5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Spring Cleaning Your Relationships

5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Spring Cleaning Your Relationships

Relationships reflect our inner world and what we believe is possible for us. As we navigate our lives, relationships serve as invitations to do inner work with others. When we are unaware of what is happening internally, it can be a recipe for disaster. You are no longer authentic.

Sooner than later, you may feel drained, depleted, and resentful due to unmet needs and boundary violations. When your needs aren’t met, you will serve someone else's standards while neglecting your own. This is why it is so vital that we take inventory of our relationships and assess if they are relationships that honor our needs, our boundaries, and our truth.

Here Is Why You Should Consider Spring Cleaning Your Relationships:

You allow yourself to build more intimacy in your relationships.

Intimacy is the heart of a healthy relationship. When we understand our partners, we build intimacy with them. Vulnerability is a conduit for emotional intimacy in safe relationships. Our relationships thrive when we feel emotionally connected and supported by our loved ones.

Nevertheless, a healthy relationship does not mean a perfect relationship, and sometimes we need to assess and address what's working in our relationships and what may need some fine-tuning. When we are open to learning, growing, and developing deeper bonds with our loved ones, we invite them to preserve our relationship through open dialogue centered around honesty, love, respect, and safety.

You are choosing yourself and are being honest with yourself.

When you consider spring cleaning your relationships, you offer yourself a token of love. You are communicating that YOU matter, and your feelings, energy, and the overall health of your relationships matter.

Spring cleaning your relationships allows you to be there for yourself. When we choose ourselves, we advocate for ourselves. For so many of us, we are starting to realize that we have every right to advocate for ourselves even if the environment we grew up in did not support our emotional or physical well-being.

Now that we can advocate for ourselves as adults, we get to choose our relationships, not from a place of obligation or fear but from a place of reciprocity, love, and respect.

It can help you to get clear on things you may have suppressed. 

Suppression happens when we actively push uncomfortable thoughts and feelings out of our minds. When something painful happens, and we are left with no resolve, we can suppress how we truly feel as an act of self-preservation for the relationship.

Nevertheless, with honesty also comes vulnerability with yourself. Maybe you have been unhappy in certain relationships for a while, but it was too painful to address, or maybe you have been suppressing how you feel because that is what is expected of you in your relationships. Although concealing your feelings may protect you from experiencing them, keep in mind that the body stores all of our emotions. There can be serious long-term side effects of emotional suppression, such as physical ailments linked to autoimmune disease.

Our mind, body, and heart are all interconnected, so assessing your relationships through spring cleaning not only improves your overall wellness but can also prevent anxiety, depression, and other chronic illnesses.

You can reflect on how you’re showing up in your relationships.

This one is my favorite! Spring cleaning your relationships gives you an opportunity to see yourself more clearly. If you are going through an imaginary checklist of what everyone in your life is doing wrong, you may be a part of the problem. Spring cleaning your relationships is not about what everyone else is doing wrong; it’s about accountability. Take this time to reflect on how you show up in your relationships. Are you kind and respectful to your loved ones? Do you honor their boundaries? What can you do to improve? How can you become a better listener? A better communicator?

Use this time to put a flashlight on your heart and take inventory of the places you love people from. Relationships are co-created, meaning both people play a role in the dynamic. Assess your role in your relationships and be the change you want to see.

Setting boundaries will reveal the health of your relationships.

Nedra Tawwab, the author of Setting Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself, defines boundaries as a "verbal or an action that you communicate to someone to feel safe, secure, and supported in a relationship." As we are spring cleaning our relationships, it’s imperative that we check in with our boundaries.

As humans, we are forever evolving, growing, and changing. As we grow, the boundaries that worked for us ten years ago may no longer serve us today. This is why it is important that we communicate our boundaries as they change. People cannot read our minds, and it is unfair to expect them to, no matter how much you think they should just “know” you.

All relationships need boundaries because people need to know how we want to be treated. In healthy relationships, boundaries are honored, and differences are respected. In unhealthy relationships, boundaries are constantly violated and not taken seriously. When you learn to set healthy boundaries and you start communicating them through your season of spring cleaning, allow your boundaries to reveal the health of your relationships. This may come with a sigh of relief, or this may come with immense grief, but I once heard someone say, “Struggling with the truth is much better than being comforted by a lie.”

Let your relationships reveal themselves to you so you can form healthier bonds, repair broken bonds, or release connections that no longer serve you.

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If you’re reading this, you’re probably guilty of waiting for the perfect moment to do something, and that’s okay. We’ve all been there. We’ve all done it. No one’s shaming you, and there’s no need to be ashamed. In fact, this article may help you overcome some of your perfectionist traits or, at the very least, get them under control. Award-winning journalist and author L’Oreal Thompson Payton’s new book, Stop Waiting For Perfect, is a love letter to all the people out there who put pressure on themselves to always perform at a high level, procrastinate (yes, procrastination is a form of perfectionism. More about that later) or have fear of failure/ success. As a recovering perfectionist, L’Oreal dives into perfectionism and where it stems from, particularly for Black women. In our interview, she references the classic scene in Scandal with Olivia Pope and her dad, Eli Pope, where he reminds her that she has to be twice as good to get half of what they have. Iykyk. For a lot of Black people, that way of thinking has been ingrained in us since childhood, and it can be one of the beginnings of perfectionism within many of us.

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