Spring cleaning is a rite of passage in my brain for the transition into a warmer season. A season where I basically blow off day to day life and spend as much time outdoors as humanly possible, this doesn’t include vacuuming or cleaning – even though I am addicted to my Shark Portable Steam Cleaner – and my mother has nicknamed me Howard Hughes. I allow my germ phobia to take a vacation during the warmer months.
So I spring clean the shit out of my house and make sure it can sustain until the weather turns a little crisp and I can allow myself back indoors for the duration.
But all this spring cleaning has me thinking – and this thought occurred to me when I was taking the slip covers off my couch, washing them and then vacuuming the entire couch – I know – it’s weird – but my couch looks brand new and smells delicious – but the thought occurred to me – why only spring clean my house? Why not spring clean my life as well?
So I’m doing just that. Taking stock of all the relationships in my life and maybe spending a little less time with people who may be toxic or maybe spending no time at all with them.
That’s a difficult decision to make. I usually plod along with relationships and try to make them work. I’m super non-judgy to a complete and utter fault. AND I give EVERYONE the benefit of the doubt. It’s rough sometimes for me.
Plus ending relationships whether friendships or intimate relationships is soooo difficult for me. Basically I take a moment of silence and when I say moment of silence I mean like 6-7 months when I break up with a boyfriend and we don’t speak – then resume a very nice friendship with them. Not all of them mind you – but a majority of them. People think I’m nuts. But it works for me. Plus I’ve dated some great people – just not great boyfriend people – but great people in general.
Lately I’ve been thinking though – maybe I should shake up the squares and start being a little judgy and start having some boundaries, especially when those relationships turn ill-intentioned, which sometimes they do.
You can only excuse someone for so long for their repeated behavior patterns. Repeated behavior patterns that make your sense of well-being or sense of place shaken or undoubtedly confused.
Even after trying different approaches to people – sometimes the results are still the same – because even if you have changed your course of thinking (favorite book of all time Dr. Wayne Dyer: Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life – it’s so true) or even if you have changed your approach – or your intentions are coming from a good place in your heart – that person may be hell bent on acting out a particular scenario. Sometimes it has nothing to do with you. Sometimes it’s just an old tape playing in that person’s head and they don’t even know what they are doing.
I always try and make excuses for everyone. It’s a HORRIBLE habit. I say – well that person didn’t have a good childhood or that person wasn’t afforded the same opportunities as me. That person means to be nice I know it! That person doesn’t know how to act any other way – no one has shown them. The list is endless.
But at some point we all have to start taking responsibility for ourselves.
The past two years I’ve gone on a sort of self discovering journey of sorts. I left a profession – architecture – which I was in with my father – so I left a family business. Needless to say the family relationships were tested and strained. It was a difficult two years. In those two years I did a lot of soul searching and looked in the mirror and took responsibility for a lot of my actions. That part sucked. It’s soooo much easy blaming someone else for where you end up on your path in life. And it is redunkulously easy to blame your mother or your father. But sometimes there is nobody left except yourself and you have to look inside yourself and accept responsibility. And when that happened for me I really felt a sense of freedom. It opened up a lot of space in my brain.
In those two years I read a lot of books. One of them was Marianne Williamson “A Return to Love” – now it gets a little preachy and some of you may not like it. It mentions God – A LOT. I took from it what worked for me.
But one thing that was particularly poignant for me was a chapter titled: “Forgiving our Parents, Our Friends, Ourselves”
That sounds lovely doesn’t it?
I whole heartedly subscribe to this notion.
But she says and I’ll quote:
“There is a lot of talk today about people growing up in dysfunctional homes. Who didn’t grow up in a dysfunctional home! This world is dysfunctional! But there is nothing we have been through, or seen, or done, that cannot be used to make our lives more valuable now. We can grow from any experience, and we can transcend any experience. This kind of talk is blasphemy to the ego, which respects pain, glorifies pain, worships pain, and creates pain. Pain is its centerpiece. It sees forgiveness as its enemy”
I love that!
She goes on to discuss God and how the call to God can salvage our lives in the same chapter. That part I sort of skipped over – that makes me uncomfortable for some reason. Bible thumping has never been an area I’m completely comfortable with.
Overall though I enjoyed this chapter and I keep going back to it time and time again.
No more excuses for people in my life who are wicked and continue to repeat behavior patterns. We all need to accept responsibility for our actions in the here and now.
I am going to spring clean the relationships in my life and you can shape up or ship out! (I’m frightened even saying that – it’s so FINAL – but I’m doing it – it’s time – this is part of my journey towards this inner peace that has been developing over the past two years and I think and sense this may just be a significant piece of the puzzle)
I need to be surrounded by people who are compassionate and supportive and loving and who don’t bleed toxicity into my life.
Spring cleaning is good. It should happen in every area of our lives not just with vacuuming the couch.