Spring Clean in 2020
The year 2019 is no longer with us, while 2020 is here with all of its prospects for great and exciting things for everyone who desires to give it their best shot. It is time for spring-cleaning. A month ago, there was a loud buzz of activity in and around almost every house as some old things were thrown out, new things brought in, and above the normal day-to-day cleaning occurred. Visiting the average family house, it was difficult to escape the freshness in the atmosphere, the beauty of the internal decoration and the peace that permeated the air. It was spring-cleaning time, and it felt great. The remnants are still with us today.
The spring cleaning on my mind today, however, is not about the structure that comprises brick and board, furniture and fixtures, stoves and shelves, beds and bathrooms, curtains and cupboards - it is you. As an individual, you carry your “house” with you 24 hours a day. You take it to school, work, church, beach, shopping, driving, gym, and other places where a fragrance flows constantly from your life. The fragrance may draw people to you or drive them away from you; help or hinder them; strengthen or sicken them; encourage or discourage them.
Keeping your internal house clean releases overwhelming benefits such as honesty, integrity, care, compassion and selflessness toward your immediate family and those with whom you come in contact regularly. The opposite is true. Neglecting to keep your house as clean as possible may cause you to risk developing a multiplicity of dangerous toxins such as corrupt communication, domestic abuse, drug abuse, disrespect for authority, immoral behavior, crime and violence, the result of which will devalue your house.
You may ask: how can I develop a habit of keeping my personal internal house clean? The key is to decide on those things you desire to take up residence permanently in your house and those things to reject. Here are some nuggets to consider.
Encourage Wholesome Thoughts
Wholesome thoughts are like fresh, clean water that purifies and keeps your mental system operating in a healthy state. Thinking positively does wonders for your entire well-being. It delighted me to meet a young woman in her mid-teens who said to me that despite the challenges she faces from her peers; she tries daily to make it a habit of cultivating pure thoughts so she can make decent decisions. What an excellent model for all young people and adults alike. I encouraged her to maintain her first-class focus. If every man and woman cultivates wholesome thoughts about him/herself, I believe our society in 2020 and beyond, will see individuals adding worthwhile currency to our Nation.
Practice Wholesome Words
Words can be lethal or lovely, poisonous or precious. I agree with author Yehuda Berg who said, “Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”
To keep your house clean, it is important that health-giving words become a consistent daily practice of yours. As a husband, seek every day to communicate elevating words toward your wife to make her feel a sense of worth and value, rather than rejected and humiliated. As a wife, practice daily speaking words to your husband that make him feel appreciated and important rather than unwanted and disrespected. As a parent, single or married, strive to speak inspiring, encouraging words to your children to help raise their esteem and security levels, rather than derogatory and degrading expressions. As children, speak words to your parents that make them feel treasured and cherished rather than insulted and hurt. As individuals, regardless of race, color or creed, habitually use uplifting words to and about others, the kind you would like others to say to you and about you.
With God’s help, let us all practice spring-cleaning our personal houses throughout 2020 and enjoy a serene and secure society.
Marriage and Family Life Consultant