Spiritual Spring Cleaning

      So once again it’s time for Spring Cleaning – out with the old, in with the new, or new again, or new to me (I love thrift stores!). In my house, Spring Cleaning means going through all the closets and cupboards, reducing what we have by discarding worn out items, and recycling reusable things we no longer need or use by donating them to organizations like Big Brothers, Big Sisters or the Salvation Army or Hospital Auxiliary. It also means cleaning and re-organizing to make our home more comfortable, functional and efficient.

      This year both Mom and I got new chairs. She got a new recliner, and I discarded my old worn office chair, in which I had a tendency to slump – contributing, I suspect, to the occasional sore back. I replaced it with one that will rock back slightly, but can’t be made to stay that way. Not only is it very stylish, but it will hopefully contribute to better posture on my part. I have to confess, though, that I bought it because I loved the way it looked (and it was a deal), and the discovery that it’s very supportive is serendipity.

      The real changes I try to make each year, however, involve my self. No New Years resolution stuff for me – there’s no point getting rid of a bad habit if you fail to address the root cause of your behavior, you’ll just find another bad habit to replace it with to “self-medicate” (at least I do!). Spring is the time for self-examination for me (my “grumpy season”), when I try to be honest enough to ask myself those questions I need to know the answers to in order to become the person I’d like to be in this life’s journey. I do try to do this all year long, of course, but Spring-cleaning just seems to lend itself more to self-examination and the rest of the year to actively exercising those realizations.

      So, along with my resolve to resume blogging (and by extension discipline myself to write every day, even if it turns into nothing and I wind up saying “yuck” and tossing it), this year I’ve decided to honestly examine those automatic negative reactions to people, ideas, etc., that I’ve come to realize I have, including those I occasionally harbor towards myself, as they occur.

      Twice this week, it’s been brought to my attention that there is a person in my life to whom I consistently react critically, so I’m going to start there. In looking at my reactions I have to admit that I do tend to assume the worst of this person, and I also realize that it’s an ingrained habit acquired over a lifetime! This is going to be a tough one to beat, and I imagine it’s going to take a lot of self-examination as well as reflection on my relationship with this person and our interactions over the years to resolve. Now, I don’t suspect everything will suddenly become rosy, that would be unrealistic.  What I hope is that at the end of this process, I’ll be able to react more thoughtfully and proportionately as I come to know this aspect of myself better. I suspect it’s going to be tough going, hence the moniker “grumpy season.”

      So, what about you? When you do your physical spring-cleaning each year, do you do the self-examination thing?

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