Emotional Spring Cleaning

It's that time: flowers (allergies), rain (allergies), bees pollinating things (which means more allergies), birds chirping. Yes, it's spring time. I  have always preferred spring compared to other seasons because when you live in Oklahoma, spring means at least 2 months of respite before the temperature reaches a comfortable 438 degrees.

photo credit to: MarilynJane

I've never been much for spring cleaning. I prefer to do my cleaning throughout the year, although Aaron and I did just clean out our office which had become a storage unit (like, why did we have 3 feet of crumpled newspaper print sitting on top of our cat-carrier?)

So, while I don't need to physically clean out a lot in my house (except for that box of old mail I keep because I may need that 2 year old letter from that car insurance company I no longer use), I do strongly believe in emotional spring cleaning. 

I think emotions, thoughts, and beliefs become outmoded and can sit in our consciousness like crumpled up newspaper print for a really long time.  It's not until something triggers those dusty old emotional responses or thoughts that we remember that they haven't been dealt with.

Whether it's the fear that as we gain success we'll lose friends (I come across this alot, particularly with women), or our unresolved family issues we may bring into our relationships, festering emotional garbage that is no longer serving us. 

There are tons of ways to clear out old emotional rubbish; from journaling, writing music/poetry, talking to a therapist, coach or trusted friend, or even just a good cry (yes, you too guys).

Whatever the case, there is a necessity to clear the old junk out of our consciousness to make room for new emotions, ideas, thoughts or beliefs to come in.

Some people hoard old emotions and thoughts, others hide in a proverbial junk drawer in their energetic and mental space believing they'll "deal with it later". Unfortunately,  later doesn't happen until it tumbles out of the closet in the middle of a discussion with your partner or at work when you least expect, and then you're swathed in your own emotional stink and you wonder how you got there.

So how do I know what to get rid of? I always ask myself a few basic questions:

1.) What purpose is it serving in my life to hold onto this emotion/thought/belief? For example many people hold onto anger because it is a source of energy, but think about the frequency of that energy) .

2.) If I processed (or got rid of) this outmoded belief or emotion what would I gain? What would I lose? 

3.) How would it feel without this emotion/thought, etc.? For example, some people don't realize that lingering issues like anxiety or resentment serve to bolster their sense of self (even if it's negative) and without it they don't know who they would be. They think "but I'm an anxious person", and can't imagine themselves without the fear. 

So for me, I've had to clear out the belief that "I don't get what I want". It's served my personality for many years and also bolstered a sense of compensatory entitlement. But it's not working for me anymore, and can subtly influence my relationship with the world and others.

So I've been forced to pull it out, look it over, and then, once I've said my goodbyes, throw it in the trash with that crumpled newspaper. That doesn't mean I won't pull it out from time to time and think, "I could use this". However, in my experience once you've set the intention to get rid of something, it always smells a little worse when you pull it out of the trash. 

So what emotions are stinking up your space? What needs to be thrown out, and what's the best way for you to purge what you don't want?