Spring Cleaning

Recently in the mood to clean my home, I started looking around in different areas to see what could be sold, given away or tossed. As I began sorting through my things, I noticed a shift in myself.  Working to rid myself of clutter, a sense of lightness washed over me. I was a little surprised at how doing such a simple, mundane task produced a positive change in my mood. I continued to monitor myself as I organized, threw away and sorted my belongings. I realized how absolutely wonderful it felt unburdening myself of things which no longer served a purpose, took up valuable space and looked unsightly.

As a part of the purging process, I stepped onto my patio and noticed several near-death plants, two ferns and a Boxwood shrub.  I invested approximately $30 for this lot of three plants I had been trying to revive the past three months. I felt a little robbed they did not last longer and had not served their entire purpose. The truth was, however, there wasn’t much of a chance of them being brought back to life.  They were 99.9% dead.  Not only were they not functional but they had also lost their vibrant colors and had turned a very sad shade of brown which devalued the look of the space.

As I was preparing to give up on them altogether, I recalled my mother telling me the home store I bought them from had a year-long guarantee for their plants.  I called the store, not expecting they would actually refund me a full five months later, but thought it was at least worth a shot.  As I spoke with the store clerk she told me they typically only refund annual plants but that she would make an exception in my case for the two ferns.

I brought in my three mostly dead plants to Diane, the store clerk, and, to my surprise, she refunded me the orginal price of the plants in the form of store credit. So, not only did I clean my space, but I also received credit to spend towards something that would add value to my life. Upon further reflection, I thought about how this scenario could be utilized as a beneficial mental exercise: getting rid of the old to make way for the new and better gifts life has to offer.

While exploring our individual journeys, we may collect many things which once served a purpose, but have since decayed and lay lifeless in ourselves. These things can manifest in ways such as bitterness, offense, unforgiveness, and sadness. There is value in taking time to examine any hidden areas that are unsightly and take up valuable space in our lives.

So how do we take stock? How do we rid ourselves of the things that no longer benefit us? One way is to check in with ourselves and see how our overall sense of well-being is: Are you happy? Do you feel sad more days than not? Do you feel angry? Do you feel broken-hearted? Answering these questions may give you great insight. If you feel you are not able to identify or work through these items in your life, it may be helpful to find a skilled therapist to help you sort through these issues, so you, too, may feel lighter and more free.