“Home” for the Holidays

We are in the throes of yet another holiday season. The holidays are a time that people often reflect on their life and their families. The idea of family is closely tied to the idea of home. While in my own process of deep thought I pondered this notion of “home”. What is “home”? This is a particularly relevant question for me as I am in the process of moving, yet another holiday season. Since returning to Georgia, in 2011, I have moved every single December, as if the characteristic of a nomad has somehow been adopted into my persona. However, I wasn’t always a drifter.

There was a point in life where I remained situated in the same home. I prided that home and took the time and care to clean, paint, and decorate that dwelling. I also made sure to coordinate and accentuate the décor with favorite knickknacks, figurines, and pictures. In fact, I was quite careful about ensuring that my home was filled with all of the right elements. However, I know I’m not the only one, as many of you will be able to relate. So many of us dedicate precious time to the details of our home, because as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz said: “there’s no place like home”. However, there came a time that I decided to leave my home and walk away from it all.

In the process of selling my home, I decided to go for a clean slate – so I gave away furniture, curtains, essentially everything. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the action of getting rid of my home and its beautiful objects, was symbolic of me shedding my reliance on material things to fill my home. It would be a few years before the ramification of what I did would hit me. I had got rid of everything external and was only left with what was on the inside!

Being left with only my internal resources, forced me to take stock of who I was: the good and the bad. Through that process, I came to a powerful conclusion – I finally accepted me, the lovable and even the not so lovable parts. Another realization that I had was the idea that “there is no place like home”, however, that “home” is not an external building. Instead that home is the body that encases the essence of “you”. Once you’re “comfortable with the skin you’re in”, then you’ll always feel at home (no matter where you are) because you’ve come to realize that “home is where the heart is” and that heart is within you!

I initially started this entry talking about my nomadic moving patterns. It may seem counterintuitive that it was during this time of excessive moving and lack of external stability, that I learned the most about me (the me that is within). However, a quote from the Untethered Soul, by Michael Singer, does a nice job of summing up my experience. He states: “No matter what happens, just enjoy the life that comes to you” because that is the path to unconditional happiness.

So as I stand here amidst the mountain of packed boxes, I eagerly anticipate the life that is coming to me, next.

May this holiday season be a time that you reflect on your own (internal) “home”, and the actions you take to fill it.