Spring Cleaning Your Soul

purge soul

I absolutely love spring. The last of the dirty snow piles melt away, the ice thaws, the gray skies slowly shift back to sunshine. Fresh breezes flow through open windows. The world around us begins to wake up. Trees fill with buds and leaves, a sure sign of the world coming back to life after a season of dormancy. And all the praise hands for the million potholes that finally get filled!

Decluttering and Deep Cleaning

Everything feels fresh and new, and the urge to declutter and lighten my space kicks in. It’s refreshing to scrub away the dust and dirt from the long winter spent inside. It’s freeing to toss all the things that have accumulated with no real purpose over the last several months. I start thinking about ways to purge and simplify, as well as spruce up our space to make it more life-giving and peaceful.

And while I love the springtime because of the opportunity to clean and declutter my physical space, I also love this season because it offers a chance to do a little spring cleaning in my soul as well. To scrub away the dirt and make space for new life and growth to happen.

We may have the KonMari Method on lock, but what do we do with the things keeping us from joy in our soul? How do we clear the clutter in our own minds that might be holding us back from a life of true joy and deeper connection with God the Father?

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Spring Cleaning Your Soul

Here are six ways to achieve a little spring clean of the soul this season.

Purge negative thoughts and feelings.

I love the Bible verse that says to “take every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:15). To make space for more joy in our life, we have to intentionally “take captive” every negative thought and actively let go of it. Holding on to negative thoughts about yourself or your life is a stumbling block to a life that “sparks joy” everywhere you turn.

For me, these negative thoughts often look like “I can’t do this” or “this will never work.” Time to sweep those thoughts straight into the trash! Intentionally swapping negative thought patterns for spiritual truths will lighten your soul and breathe fresh life into your spirit.

I like to make a list of spiritual truths found in Scripture and stick it on my bathroom mirror. Reminding myself of who God says I am is a surefire way to rise above the negative thoughts I often sink into.

Clear the clutter of unmet expectations and unanswered prayers.

Once during college, I was talking with a priest. He told me to imagine walking up to the altar during the Consecration at Mass and laying on the altar everything I wanted to offer to God that day. Maybe a thorny relationship, a disappointment, or even a victory! I absolutely love that image. I often remember it as we kneel for the Eucharistic Prayer, asking myself what I can offer to Jesus at this Mass.

As you work on spring cleaning your soul, consider if there are unmet expectations or unanswered prayers you can place on that table. Visualize taking them off your own shoulders and placing them before Christ. Offer them to God. He can carry the weight of the burden of deep disappointments or an uncertain future far better than we.

Dust away old resentments and past hurts.

As new life blooms all around us in springtime, we can ask God to breathe new life into our relationships, too.

Are you holding on to resentments or grudges? They are taking up space in your mind and heart, leaving less room for joy and peace.

This season, ask God to heal old wounds and mend any broken places. Invite Him to breathe His Spirit into any relationships that need mending.

Ask God to scrub your heart clean as you forgive and are forgiven.

This is a great time of year to consider people who need your forgiveness, and to extend that forgiveness to them.

Lent is also the perfect time to make a thorough Confession. Receive all the graces offered through the beauty of absolution. Every time I go to Confession, it truly feels like God is scrubbing away a layer of dirt and film off my heart. It’s like I can see more clearly once the dust is wiped away.

This spring, consider how He might scrub your soul of sin through Confession. Ask Him to wipe away the film of anger or a past grudge that needs to be forgiven.

Kick a bad habit to the curb.

This, of course, is easier said than done. Put simply, bad habits are clutter in our life. And how freeing is it to stop rearranging piles of clutter and instead just get rid of it?

We are all works in progress. This is not about striving for perfection or beating ourselves up about all the things we’d like to change. It’s simply an opportunity to consider what bad habits may have crept in over the long winter. Too much time on Instagram? Skipping the morning prayers? Snoozing the alarm every day? Choose one to kick to the curb.

Evaluate your current spiritual routines and adjust as needed.

Taking stock of where you are currently is the first step in creating a rich spiritual life that leads you closer to Christ.

Honestly evaluate your current spiritual routines. Look at what your daily prayer life looks like, your Mass attendance, your reception of the Sacraments. Are there areas you want to grow in, like praying a Rosary daily or more frequent Adoration? Are there spiritual routines that need to be adjusted for your current season of life (for instance, my usual routine of waking up early to read the daily readings had to adjust when I was up all night feeding a newborn).

Ask yourself what an ideal spiritual life looks like in practical terms. Consider where you are currently. Only then can you make a plan to get from point A to point B.

Clean with and for God

This spring, let’s meet God in the midst of our mopping and sweeping, dusting and decluttering. Let’s invite Him to show us what needs to get cleaned up in our lives in order to be more joyful and fulfilled. Let us cling to what truly “sparks joy,” which is a life lived in communion with Christ and accordance with His will for each and every one of us.

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Valerie Keinsley is a wife to a police officer and mama to two little ones living in central Indiana, where she and her husband are currently doing a massive renovation of their 116-year-old home. She loves WWII novels, decaf chai lattes, and trying to keep houseplants alive. She is striving to find and name beauty in the midst of the mundane, and loves to share her “good lists” on Instagram. You can find out more about her here.

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