Coming Home

Cathy AJ Hardy posted on

During this past year, I began to ask the question, ‘where is my home’?

At this time in my life – you would have thought I would know the answer to that question. But I realized I didn’t and I could feel the unsettledness in me.

Where is home?

What is home?

Where do I belong?

I found myself living alone in a large house, children grown up and moved on – and a marriage no longer there. The typical things that our society calls ‘home’ had shifted and changed in my life.

So the questions began of belonging and what home is…..

As the poet Rainer Maria Rilke writes, we are invited to Live the Questions of life so that perhaps someday we may live into the answers.

So, I began to live these questions, writing them, shouting them, pondering them and dreaming them.

Where is home?

What is home?

Where do I belong?

I began to realize these are universal questions that we may all feel at one time or another in our lives, because ultimately our human families may come and go. Structures that look like ‘home’ may come and go. And so there is a deeper ‘home’ and sense of ‘belonging’ that each of us as humans know if we are truly honest. It is part of our human experience to need a home, to need to belong.

And so this time of questioning and seeking evoked an inner quest. And after a few months a surprising answer bloomed on the path. I discovered that before I could find ‘home’ anywhere else, I had to find ‘home’ within.

And in this process of living the questions, I had realized that a true home is where I knew 4 things:

4 QUALITIES OF HOME

Safety

Being seen

Being accepted

Being cherished

And these 4 elements of relational intimacy/home/belonging could begin within my own heart.

Was I safe with myself? Did I ‘see’ myself? Did I fully accept myself as I am? Did I cherish myself?

These four aspects of coming home to myself became the pathway to a greater sense of being at peace within. To enter these four areas meant moving past shame, invisibility, and fear within myself. As I find in so many conversations with others, there may be aspects of ourselves that we hold as distant or shameful.

We can fracture ourselves into good parts and bad parts and live in a dis-unity within.

We can find accepting of others much easier than accepting of ourselves, unable to fulfill the expectations of perfection we may hold of what is ‘acceptable’.

To truly cherish ourselves means to know profound grace within. We know our shadows. We know our failings AND we have tasted profound grace. It is in this place of grace that we can honestly cherish ourselves. This is a place of unconditional love that is so incredibly healing. It is not white-washed with positive thinking or running away from dark realities within. It is looking at ourselves straight in the eye – knowing that nothing is hidden and ALL is SOAKED IN LOVE.

I believe that when we truly can live from this place, we bring a transformed presence into the world. Because we are living out of grace, we are able to extend it. Because we can cherish ourselves with our intimate knowing of ourselves, we can cherish another.

As the healing of ourselves is paramount to any healing work we do for others, I soon became aware of the vitality of learning to create ‘home’ within. If I did not cherish myself, how could I cherish another? If I did not cherish myself, how could I truly receive the gift of being cherished by another?

And so the inner journey of ‘being home’ became a way of living into the question of ‘where is home?’.   And out of this journey of ‘being home’, I realized that as I opened my arms to others from this place of ‘being home’, I created ‘home’ for others simply through the gift of being present. Wherever I was, there was ‘home’.

Home

You are safe with me

I see you

I accept you

I cherish you

Home

I began to see there were three relational places where this could be practiced. Within myself, with every person I encountered, and with the Presence of Divine Love. All of these aspects are ones where these is a whole book to write about! And perhaps one day I shall. But for today, it is this simple expression of a realized truth.

May we continue to know ‘home’, be ‘home’ and rest in ‘home’.

 



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