At the lovely studio where I practice yoga they have a theme of the month. This month is Home. The Statement on the little felt board says or at least in part says "Be Home Anywhere".
This of course has me now thinking about that. The word, the feeling the whole idea of "Home". What does it mean, where is it, how do we feel it, taste it, see it, who/what is in it? Oh so many questions and thoughts I have put my mind through. I am at the very least the best over thinker I know!
You so often hear others say things like "Home is where the heart is." , "Home is where you hang your hat." , " There's no place like home" , "Home is where love resides and memories are created". And the list goes on!
So I sit here and wonder, if I look at home as a place with four walls, simplistically, then am I home? Is this home?
I have walls and windows and locks on my doors, I am for all intents and purposes safe, my husband whom I love and my cat whom I adore are here. I have clean running water and functional plumbing. And of course like many of us I could sit and list all the things I would like to change about the structure and the inhabitants within, including myself but we will save that for another day. I could for the most part stay right here inside this place and be perfectly comfortable, safe form the outside world, safe from the elements etc... but I still wonder is this "home"?
Other then the inhabitants and a few selective items, I have no great feelings of attachment to this place. I mean to get real about it, so long as as my husband and cat were safe and I could maybe save certain sentimental items, I quite frankly wouldn't be all that disturbed if the place burned down to the ground. Other than the inconvenience of it all, I would simply be OK! SO well, maybe "home" isn't a building. At least not for me.
So what if "home" is a place?
Lets see, I grew up in Illinois, where I couldn't wait to get out of and am currently fighting with all I have to not have to live there again, another story for another time. I lived in California for several years and I LOVED it there and although I often laugh about, what was I thinking coming back to the Midwest, I really have no real connection to it, and other than wishful thoughts about the weather there, I have no intense drive to live there now. I currently live in Wisconsin its beautiful in the north regions and so much to do in the southeast. Milwaukee has as much to offer as some cities twice its size! And yet if you offered me the right opportunity to move I probably would. I have been to many places around North America and other countries as well, all of which hold their own beauty and possibilities. And other than the occasional joke that we should sell everything and go live in a hut on one of the islands we have visited, I still find myself feeling that home is not a place either!
Ok so is "home" a person?
I am married, and he's a great guy that I love. However I am a pretty independent woman. And not that he is not top on the list, but in my entire grown life I don't think I have ever thought of a man as "home"! He and I are like, an ocean to a river. We ebb and flow, and one feeds the other but we are our own containers separately.
Well what about friends or other family?
Let's start with friends. I have coworker friends and I do in fact adore many of them. I love to be with them and even enjoy spending time with them outside of business. But its not like when we are apart I find myself in a state of longing for them, sorry guys! lol
I have several other friends some old some newer, some very close and some more casual. I would be heart broken if anything terrible happened to any one of them and so terribly sad if our friendships ended for, well any reason. But just as they would and I would want them to, I would pick up the pieces and my life would move forward as it does for all of us whether we want it to or not. So as much as I love them all I guess maybe its not friends either.
Family! We all have them and in general we all have love/hate relationships with them. I myself have no biological immediate family alive. So that leaves me with the family I've chosen. All of them are step something, step sisters, step father who is attached to my step aunts, uncles and cousins. You get the idea.
Let's start with sisters. I have four, mom was good at getting married (no disrespect I love and miss her but the facts are facts lol). Two older that live about 800 miles from me. By the time I was about 11 years old, they were both out of the house, living far away and over most of the years we have stayed in touch here and there. We probably communicate more these days then we ever did, due to an aging father. I have two younger that came into my life when I was about 14 years old. One I have no relationship with at all and the other, we are really close, and I love her so much, but we really struggle to communicate well and it causes us a lot of turmoil. I have yet to figure out if its because we are to much alike or to different. And I guess, as I do, I probably over think things with us. Chances are this is just sisterhood and because of my previous home life I don't know quite how to navigate this relationship all the time. This subject alone will probably come up in a post later.
There are the aunts, uncles and cousins. But to keep it short. We all love each other and I'm welcome in their homes as they are mine, but to say we are close would be a fib.
SO that leaves dad. I love love love my dad. There are many things from the past, that has many utterly confused about my daughterly devotion to him, but say la vie, I can't help myself. He has been my dad since I was two years old, the only father I have ever loved. He is aging and needs more help than ever and I turn myself, my life and sometimes the lives of others upside down and inside out to help him. The only thing I haven't done yet is move back to Illinois! Well you already know how I feel about that! I know one day he is going to leave me. And I will be wrecked when that day comes. But, I already know this in my heart so I'm, well as much as one can be, ready. Like my mom he will move on and I will be, what feels like, completely alone! I suppose he comes closest to being "home" but still not quite. Why? Because I think of home as something that doesn't leave. Its always there.
Now that I have picked it all apart, what am I left with?
Home is not a building, a place or a person! Now what??
Well lets go back a little. Maybe I should describe my version of home. Home should be safe, warm, inviting, loving, excepting and everlasting. Maybe its that last one that puts a pebble in my shoe! Everlasting, I know right? Come on nothing in life lasts forever. And in many cases, thank goodness!
So with the thought of being home anywhere and adding to that what my version of home is. And thinking that the the sign seems to insinuate everywhere is home. Then anywhere I am is home. But how can that be, as my, not so scientific analysis shows, that can't be right!
If I go back to the sign "Be Home Anywhere" maybe the answer to my question is the simplest answer. Could it be that 'home" is ME?! Lets look at that, I am everywhere I go, I keep myself safe, I am warm ( especially these days!), I am inviting, loving and excepting to others and continue to work on being the same to myself, and although I don't have everlasting life, I will be with myself in an everlasting way and hopefully continue on in some important way after this life. By George I think I got it!!
Home is within me (you). OMG! You guys, I don't know about you but if that's it, and it seems it is. I have some house cleaning to do! Our mind, body and soul are our homes! With out you there is nothing, there is no universe full of persons, places and things if you are not present to experience them.
To 'Be Home Anywhere" we must first be home within. We must look within for the answers to our questions, for the joy we seek. Let go of the anger, resentments, ego, greed and hate.
This is why we practice yoga and meditation. With these practices we come home again and again. Its not always easy or even fun, but when the practice reveals to us something new, something old, things completely unexpected we can see it, love it, except it and then let it go. This keeps our homes just as they should be, safe, warm, inviting, excepting and everlasting.
Come home, be home and your home will be anywhere and everywhere!