I recently moved and have been thinking about the concept of “home” a lot. Here are my current thoughts and reflections……….

I have lived in many houses and spaces in my life. Although not many of them have felt like home, truly home, to me. Many of them have not felt like my own, even after living there for years. Others were temporary spaces, like my college dorm and house or when I moved back into my parent’s house for the year before getting married. When moving into houses with partners, there was a lot of compromise and straight up giving in, sometimes giving up on the home I wanted and needed. Still others haven’t felt like home because the atmosphere was filled with stress, tension, dysfunction. Sometimes it was a combination of the above.

I see now that for most of my life I was looking externally, to places and people, for home. I thought that if I could just get the right location or the right scenario, then I would experience home. I would feel comfortable somewhere or with someone. I would be able to tolerate living inside my skin.

Over the past 4 years, my understanding and experience of home has slowly changed.

For me, home is not an external location that I go or the place I sleep each night. Home is inside of me. Home is God and my true self, connected, aligned and knit together. Home is a place deep inside of me that I sink into. I can be home anywhere I am. I’m constantly growing in my recognition when I am home and what the experience is like. Yes, some external places and situations are quicker highways to my internal home, but they are just avenues, not the final destination.

Just like physical spaces, my internal home is not always warm and calm. Sometimes it’s dark and stormy, sometimes lonely. Like a teenager, sometimes I want to be anywhere but home. Home feels boring, stressful, hard, going somewhere else will make me feel better. But it never does. Running away from my internal discomfort never helps. Staying put and leaning in is what keeps me truly home. I have never found home beyond my own skin and I have tried hard!

Now I do my best to stay still, sit in the discomfort and hug myself, feeling the most at home that I ever have. And quietly whisper,

“Welcome home Shannon, welcome home.”