In the midst of winter's cold snowy days, the weather suddenly warms, giving us a taste of spring and with it the inspiration to start spring cleaning. As we dust out old shelves, rummage through possessions and let go of things we no longer need, we should apply the same cleansing techniques to our personal lives. Without a good spring cleaning, clutter remains, hampering our possibilities for a fresh start.
Driven by the momentum of comfort and familiarity, it's easy to hang onto familiar patterns, friends, hopes and choices. But yearning for the past can prevent growth and new experiences and even affect the quality of our relationships. This is a time for us to allow new growth and beauty in our lives, and a fresh start begins with some personal housecleaning:
- Go over the past year's relationships, choices and experiences.
- Realize where those experiences belong in your present life.
- Accept the lessons you've learned from them.
We must ask ourselves: What did this person or experience bring to my life, and how will it help me in the future? If it was a happy experience, write a thank-you note to the person, or find some way to commemorate the experience. Whether it was sweet or bitter, consider ways to transform the experience into something positive and constructive. Those steps allow for a sense of completion, and that makes room for new relationships to appear.
Next page: Free yourself of unspoken communications
Another step towards resolution is to make a list of unspoken communications -- things that we need to say to a person but haven't. What do you want this person to hear? Write it down to recognize what the issue is, then actually deliver the message. In some cases a phone call is appropriate; in others, a note or a meeting in person works better. To make this a constructive experience, we must digest and communicate our emotions with the intention of clearing cobwebs away, rather than wasting the opportunity by casting blame or unloading angry feelings.
By choosing to release our anger and bitterness, we can learn from the relationship so that the same problems won't happen again. Then our communications become simple, direct and clear. And the benefits to our lives are enormous.
For more information on keeping your relationship healthy, read more from Dr. Shoshanna here: