It’s Spring! Well, at least the calendar says so. Spring is the season of new life; new beginnings. It’s nature refreshing and renewing itself. Many of us do our annual spring cleaning of our house. We sort out the closets, wash windows and walls, and clean out things that we haven’t seen since last spring. We refresh our houses, getting rid of the things that no longer serve a purpose and possibly replacing them with new things that we hope will be better in some way.
What if we could “spring clean” our thoughts and feelings? Similar to cleaning out our houses and getting rid of things that are no longer purposeful or needed and replacing them with new things, we can get rid of thoughts and feelings that no longer are useful to us, and replace them with thoughts and feelings that bring more hope. An emotional purging, if you will. Just like the clothes, dishes, or curtains that are too small, chipped, stained, or we’ve just become tired of them, we can also get rid of the thoughts and emotions that may have served a purpose at one time but we now are just tired of them.
Anger, resentment, jealousy, hurt, discouragement, and fear are common feelings that we tend to hold onto for long periods of time. Thoughts of self-doubt, critical judgment of others and ourselves, and the belief that we always seem to deserve something more than what we already have also plague us. Initially, we had those thoughts and feelings possibly as reactions to circumstances or even as defenses to prevent ourselves from feeling even worse. However, these thoughts and emotions drag us down and keep us from being able to truly appreciate the life we have.
If we can get rid of those emotions and thoughts, we will feel refreshed and renewed. Imagine the light-heartedness one would experience without anger and resentment bogging him or her down. Replace the non-functional feelings with forgiveness, peace, acceptance, and patience. Allow yourself to feel renewed and refreshed psychologically. You may even experience the sense of hope that spring promises.
Kelly Renzi, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist