Friday, April 19, 2013

Seeking Home

The act of moving, when you think about it (whether a town, residence or work space), can bring up a lot of things… Fear of change, a sudden nostalgia for what we’ve got, apprehensiveness about uncertainty... On one hand there’s excitement because you’re looking at the great possibilities for your life. And yet on the other, the unknown -the lack of guarantees or a safety net - can give rise to anxieties and second thoughts. Whether being forced to move, choosing to move or being unable to move, life can turn chaotic when we’re trying to manage our current lives and transition to a new one at the same time.

“It’s very disorienting because of our habits,” Stephen says, “things we’ve gotten used to, routines, and the in between time” in which we rest and renew. Moving also usually “requires getting rid of something, something we spent a lot of time acquiring.” So our priorities are questioned and that can put our whole life up for review.

Pondering a possible move in the near future, my husband and I question what we’re leaving behind that’s not working for us, as well as what we hope to be gaining from the location change. Because it’s not a necessary move, we have to look inward, considering what we’re responsible for and what we’re simply reacting to. For instance, if we changed our perspective and our behavior, would our lives change for the better where we are currently, and would that be enough? What does the move symbolize for us – a fresh start, greater convenience, or a move up to a better life altogether?

“What if you couldn’t move?” Stephen asks as we discuss the reasons behind our desire to changes residences and locales. “Many people can’t.” They’re stuck in the village, stuck with the tribe, stuck in their hut, stuck with their spouse, stuck with the same view day in day out. What happens then when you need a fresh start, more convenience, or to feel you’re moving up in the world? What does one do then?

“I would redecorate,” I say chuckling but in all honesty, because I know the power of revitalizing and re-directing energy. But who couldn’t help feeling somewhat stuck in a situation from which you couldn’t escape? There are those of us who get stuck in our dramas, moving from one crisis to another; that’s what we know and that’s where we’re comfortable. Others are in perpetual search of the perfect life, building intolerance to un-pleasantries and perpetual dissatisfaction with never finding what we seek. Neither manner of living, however, is constructive or truly joy-producing.

I think further about what I would do if I couldn’t literally move when I wanted to. I would try to hold to the new mindset created when one ponders doing something as drastic as moving. I would try to come up with other ways in which to feel “we’re moving up in the world” and attempt to create some of that convenience we were hoping for. Basically, I would not return to the exact same mental space because I know there’s always a powerful symbolic aspect to change.

“If the move is not one of necessity but mere choice, then you’re moving from one psychological, spiritual place to another,” Stephens continues, “to create a different experience and a feeling of home.”

“I guess I have always been trying to create that ideal feeling of home,” I respond.

“People always say to make where you are home,” Stephen says, “but sometimes you have to change things to really feel ok, to create the environment that you want. Sometimes we have to go on a journey – whether literal or metaphorical - to find home.” Nonetheless, even when we’ve found the perfect home for us or have made some move to a better place, there’s still going to be something unresolved about our lives. And our tendency is to question why everything isn’t well and good now. But no amount of change we affect will transform the nature of life. “Unresolved” is just the state of something unfinished, amongst a myriad of other states; it doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

So rather than letting this cause us ongoing anxiety, we’d benefit ourselves by realizing it’s good to have things yet to accomplish. We actually need some unresolved things in our lives, something left to desire and work toward. This adds meaning and motivates us to keep reaching for more. When we learn to see it this way, this acceptance then allows us to finally feel the joy we’ve been denying ourselves so long.