I love spring. Who doesn’t? One of the things I love about spring is that I get to clean out my closets and dressers, deep clean my bathrooms and kitchen… throwing myself into that yearly ritual of getting rid of what doesn’t fit me or my life any longer in order to make room for the possibility of something different… a new pair of shoes, a new arm chair for the family room… a new life?
A few weeks ago, my colleague and I spent the weekend designing our upcoming spring retreat for separated and divorced women, the theme of which is From Pain to Peace: A Journey to Acceptance. Today it occurred to me that this is a form of spring cleaning as well… removing the internal clutter that’s in the way of having the kind of life I want. You know, those limiting beliefs, sabotaging thoughts and debilitating emotions that encumber my life and hold me back. It’s time to reduce (not reuse or recycle) that mess as well.
Because in order to have something different in the future, we need to create room for it to occur, which usually means letting go of something we’ve been hanging onto that no longer serves us: blaming our ex, feeling “done to”, old angers or hurts or resentments that our life hasn’t turned out the way we had planned. etc.
In The Five Things We Cannot Change, David Richo talks about the “givens” of Life:
1. Everything changes and ends.
2. Things do not always go according to plan.
3. Life is not always fair.
4. Pain is a part of life.
5. People are not loving and loyal all the time.
When we hold on to our belief that things “should be different” than they are, we suffer. Letting go of the “shoulds” and finding acceptance for these 5 givens is the key to peace. Letting go of the “shoulds” also allows the space for something else to show up… more acceptance, more energy, more hope, more personal power. So this spring, in addition to cleaning out my closets, I’ll also be leading a group of courageous women to clean out their inner lives (and to be sure, I’ll be doing some of that “inner cleaning” myself).