What is home to you? Is it four walls and a roof? Four walls and a roof can certainly be: a house; a barn; a stable; a prison; and many other things. Home is not a place but what happens in that place, how one feels about that place, how one perceives that place. Ralph Waldo Emerson said of a house: “A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life: he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days.” That does sound like a house, but that doesn’t sound like a home.
It is most important that we realize that Home Originates in ME. It is important that the feeling of home comes from others, but it must originate in you. Only you can feel “at home” somewhere.
Being home means being accepted, feeling safe, feeling loved, knowing that you are part of a family. Belonging is an important part of feeling at home. Robert Southey said of home, “There is a magic in that little word, it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts and virtues never known beyond its hallowed limits.”
Home does not have to be among those that are related to you, but it usually is amongst those that love and care for you. You can extend the feeling of home by returning their love, care and trust. It is then that a real home is created, regardless of the location. Home is a place where you can be vulnerable. Home is a place where you can be yourself. You find support there. And if you are going in a negative direction, the members of your family, your home, will try to steer you back. They do this because they love you. None of us wants to see someone we love go in a negative direction. How can we love someone and then stand by to see them seek their own destruction?
I know that Home Originates in ME. It is my desire to show love to a person that begins the feelings of home. I must show them that they are accepted. It is my responsibility to show them that they are valued and needed. I want them to feel necessary. I want them to feel wanted. It is in these feelings that they can feel at home in me and with me, no matter where we might be.
We often think of “Mom” when we think of home. And this is usually the person that creates the home. “It is a woman, and only a woman — a woman all by herself, if she likes, and without any man to help her — who can turn a house into a home,” says Frances Cobbe. I do not completely agree. I do believe the chief homemaker is generally a woman, but I think it is everyone’s responsibility within the family to create the feeling of home. It is our willingness to be vulnerable and open to others and allow them to be vulnerable and open to us; it is our willingness to love and be loved, to accept ourselves and others and be accepted by them; it is our willingness to give them a place in our heart, a place called “home.” It is a safe place, a place to love and to cherish one another. Remember that “home” starts with you and you can say to yourself, “Home Originates in ME.”