"Out of clutter, find simplicity." - Albert Einstein
The older I get the more stuff I accumulate. I have 7 kitchen chairs and only need 4, so I keep the other 3 in the garage "just in case". I have a cabinet full of chargers and cords going back to the Nextel era, cause, ya know, I may need them one day. Then I have other accumulations like depression, my deep love of sugar, and my ever-present friend of rejection. I've stacked those things up over the years and kept them in my virtual garage, ya know, "just in case."
I've also collected people over the years whom I've kept around "just in case." But I didn't shove them in my garage for later, I kept them around because I thought I had to. After all, these people had never really done anything to me, they just weighed me down. Just like the extra chairs in the garage, they took up space and served no purpose in bettering my life. I had some spring cleaning to do and maybe you do too.
What Needs To Go In Your Life?
The act of Spring cleaning is part of loving yourself that you made a commitment to. It means putting your needs ahead of your fears. If there's someone in your life that just uses you, and that's what your relationship is about, how is that a good thing for you? Are you afraid to tell them that you deserve better? Worried they may hate you if you tell them no? Do you think it's your job to be their welcome mat? You gotta let go of people like this who are just making it harder for you to love yourself. You wouldn't let your spouse have abusive friends, why do you allow it for yourself?
But it isn't just about extra chairs and people who take advantage of us, oh no, it's far more than that. It's about cleaning out the bad habits you've collected over your life. Nonproductive habits lead to stale lives and are the definition of crazy. Sitting down, reviewing your habits, and sorting them into helpful or not helpful categories enables you to see who you are- because after all, actions speak louder than words.
Spring cleaning can also mean cleaning out your body and as Albert Einstein noted, if we can get through the clutter, we can find simplicity. I don't know about you, but I could use more simplicity in my life. You can make changes like removing processed sugar from your diet or deciding you don't really need CoffeeMate with your morning cup of joe. I chose to grow potted herbs instead of buying them at the grocery store. Now I have fresh mint and parsley whenever I want it, and the best part is, I never have to remember to go buy any- life simplified!
Then there are those pesky emotions that aren't healthy and we should probably get rid of while we're cleaning house. Working on loving yourself means you'll be faced with fear: fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of loss, the list goes on as far as you can worry about. But I know in my heart of hearts that love casts out fear- so of course, fear is kicking and screaming, it's about to be cast out! Can't you picture it being dragged by its arms, legs swinging up and down, while it shouts and screams? I can.
Sure to follow will be anxiety and anger. They're just as ruthless as fear but take longer to get out- I think it's because they've been there so long they've weaved their way into the stitching of our fabric. But with enough elbow grease, you can get anxiety and anger out of your life. While you're scrubbing I'm sure you'll also come across self-pity and envy, and I know we're supposed to be getting rid of the things we don't use- but you use these don't you? A lot of people try to start rationalizing their need for self-pity or envy just like I do with my cabinet of 700 charging cables. I feel validated by having a decade of technology at my disposal, which is exactly what it's like to have a cabinet full of self-pity and envy. The more you clean it out, the more room you'll make for love, and isn't that what this is about?
Take a look at your life just like your house and decide what needs to go, who's helpful and who isn't. Then when all the clutter is gone, you'll have a clearer vision of where you want to go and who you want to be. Remember this is your house- make it yours.
It’s a warm Tuesday evening as the door slams and Mr. Wagner walks through it- precisely at 6:01 pm, the same hour (and minute) he arrives home every day. Mrs. Wagner is the living room, folding clean laundry on the sofa. "Hey honey, how was your day?" she asks. With a huff, Mr. Wagner lays down his work things on the counter. "Where's dinner? What've you been doing all day?" Molly's face falls and her brows push together to meet one another directly above her not-so perfect nose. "The girls were just crazy today babe, I haven't made dinner yet, but I'll do it in a minute." "I'm so sick of this. You do nothing all fucking day and then I'm at work- for you- and you can't make dinner?" he asks while pointing at her face. "Babe-" Mrs. Wagner begins but is quickly cut off by her husband. "Seriously Molly, what're you good for if you can't even do that?"
Now, you and I are quite aware that this isn't a marriage made in Heaven. You're probably telling yourself that you'd never be with anyone who talked to you like that. You'd throw that sexist, controlling ass right outta your house and your life- and probably never look back because you know you deserve better and don't have to put up with that. Mr. Wagner is also the type of man who wants his wife to have the perfect body, often insisting that maybe she should put the pie down and pick up her ass and get into shape. "I didn't marry a fat ass, and I sure don't want to now, your body disgusts me." he would tell her. "You don't deserve that. Why don't you stop thinking about yourself and take care of your damn kids? You're a horrible mother." Mr. Wagner would tell his wife when she was shopping.