Spring Cleaning for Emotional Healing
Happy First Day of Spring! Yea! Out with winter and in with spring! Have you started the daunting task of spring cleaning? Opening your windows, cleaning the carpet, packing down the turtlenecks and pulling out the tees. Not to mention stacking up the allergy meds. This changing of weather seasons, feels freeing and majestic. All the heavy winter gear is being stored and the light and refreshing spring wear is being revealed.
But, spring cleaning includes cleaning your physical space as well as your emotional space. Your physical space includes closets, clothes, papers, shoes, tools, etc. Just as important but often forgotten is your emotional space, which includes bad memories, regrets, anxiety, depression, etc.
As I cleaned out my closets and piled up the keep, throw-away, donate heaps of clothing. My mind wondered off to the relationship between how we spring clean our homes and how we need to spring clean our emotions – annually. Yes, annually. Every year we meet new people, have new experiences and remember more events from our pasts. Just like how you spring clean your home, try spring cleaning your emotions. In your journal, title three columns – keep, throw-away and donate. Now, think back through the last year of your life, then the last five years and so on. Put the memories in the appropriate column. Some memories are treasures, they make us feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside, so we keep them. Other memories are not as kind. They make us feel embarrassed, insulted or even violated. These are memories that require extra care. We must work to throw-away these memories.
The most successful method, I’ve seen is the method of matching the negative with a positive. That is for every negative memory; match it to a positive memory that gives you the exact opposite feeling. For instance, if you had an experience that made you feel embarrassed, maybe you had to give a presentation and just absolutely bombed. In your mind, visualize it being linked to a memory where you nailed it, where everyone congratulated you, told how great you did. Every time you think of the negative, you think of the positive. The next mental move is to replace the negative with the positive. It’s hard and takes time, but it is possible.
Another method involves more self-discovery. It’s the method of, ‘the why’. It requires questioning yourself and digging deep, I mean deep into your emotions to find out why you do things. For instance, I would wake up at night breathing deep and fast. As if I had been running. I wasn’t sweating. I didn’t feel any pain. I felt anxious and nervous, but I never knew why. Each time it happened I would review a list of current events in my life. Asking myself was I worried about something, were my grades good, did I have food to eat, a place to stay, was I working, was I facing something difficult or stressful. Nothing ever came to mind or resonated as a cause for the disturbance in my sleep. Yet each time, I had to go for a walk to be able to calm down. Laying still didn’t work, sitting up didn’t work, nothing helped me catch my breath and ease my nerves until I was out in the night air. There was something I found calming about walking at night. The answer eluded me for over two decades, until one night I beseeched God. Desperately, I asked him – why do I do this? Why do I leave the comfort of my home, where I bust my butt at my job to pay the high and overpriced mortgage? In response, God began to rewind the events where I’d suffered sibling abuse. I could see it clearly. I could see my brother, who was nine years older than me and over two feet taller, than me, returning to my mother’s home highly intoxicated waking me up by pounding his fist into my back and legs, beating on me. My only escape was running out into the night to find someplace in the street to sleep. There it was. I had my why. After 22 years of walking at two or three o’clock in the morning, I had my why and I haven’t walked after dark since.
Yes, I know it may sound strange, but give me a minute. You can donate memories. It’s really simple to do. It’s a good thing to do and it will warm your heart. Donating memories, is to share your good memories. Donate the good memories by calling a treasured friend and reminding them of the time they made you laugh until you cried or the time the two of you were up to foolishness and survived by the skin of your chinny chin chin. Pull out a picture from the good ole days, take a picture of it and text it to a friend with the words, ‘remember the good ole days’. I did it. A friend of mine is a famous talk show host in her region. When we were kids she was a bubble bee for Halloween one year. In response to my text I received a bribe. “How much $$ too shred?” Then we both laughed hysterically.
Work to remember the good, create the great and let go of the bad. It’s a process. It’s a battle. But it’s worth it. Clutter keeps you confused, unbalanced and off your ‘A’ game. It holds you back. You can’t prosper carrying the burden of clutter mentally or physically. Spiritually it releases a fresh anointing in your life.
Peace & Blessings, til next time! -Anita