Throughout life we develop affinities with locations that induce a sense of security and contentment, safe havens where one has liberty to act as they please within certain guidelines. These sanctuaries materialize in a variety of places with our first exposure being the family home. No matter where one travels or what they experience an essence of home perennially lingers in the mind, a slice of consciousness attached to moments of serene childhood.
A home is more than a dwelling, it’s a canvas integral to trail, error and emergence of the self. The environment offers opportunity to sample a variety of paints to see which colours suit, those occupying the same space integral in influencing our living art. The majority of us will eventually loose the place we called home, yet the sensations encountered there never fully depart us – feelings of safety, freedom and complete comfort are not merely found in the walls of a house, but also within the composition we call ourselves.
An External Womb
While everyone has diverse anecdotes, there are certain properties found in family homes that give them poignancy; a space to eat and interact, a space to recline and contemplate and a space for individual expression. Nostalgia becomes palpable when a lot of time is spent in a location and it’s occupied by spectres of previous events, a glance around the room inducing reminiscence as picture frames tether the past to the present.
The initial formation of our being is established in the family home and, through the lessons of those older, commence brewing acquaintance with the world. Here one also begins developing knowledge of morals, ethics and values. Sculpted by parental advice, one learns to discern what is deemed acceptable and what is not. With maturation our earliest ideologies take on a personal touch and are transformed into perceptive.
A home provides a safe environment for an individual to be true to themselves without judgement or ridicule, a setting that allows internal sentiment to be expressed and appreciated. Since spawning into the world a yearning for nurture has pulsated, instinctively we crave embrace and our home morphs into an external womb for comfort, love and affection.
A sanctuary shaped by imagination and inspiration, our bedroom is the first area dedicated just to us and is where one can do and become whomever they want. This place is our safe space, our own private reality where we are the protagonist temporarily remove themselves from the expectations of the world. A valuable attribute of the bedroom is the solace it offers when tension runs high in the house. A refuge from turmoil, this chamber has cradled countless belittled souls.
Although the home provides comfort and support these aspects are not restricted to domestic walls, the feeling can be experienced at a variety of locations and with an assortment of people. The ease felt whilst hanging with friends, immersion into the mind when trekking through nature, the sense of community experienced at a festival – the family home may have allowed early access to these impressions, yet its true residence is intangible.
There are many settings an individual can feel completely at home, yet for one to feel comfortable wherever they are they must establish a home within themselves. Humans consist of multitudes and different social environments require us to adorn different masks, however to reach genuine self-understanding one needs to engender an authentic relationship with consciousness.
In the contemporary world private reflection is constantly interfered by personalized tools attempting to captivate attention, drawing the mind away from itself and towards the lives of others. Independent rumination and internal discourse have become scarce because people elect easy stimuli over introspection, and when comparison is paramount internal peace depletes. Sartre knew the importance of having a robust relationship with one’s conscious, “If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company”.
Confidence is built from the inside and its durability relies on action. It’s not enough to possess prudence and forethought if you don’t apply it in reality, for nothing comes to fruition tomorrow if the seed isn’t planted today. In building a healthy confidence one must refine friendship with the mind. Inside there is always an active piece of you willing to converse, by cultivating a relationship with it one feels at home in their thoughts.
The mind is an exceptionally important ally, but it is not our entirety. For an individual to operate optimally there needs to be cognizance of and cohesion between the mind, the body and the soul. There is a reason why every religion incorporates a ritual of silence in their practice; quieting the mind allows it to be heard, quieting the mind also allows one to grasp that they are more than it. The mind can be observed as our wakeful consciousness and the soul as our essence felt in the moment between breaths, the emptiness of exhaustion, the serenity in prayer.
In examining the three separate components one can engender strategies for harmonious coalesce, providing sturdy framework for building the internal home. While uniting the three is assisted by meditation, walking in nature, reading, the essential key to strong foundation is awareness.
By observing thoughts one learn to direct them with assertiveness. By inducing a degree of discomfort one truly feels their body and develops a deep appreciation of it. By practicing to quiet the mind one can attune their hearing to the cosmic voice inside. The proficiency of combining these aspects dictates the sense of home ones carries with them wherever they go.
The enduring aphorism Home is where the heart is expresses the love we share with our first sanctuary, the heart always holds a piece wherever we go. The maxim also indicates the emotions attached to a sense of home are not reserved for a house, but can manifest organically inside an individual.
Becoming comfortable with ourselves allows one to create an internal abode to be carried wherever we roam, a sense of security escorting us into any endeavour. No matter where one is or what they are doing, if unity has been cultivated between the mind, body and soul, any environment will feel like home.
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