Do you know that feeling, the urge to go home after a long trip or a busy day of work? That is home sickness. Think about how your belly sticks out as soon as you sit on the couch, a deep sigh of relief comes, “Ah! The day is over!” What is it about a home that is so relieving? What is really a home? We are here to investigate its nature and how we can bring it with us throughout the day.
The following qualities of a home shown below might relate with you:
- It is a place that makes us comfortable and secure.
- It is where we let our guard down and allow ourselves to be our authentic self. Your character shows the most behind closed doors.
- It is familiar and welcoming – your bed, your shower, your dogs.
- It is a place to let go of your troubles, such as watching TV to let your mind go on a day dream.
We believe our homes are objectively this way: comfortable, familiar, and peaceful. However, is it possible that the idea of home is relative? Is it possible that anywhere can become our home?
For most of us, we see our home as our greatest refuge. For others, their “homes” are quite the opposite. If you have ever had a rough family life, going home may be the last thing you want to do. It could be a place of anxiety, conflict, and anger. Whether it is family members addicted to drugs, constant fighting, abusing, or a place where you can’t be authentic without a fear of rejection, a friends house will feel more welcoming than your own home!
In other words, a home is where you allow yourself to be authentic, relaxed, and comfortable. If you are unable to do any of these things in your own home, then it is not your real home! Although we externalize our sense of home, a modern monk realizes that these aspects of home have nothing to do with a place, it has to do with you.
- How can you develop yourself to be your authentic self regardless of where you are?
- Is it possible to create relaxation and peace within ourselves?
- Can you make your feeling of “home” expand beyond its walls?
As an example of what you can do to put these questions into practice, meditation retreats and car living are effective ways for expanding your sense of home. I am not going to sugar coat it, it can be challenging to do. At first it feels unfamiliar, you feel as if you are constantly on guard. As you gain time and experience, you loosen up and even a car will become comfortable.
You can feel at home anywhere! This is possible and you can make this a reality! All you have to do is take the initiative to try this for yourself. Even though a car retreat is one of the best methods for stretching your boundaries, it is not the only way. Whether you are on a bus, sitting on a bench in the park, in a hotel, or at school, these are places to “practice homeliness.”
You are your home!
Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, these personal qualities drastically effect how we live.
- Extroverts feels more at home around large groups of people than to be alone by themselves.
- In contrary, introverts find seclusion to be their “birds nest” to recuperate from overwhelming social stimulation.
Here is the juicy insight, the distinction between introverts and extroverts begin to collapse when your sense of home blends with it. Amazing! You can become the best of both worlds! Where ever you go, you have the opportunity to be mindful of your body, your surroundings, and to ground yourself in your own equanimity.
The next time you are exhausted, bored, and ready to go home, then ask yourself these questions:
“What is it that makes me want to go home?”
- Is it to escape from the struggles of school or work?
- Do you want privacy so you can let go of your façade and to be yourself?
- Do you miss the comforts of your television show or video games?
“What am I unsatisfied with in other aspects of my life?
- Why am I so tense at work?
- Why am I not authentic outside of my house?
- What am I trying to defend?
- Do my addictions and cravings fester because of my dissatisfaction with life outside of my house?
Why do some places in my life feel like a home and others not?”
- What is it about the my lifestyle that is so exhausting?
- Is my house an escape from this exhaustion?
“How can I make those aspects of life feel like home as well?”
Asking these questions constantly, meditating, and observing these topics will eventually lead to insights and breakthroughs. You will slowly chip away at discomfort, and everywhere will begin feel “homely,” one day at a time.
Before we wrap this topic up, I want to address one common objection:
“This idea of ‘making anywhere your home ‘sounds to me like words games and philosophy! It isn’t practical at all. It doesn’t pay the bills, and it doesn’t feed my family. This only seems to sweep the real problems under the rug.”
That is a very understandable objection. However, is it not the case that we spend (or will spend) half of our life working a job we despise, and we do it to pay the bills in order to buy a house we can only partly enjoy?
Not just understanding the conceptual nature of “home” but physically changing your perception of home will be more practical than anything money can buy. Our lives are so oriented towards “owning” a home that we don’t realize existence is our castle! Breaking down the conceptual boundaries of a home is part of the work that brings us internal fulfillment.
Join the discussion:
Have you ever felt at home somewhere else other than your own bed? A friends house? A place you traveled to where you wish you could of lived there? Your school?
Comment down below, share your insights with us! – Justin