HOME. Some define home as a house in which a person or animal lives. Many of us define home as much more than a built structure and add to the definition such things as:
- The place/space in which hearts are together, moving in similar directions,
- A place/space in which one feels emotionally and intellectually supported, encouraged, and loved,
- A place/space in which the people and things most important to us reside,
- Maybe even a place to which we feel comfortable inviting others over for a visit,
- A safe haven no matter what storms are going on around us.
Listening to a teen describe how she no longer feels safe where she’s living because of the actions of the adults charged with caring for her, I am again reminded of how important feeling safe really is. Many people have lived through challenging times in their homes, yet these challenges are not a part of what created “home” and a sense of wanting to stay despite the challenges.
Wanting to stay “home” has to do with feeling loved and/or wanting to feel loved to the extent that tough stuff is put up with in the hope that good times will return. Wanting to “go home” has to do with the pull of love, joy, and safety being remembered and longed for as a place to live or visit.
HOME includes joy, shelter, comfort, food, freedom of expression, clothing, and safe haven. A home that does not include all of these things is simply a house, simply a built structure providing shelter from the weather. Nesting is about the creation of these experiences and feelings; about surrounding ourselves with people and things that create HOME.
Talking with an adult this week about “feeling home” I discovered that others reflect on this too. HOME comments included: feeling supported, feeling like our hearts and intimate thoughts are on the same page, and feeling like I want to spend time with the person/people in my house. Recalling what others have said about their homes of origin, the happy parts about home include: laughter, joy, family dinners, family trips, parents coming to all of our games, expectations and encouragements, and finding my own independence – to list a few.
What do you include in your definition of home? Is your current home living up to your own definition? If so, hooray and celebrate! If not, what needs to happen for you to create a real and sustainable sense of home?
As an author, facilitator, community contributor, business owner, and empty-nest step-parent, Jana watches for the ways in which we nest to create HOME and shares her discoveries in the blog Nesting.
Nesting: is a blog about the objects and experiences that create a sense of home. Without home, it is difficult to maintain health, find joy, or to be productive during our workdays. Enjoy the Nesting series of blogs as you search for your deep sense of home. –Jana