This time of year always brings up memories of my mom running around the house like a Tasmanian Devil carrying out this ritual she called Spring Cleaning. There was cleaning involved, changing of the curtains and bed spreads, and lots of blood, sweat, and tears (okay, perhaps I'm exaggerating a bit -- I don't remember any blood). Interestingly enough, I did not inherit this Spring Cleaning gene. Until this year, that is...
Despite the fact that I recently moved (and I had thrown out/donated a lot of stuff then), I found myself feeling a desperate need to clear things out. Two contractor bags later, I felt lighter and happier. Slowly but surely, I'm making my way through the house asking myself the all-important question "Do I really need this?"
An interesting question, for sure. Is it need or want or merely habit or comfort? I wonder the very same things when I sit on my meditation cushion each morning and thoughts churn round and round in my head. Do I need it or want it or is it a habit that I hide behind? It's funny how my answer to that question has always included justification. For a time I even asked myself that question in regards to my yoga practice. There were times the answer was that I was using my practice to hide. It was a way for me to convince myself that I was being open hearted because of my focus on "spirituality" and my inner world.
Sometimes it's a little of all of it -- needs, wants, comfort. In regards to determining if something needed to be cleared, I started drawing the line based on how I feel. I did this with a person not too long ago. I liked this person. A lot. I felt connected to him. I found comfort in him. Despite all of this, I didn't feel good about the relationship. Something just didn't feel right. I spent a lot of time justifying why the relationship was good for me, why I should work on it, why it needed to be in my life. But there was this lingering unease. My feelings were affecting the relationship and I ended up hurting this person, which was something that I never wanted to do. As much as I wanted to hold on, I realized that I needed to let it go. Or maybe it was that I needed to let it go more than I needed to hold on.
I realize that clearing isn't something that should only be done each Spring -- it needs to be done continuing. It reminds me of pruning, and the picture of Karate Kid's Mr. Miyagi trimming his bonsai. In order for it to grow, you must continually trim it. Hmmmm...guess I've got some growth on the way because I'm trimming things down over here and not just things in my physical space -- I'm clearing out thoughts, beliefs, and people as well.
It feels good to lighten the load and feel the revival of Spring.