UPLIFT by Sophia Ned-James (Week of 4/25/2021)

HAPPY SPRING!

I know I’m late, but it’s finally SPRING! Despite April snow for some of us this past week or so, it finally feels like spring. Singing birds wake us up in the morning, fresh buds and blossoms greet us when we, tentatively, venture outside. The burgeoning flora and fauna slowly wash away the greyness of winter, and make joyful way for the soft pastels of Easter and Passover to gradually become the bold colors of summer. Even this year’s Ramadan prepares us for the brightness to come.

I think that’s what makes springtime so special: it represents the promise of summer. For many, springtime also represents rebirth and renewal, restoration, and even fertility. It also represents cleanliness, hence the term “spring cleaning”.

But Sisters, as you embark on your spring projects, like de-cluttering and preparing your home and yard for a summer of masked and socially distant summer gatherings, please take some time to de-clutter your personal life, too. Listen. We’re more than a year into being mostly at home (except for our deeply appreciated essential workers), so by now many of us have gotten to know ourselves very well. Whether you’ve lived alone or with your small “bubble”, you’ve also probably had more time to do some reflecting. How could you not, with all the death and mayhem of the past year?

Chances are you’re like the millions of us who have spent the past 13 months reflecting on your life, including the choices, good or bad, you’ve made. After spending so much time with your loved ones, you may even experience changes in your closest relationships. Some of these changes may even be major ones. For example, experts cited increasing divorce rates around the world at the end of 2020, and they warned that “the pandemic induced break-curve may not have peaked yet”. (Source: BBC, December 3, 2020)

The events of the past year haven’t only impacted romantic relationships. Months of isolation, lack of physical contact, as well as illness, fear, and grief, have affected all of our relationships with each other. Some friendships got stronger, while others waned or even ended abruptly. This past year heavily tested many familial relationship bonds, too, resulting in both miraculous reconciliations, as well as heartbreakingly permanent breaks.

And here we all are now, facing another spring and another chance at renewal and restoration! True restoration and even rebirth require getting rid of the things, people, ideas, habits, and activities that no longer serve us on our path to happiness and fulfillment. That may sound harsh, but you know it’s true. After the kind of year we just had, you can’t tell me you don’t know exactly what you need to do to live the kind of life you want to live. Even if you don’t have everything figured out yet, you have a general idea of what your next steps should be.

It won’t be easy, especially when it comes to letting a serves you may not be easy, but it’s always worth it in the long run. So let it go, Sis. Let those old clothes you’ll honestly never wear again go. Let that toxic friendship that saps the joy right out of you go. Trust me, she is not your friend. Let that tired, going nowhere, relationship go, too. You know he’s not the one. Let him go, Girl. Let. Him. Go.

I promise, you won’t regret it.

Use this glorious spring to purge your life of everything and everyone that isn’t actively helping you move forward in life. And by “helping”, I don’t necessarily mean materially. Genuine emotional availability counts as helping someone attain fulfillment. So does praying for, and sending positive vibes to someone. Bottom line: everyone entitled to your time, love, and energy should also deserve your time, love, and energy.

Of course, you can still love the people you’ve chosen to disengage from! But love them from a safe enough distance that they can’t impede your progress. Remember, this is a season of renewal and restoration. Letting go of what holds you back makes it easier for you to move forward. You’ll feel lighter as you move toward your true purpose. Just don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers along the way.

Happy Spring, Everyone! Mask up, stay socially distant, wash your hands, and get vaccinated!

#SophiasUplift #Uplift #LetItGo #sophianedjames #suzyknew

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