SALT LAKE CITY, March 20, 2013 — Spring is this week and while New Year’s resolutions might have fallen by the way side, spring cleaning helps us get everything back in order. Your friends may be taking the cliché route of sprucing up their bedrooms and their kitchens but let’s go a little deeper. What things in your life need a little “spring cleaning”?
Recently, too many friends and readers to count have lamented that the people in their lives are driving them crazy. They’ve cited, “hair on the bathroom sink” left by a roommate, “getting cut off” by a complete stranger, and “co-workers acting like teenagers.” These, for all intents and purposes, are pretty small grievances, but with the wrong attitude they can transform into much bigger issues.
Don’t let that happen, in fact, take a mental inventory of the people for whom you’re beginning to develop negative feelings and arrest those thoughts. Here is a preliminary list to help you out:
1. Your best friend – She rarely answers your texts, she only calls when she needs something, and now that she’s dating Bill/John/Jason/Mike/Whomever you never hear from her. You’re sick of it.
We would be too, so take pleasure in being totally justified in your frustrations, but choose to forgive her anyway. Best friends are really hard to come by, and small problems like these can be worked out.
So while you’ve probably already written her off, give her one more chance or five more chances for good measure.
2. Your mom – When she told you that you could stand to lose a few pounds and that when it comes to dating “You’re not getting any younger,” it came from a place of love.
She may always find a way to push your buttons, but she is the only mom you will ever have, and one of the few people in this world who would die for you. So end the stand-off, pick up the phone and make peace.
3. Your significant other – He does like your new haircut and he can see a future with you; when you asked him, he just didn’t have the right words to make his answer believable (or…something). Either way, when things are good between you two, they are great and this pseudo-fight that you two are having is creating a dark cloud over the rest of your life right now. If you can forgive him for his lack of eloquence, you will shed unnecessary negative feelings and begin to feel better.
3. That Stranger – How dare he not hold the door or how dare she ask if your Kate Spade purse is real. People can be so rude. We can think about this for the rest of the day or remember that we also put our foot in our mouths frequently: “When are you due?” (said to the not pregnant lady) and then wish with all our hearts that we didn’t offend that person too much. But if we did, that she would forgive us. We can be the ones to start the forgiveness trend.
5. Yourself – When it comes to forgiveness, this person is often overlooked. Remember those bad choices in college? Remember that painful relationship? Remember that fight with your dad? That bad financial move? Bombing the GMAT? Remember? Remember? Remember? Time to stop remembering. We are growing and learning so we make mistakes. Remember the lessons that you learned during these challenging times, but don’t let these memories become an albatross around your neck that makes it impossible for you to move forward.
Undoubtedly, like the rest of us, you’ve got lots to do this spring but take time to consider this list and to add a few more. When we forgive and when we forgive early, we let go of very heavy emotional baggage that we may often end up carrying for months, even years. When we forgive others and ourselves, we can feel light and we can feel clean. In fact, it’s the best spring cleaning we can do.
Readers: Whom might you add to this list? What ways have you found to forgive others? Check Facebook to read comments from other readers.
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