Spring Can Bring New Hope

  • Are you tired of experiencing life the way you do?
  • Do you wonder if your feelings of emptiness, depression, anxiety, overwhelm, aloneness, etc., will ever be in your past?
  • Have you done countless hours of therapy but still struggle to enjoy life as you would like?

If this sounds like you, this is the season for hope. Now it’s time for your spring cleaning!

Blossoming Into Life Anew

Springtime is a period of new growth. We pull out old roots and plant seeds for new ones. And with consistent tending, we soon enjoy the beautiful flowers, fresh scents, and spellbinding colors.

Similarly, this is the way for you to blossom into life anew.

Living Live in Winter

Your childhood roots may have sprouted into your feeling and thinking:

  • “I’m not good enough.”
  • “I’m a bad person.”
  • “I don’t matter.”
  • “I won’t be safe (emotionally or physically).”

Unconditionally loving and accepting yourself for who you are and realizing that now you’re safe from harm would eliminate much of your:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Unhealthy or unfulfilling relationships
  • Living in a limiting box that you believe “Just is.”

But that’s not as easy as it sounds.

spring crocus in snow

Why Winter Lingers

At your core, deeply rooted, often unconscious beliefs are in the powerful driver’s seat of your life. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to you, they steer your behavior in ways that further reinforce your wintery feelings.

Indeed, research suggests that 90 to 95 percent of our behavior stems from our unconscious mind—entirely out of our awareness.

penguins in snow in antarctica

Releasing Yourself from the Core Beliefs of Winter

Here are a few client stories of people who unearthed their past experiences. Unfortunately, their earlier life experiences had created limitations for them, resulting in years of “Antarctica.”

Once they released themselves from those core beliefs, they each found healing. Spring had indeed sprung in their lives.

Examples* of Clients’ Emotional Spring Cleaning

Stephanie’s* Over-Caring

Stephanie believed she had to care for others; otherwise, they would not be ok. This belief was rooted in her feeling that the only thing that made her important was doing for others.  The idea of others being able to care for themselves translated to her feeling insignificant.  Therefore, she actively prevented people from caring for their needs, though she consciously wished they would.

man with a cleaning spray bottle spraying directly toward you

Emily’s* Self-Doubt

Emily’s inability to give herself a positive performance review was embedded in two memories. When she was younger, her peers excluded her because she performed well.  To subconsciously avoid feeling hurt and alone, Emily could never say positive things about herself—even to herself.

Tyler’s* Procrastination

Tyler procrastinated. During therapy, a memory emerged. In the past, he had to be still and quiet to stay safe. In other words, movement or taking action could result in physical harm. Although this was no longer true, inertia felt safer and more comfortable.

Alex’s* Inertia

Alex was frustrated that he couldn’t motivate himself to eat better and exercise though he couldn’t stand being overweight. He found that the block was rooted in his belief that he didn’t matter. That unconsciously translated to “why bother losing weight?”

Lisa’s* Discomfort

And one of my own: I was never comfortable inhaling hot/warm air (like having a blanket covering my entire body, for example). I discovered that when I was an infant, my brother put a pillow on my head and sat on it. 

*Names and details are changed to protect client confidentiality.

The Onset of Winter

As you can see from these examples, your body remembers the hurt, pain, or fear of your experiences. If you couldn’t release those emotions at the time, you likely repressed them. Consequently, the stress of those experiences accumulates in your body. Why? This response was originally a survival mechanism. It helped you get through “winter.”

Besides your feelings about those experiences, they also shaped you. From them, you formulated feelings and opinions of yourself and the world around you. Beliefs that are often false. As mentioned earlier, these unconscious beliefs drive your behavior. You will act in specific ways, striving to find acceptance, belonging, fulfillment, and feelings of safety.

These ways may no longer serve you in your life, they usher in a dreary, cold autumn followed by years of winter.

blooming crocus plant in spring grass

“Springing” Away From Your Unconscious Beliefs

Thus, the path to joy, lightness, and freedom—living your best life possible, cannot happen without healing the root wounds of your past.

In my 20+ years of counseling, I have concluded that true healing for most everyone necessarily means journeying backward in time and “re-doing” the past.  Although “back to the future” may sound a little crazy, this is the basis of “inner child” work or shadow work.  What does that entail?

There are three key pieces:

  1. Find the wounds (which you can then connect to your current behavior).
  2. Escape winter. Releasing the pent-up emotions from the experiences or people that created the wounds.
    Cry, yell, pound the floor, punch a pillow, write. The critical piece is not to hold back and instead allow yourself to express your raw feelings and truth.
  3. Usher in the warm spring breeze. Re-write the painful scenarios so that your child self can feel protected, nurtured, loved, seen, heard, and empowered. Believe it or not, giving your child self what they needed at the time can and does change how you feel about yourself in the present time.

But I Don’t Want to Relive Winter!

This is not as simple as it sounds. Who wants to relive it? After all, there is a protective reason why you have repressed specific memories and feelings. In addition, it can be emotionally painful to revisit the past and experience those wintery emotions again.

But once you get through winter, you will feel lighter on the other side. Spring is lovely!

field of  blooming white, purple, lavender, and yellow crocuses in spring

Spring Cleaning Can Begin Today

Working with a therapist who can walk you through this process would be best.  Since your body holds on to all the memories, I highly recommend finding a therapist who is skilled at connecting you with your body.

If any of this resonates with you and you would like to work with one of our therapists, please do not hesitate to reach out.  You can contact us at: info@ealcounseling.com or call us at 224-654-8905. We are here to help.

Lisa Aranas

Lisa Aranas, JD, LCPC, is a Life Coach and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. She is also a certified divorce and custody mediator, personal trainer, and holistic nutritionist.
Lisa Aranas JD LCPC