just need to be thrown away? I do this because I know it is almost time for spring cleaning. My process is simple, items that are needed stay and are placed in its proper place. Items that are not needed are placed in two separate boxes marked donate or throw away depending on its value. Let’s place this example in the context of our thoughts and emotions. There are times when we must take a moment and become aware of our thoughts and beliefs and place them in proper context in order to achieve a healthy perspective. Are there negative thoughts and beliefs that we have held on to for far too long? Have these thoughts and beliefs become clutter in our emotional home? If so it may be time to consider eliminating those beliefs that don’t contribute to healthy living and placing other beliefs in their proper place.
Anticipation of change can be exhilarating and frightening all at once. It is easy to revert to what is familiar and safe. Even changing your perspective for the better can create some uncertainty. There is a saying that familiarity brings contentment. I challenge that perspective with the belief that maintaining an unhealthy perspective cannot lead to long term contentment. Change requires honesty. It requires a willingness to look at your situation and admit change must occur. Spring cleaning prepares your space for something fresh and new. Embrace change so that change can occur.
As the snow and ice turns to green grass and flowers, one cannot help but sense the presence of renewal. This renewal cultivates a feeling of new beginnings. The past is simply the past; dwelling in it doesn’t change it. Embracing hope and optimism points to the future. There is a reason we don’t have eyes in the back of our head, looking back doesn’t get you anywhere. Looking forward with hope can give you the perspective you need to blossom and grow.
Changing your perspective can be challenging. I encourage you to seek help if you need as you are beginning this process of spring cleaning.
Alicia M. Lurry MA LPC CRC