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Time for a Spring Clean?

Today felt truly like Spring, a bright skies and daffodils sort of day. I took some time out, as I always do (self-care don’t you know), to walk my dog through the fields and to a small churchyard where we often go. It’s a beautiful church, kept open by the Churches Preservation Trust, and I find that it’s a place of peace and serenity. As I approach the church this old sundial often catches my eye, with the words ‘Even God cannot change the past’. I have seen this many times but today it got me thinking about guilt and shame. So many of us are weighed down with these heavy feelings, and whether its about what you have done (guilt) or who you are (shame), the truth is there is rarely any good to come from these feelings.

Once a deed is done, it’s done and the best we can do is learn a lesson and move forward. However, human beings are not that simple, sometimes we feel so bad that we just can’t let go and keep going back over the past. Maybe it helps to keep us ‘safe’ by keeping things the same in our lives. Or maybe other people keep reminding us of our past. All of this serves to keep us small, not to achieve our full potential in life, because that would be scary right? If we put ourselves out there, other people might see who we really are, they might see inside our souls and find out all those dark secrets that we try to hide. They might see that we think ‘bad thoughts’, that we have done ‘bad things’, that we are not very nice people at all. So, we sit in our guilt and shame, we hide away so the world can’t see us. Except when we do this, we cut ourselves off from life, from love, from ourselves and our true potential. It’s a recipe for self-sabotage.

If you have noticed this is what you do, maybe this is the time to change, to put the past firmly back where it belongs. How about allowing yourself to be human, to not be perfect. How about letting yourself off the hook and not continuing to punish yourself for mistakes you have made. How about speaking to yourself in a kind voice, the one you would use if you were speaking to someone you loved.

If we can start to work on some acceptance of our past, to practice forgiveness and start afresh isn’t that the best we can do? And this a perfect time of year to do that work – a Spring-clean – clearing out the old, dusty outworn thoughts and beliefs and replacing them with the new. It happens in nature, those flowers bloom again as beautiful as ever, perhaps you could do the same...

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