We’re not sure what it is about spring that makes people around the world go into a cleaning frenzy. Every year as the weather warms they open the windows, turn off the heater and throw out all of the junk that has accumulated around the house throughout the year.
Maybe this year we could do a little spring cleaning of our own (though not in a completely literal way). This spring, let’s clean up our old relationships.
Graham Nash, British singer-songwriter, founder of several bands (including The Hollies, Nash and Young and Crosby and Nash) and renowned photographer, once said, “My writing is influenced by living, by absorbing everything that happens to me.”
Nash may have been talking about creating music, but his thoughts can be generalized to all aspects of life. Our lives are molded by what we’ve done, what we’ve experienced and who we’ve known.
Our romantic relationships often have a very profound impact on who we are — even after the relationship ends. And how could they not? We spend a lot of time with our partners and experience a lot of important events and emotions with them.
But just because those relationships meant a lot to us and taught us many things doesn’t mean that we should hold on to them forever. It’s OK to think back on that relationship from time to time, but as Dr. Leon Seltzer explains in his blog post, “The Past: Don’t Dwell on It, Revision It!”, “Thinking too much about times gone by typically keeps your mind — and life — stuck in neutral (and maybe even shifts it into reverse).”
This is especially problematic if you’re in a new relationship. Constantly thinking about your past and exes can poison the relationship that you are in now.
Remembering mistakes and bad situations can lead you to compare your new partner to your old situation or hold them accountable for past grievances. And that just simply isn’t fair to them, you or your relationship.
We think that you should learn from your past and accept that everything that has happened up to this point has made you who you are. If you’re stuck in the past then you’re not living in the present and that means you’re missing out on all of the amazing things that are happening in your life right now.
So as this season nears and you begin weeding out your material belongings, think of spring cleaning your emotional baggage too.
Spring is in the air, wake up and smell the roses.