Discarding outdated thinking habits can clear our inner closet and make space for compassion and love.
Last week I found myself spontaneously buying paint for the living room. The cashier complemented my color choice, and remarked on how many people were spring-painting their walls!
Spring is our time to remove stale clutter and shed what is no longer needed. A gentle breeze through an open window, soft sunlight, or the scent of fresh flowers can move us forward with enthusiasm toward a clean new perspective.
While we clear the garden, pantry or closet, springtime offers us an opportunity to release ineffective beliefs and outdated thinking habits.
Some of my favorite habits to discard this Spring include:
Questioning others’ motives. It’s inevitable we will encounter difficult people again and again. The proverb, “Never judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins” reminds us we are all here for different experiences, and we shall never truly understand the path of another.
We can never know for sure “why” someone behaves as they do. Perhaps they have suffered. Or maybe they took a vow to forget their own divinity in this lifetime, playing the role of villain so that we might overcome a fear or strengthen a gift.
Questioning others’ motives never provides the relief or closure we seek. If we count up all the hours spent analyzing, labeling or attempting to make sense of others, we notice an increase, rather than a decrease, in our own confusion, frustration or hurt.
When possible, assume good intentions. Hold them accountable by questioning only their judgement. Their actions are under your scrutiny, not their motives. This shift in perspective leaves their soul’s dignity and goodness intact. This practice allows us to move toward compassion and understanding with even the most difficult souls.
Perfectionism. When we release perfectionism in favor of excellence, we choose self-love and worthiness. The perfectionist who hides under baggy clothing at the beach, waiting to lose that last ten pounds, misses out on the joy of swimming and playing in the sand. Better to shed the cover-up and participate! Excellence implies living life to the fullest… even when we aren’t perfect. Foregoing perfectionism takes courage. Releasing self-consciousness is a powerful choice that frees us to create memories that last a lifetime.
Being right. Insistence on being right can derail personal growth. Being right by definition automatically implies others are wrong. The heightened energy we feel as we argue, upon closer inspection, derives its fervor and urgency from our deepest fears.
Letting go requires courage and trust in the universe. We release the need for things to go our way. We can calmly offer our opinion while allowing others to do the same.
Outdated feelings of urgency, threat and fear are revealed as smoke and mirrors. ‘Let it go!’ becomes our mantra. Internal windows open, cleansing mind and body, and we move forward with renewed enthusiasm for life.