Spring: an opportunity for a fresh start

Spring: an opportunity for a fresh start

As someone who spends a lot of time at home, I notice the hidden bits of mess I might otherwise miss if I was out all day. The sticky fingerprints of my children that only show up when the sun is shining on the worktop at a certain angle, the crumbs under the table I’ve just realized are much more in number than I thought, and the various mismatched toys, shoes and clothes that somehow – constantly – end up in the wrong place. With spring (FINALLY) in the air, my motivation to tidy up is suddenly stepping up a gear, and rather than just keep tidy the bits people see when they come round, I want to spring clean the hidden bits too, the places only I see… the ones that are easy to ignore.

Talking to someone recently I realised just how full of hidden junk we all are, but because we can only see the dirt we hide in ourselves it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking everyone else is squeaky clean or living carefree without baggage or ‘issues’. I’ve lost count of the times something’s reminded me of my own brokenness – and in that split second all I see is the damage and all I feel is the pain and when I look up, suddenly appear to be surrounded by unbroken, undamaged people who know no pain and BANG goes my self-worth all over again.

And yet it’s a lie.

We all have dark spaces; we’ve all known hurt and we all carry the scars of what life has given us so far, whether they’re physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. We all have clutter, whether we hide it from others or even try to pretend to ourselves it’s not there; we all have clutter.

Spring is a good time to de-clutter. As well as sweeping the dust of winter out of my house (and retraining my children to tidy up after themselves) I’m also going to try and brush the cobwebs out of my own life and be more proactive in naming the things I want to let go of or find peace with, and actually do something about them. Before I know it, winter will have rolled back around and I’ll have another layer of life to add to my collection, and those things will be a little bit deeper, a little further away and a little harder to get a hold of. I don’t want to make that mistake again this year.

January 1st always strikes me as a terrible time to make new resolutions: it’s cold, it’s post-Christmas, it’s a long time until payday and quite frankly we’re all a bit frazzled after the festivities and dreading the return to reality. Instead, let’s make this springtime the opportunity to take stock, peer into the mess we’re so good at hiding from others, and make positive choices about how we’re going to clear up. Here are 3 little tips to get you started:

1) Small steps. This isn’t about making huge changes all at once, but looking at the little things you can be doing that will eventually lead you to a bigger goal. It can be as small as choosing to think differently about something or someone, or doing a kind act. Write them down and be encouraged!

2) Be thankful. Even when confronting some of the more difficult or painful things: be thankful. Be thankful that you’re here, that you’re unique, that you have purpose… even if you don’t feel it. Gratitude does amazing things to the way we think and can be very uplifting. Writing a few things down every night can help you on the days when it’s much harder to do.

3) Team work. We are all in this together, so stop trying to go it alone and walk alongside someone else. Finding someone you trust to hold you accountable can be invaluable – and you can be that person for someone else, too. Take a risk – trust.

Spring, like winter before it, is just here for a season. And as surely as the chill of winter ebbed away to make way for the blue skies and daffodils, it’ll be summer before we even realise it.

Let this season be one that brings about lasting change in your life.

@FreedomFromHarm | @RachelWelch

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