Making a home. To me, the meaning is in ‘making.’ It is an action. There is another part to that as well, but not explicit. It is baked into another well known saying, Home is where the heart is. Yes, my heart is in my chest, so my body is my home. My heart extends to the outside world as well. My heart is with my wife. Consequently, both of our hearts and bodies dwell in the same shell made of wood and glass and love. That is why I am sticking to the location of my house to bake in metaphors to remind myself how and why I do what I do.
What I do to keep my heart in a state of home is surprisingly simple, and can be equally difficult. It’s in the little things.. another saying. I am a tidier or chore-doer, which is a huge way I like to show my love. Chores, like sweeping the floors, is a simple way to clean up and feel accomplished. Besides the simple pleasure of watching the dustpan go into the trash bin, I get joy knowing that my wife will not feel the urge to sweep when she gets home. Instead, we can spend quality time over a puzzle, or cooking, or just spending time next to one another on our phones or diddling just in front of a fire.
So for me, cleaning the house is a way to show my love. Investing time at improving and maintaining where I live is a simple enough way to explain how I make a home. It is so important to fill space and time with action that will leave a foundation even if the world is shaking.
On our devices, in our newspapers, and sometimes seemingly everywhere, we can find hurt and troubles. My heart will not look away from the struggles of others. It is how I was raised, and who I choose to be. But, it is crazy important to not let other’s pain cause me to lose sight of my home.
I recently voluntarily checked into a behavioral health hospital. I did so because I lost sight of the simple life. My world became entrenched, a war metaphor for war times, with fixing problems I could not fix. My energy was all over the place, and it impacted everything for me. I did not know how to get back to balance, and became emotionally unwell. And I was unwell for too long. Instead of analyzing my imbalance, I thought I could help others. My in vain attempts hardly ended in resolution, which grew dis-ease. My relationships became distant, because I was operating on actions without results.
Now I am not implying that working toward lofty goals is something unworthy of my time. For example, I am not in my attic right now, but I wrote this in my attic, a space in my home where I cannot physically stand without bumping my head. A long term goal we are working toward is to dormer the ceiling. This just means raise the roof.. Another saying. It is financially a lofty goal, but we will continue to work toward it.
What I meant by actions without results, is thinking about those without homes and wanting to help. Noble, yes, but so is balance. I cannot snap my fingers and give a family a home. This is unattainable for me. Even if the finances were there, keeping the family connected with resources, and education would take an organization that I do not have the desire or wherewithal to build. I let these thoughts eat away my time, and I grew pessimistic and lost some of my kindness. The worst part of my experience was that I developed a no one understands attitude, and lost trust in people.
When I checked into the hospital, I did not know what to expect, because I already figured I would never go back. But back I was, and thank heavens I did. I learned coping skills and knowledge so that I can keep my memories and my heart. I do not know how to call it yet, but on December 18, 2022 I had my emotional rebirth. It was thanks to the hospital staff, and a specific piece of knowledge shared with me by another patient.
‘We are in a microcosm of the outside world.’ She said, followed by, ‘If you can be balanced and happy in here, you can find balance anywhere.’ Oh my god, those words changed me.
First of all, no one person besides me can choose to balance myself. People can care for me and lead me to water, but It is up to me to drink. Also after hearing that, it made me want to stay in the hospital to hone my craft. Before that knowledge drop, I did not know what was what, and I was in a state of uncertainty and panic. I wanted out. But thank god for that person, because after that I held onto creating balance for myself in a tumultuous place.
So if that resonates with you wherever you are, hold onto it like I did through whatever chaos you are in. You can get through it. And if you are willing to endure the microcosm, you will get to a place of home in your own body.
Some tips are pulsing your hand between your thumb and forefinger to reduce anxiety. You can touch the tips of each finger to lessen anger. Try following a plan, not the mood when you are at a loss and subject to overwhelming emotion. Pick up a writing utensil and color or doodle to free space in your mind. Start with a small goal you can achieve each day, like a morning prayer or intention. Create a long term goal and do not suffer over it. Play solitaire! Sooner than later, you will see the way you spend your time will get filled with success and achievement. You will see that life will have room for kindness and encouragement. Space will open up for you to achieve your loftier goals, and you will be happy with how it unfolds.
Always remember that as simple as it seems, it can be easy to ignore. Even when your mind says things like puzzling is childish, or people will make fun of my art, you must tell your mind that you will do those things anyhow.
Keep your inner gyroscope on and let yourself bring joy into your life. The joy you see is joy you made.