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Spring is here and change is in the air!

Spring is a time for transformation. And Spring cleaning! I started cleaning out my closet last weekend, and I know it will be worth it when it’s over – but making those “stay or go” decisions is hard work! There are “things” I will never use but that have memories attached, and even though I have no use for the “thing” anymore, I’m not sure I’m ready to let it go. Of course, the longer I hold on to it, the harder it will be to ultimately let it go.

Relationships can present a similar challenge. There are people that come and go through various seasons in life, but as with anything, seasons change and so does our need to hold on to some relationships. The friendship forged through the college years of late nights becomes a different kind of friendship through marriage and child rearing. Friends move away, and friendships ebb and flow or vanish altogether. Some relationships last but a few hours – like the friendship made in the hospital waiting room that fulfilled a need just for that moment. Some relationships we know have run their course, but we’re not sure how to close the book.

The art of letting go can happen naturally without effort, or be one of the most difficult decisions a person can make. If the decision is being made for you, and you weren’t quite ready to let go of the relationship, it can be especially difficult to adjust to this new season. If the decision is yours, it can be done with intention and kindness, but you have no control how the other person will handle it. Navigating these changes of seasons is stressful, even if the change is ultimately for the better. There is opportunity in every circumstance if you look for it.

For many of my clients, the question of whether to divorce is an incredibly difficult question to answer. They know that the relationship is broken and beyond repair. Staying in the relationship means prolonging the pain – the pain of rejection, the pain of loneliness, the pain of feeling stuck and not being able to move forward in life. Yet, many people choose the pain because of the fear of letting go of the relationship. Broken as it is, it’s familiar.

Letting go of a relationship that was once a source of joy and hope for the future is not the same as letting go of a blouse or a sweater. People are not objects, and letting go of a relationship does not mean the other person is worthless to us. However, letting go of relationships that are a source of pain, that suck our joy, that create a stress-filled home, and that keep us stuck can create space for healing and new life.

We should not toss people aside just because they no longer serve us. However, we can and should be mindful as to whether the relationships in our life bolster us, support us, nourish us, cheer us on. Spring is a time of renewal, and a perfect time to reawaken buried parts of you that once gave you joy. We can clear space to allow new opportunities to SPRING forth as we partake in the cyclical seasons of life and relationships.

If you are in the midst of spring cleaning yourself, we’d love to hear your thoughts and perspectives on the art of making room for new seasons of growth!