Home and Loneliness
“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go and not be questioned.”
Home, in my mind, is about a feeling. That feeling can come from people, a place or yourself. It is serenity, laughter and authentic acceptance. Authentic acceptance from others means they know my faults and love me anyway. They don’t point out my ongoing shortcomings to improve me or change me, they see those quirks as simply part of me. It’s not the politically proper acceptance of keepng their thoughts to themselves. It goes beyond that. Their acceptance comes from deep within, the acceptance of those who truly love without qualifiers or caveats.
Many of those who make up my “home” would make different choices than I have, including the paths I would take all over again. Yet they accept my choices, love me anyway, and sometimes urge me to reconsider my current choices. They give information, saying what they believe is true without judging or threatening. When I trudge on with decisions they don’t understand, they become my cheerleaders. They may not approve and they still love and accept. People who are your home don’t leave. When you have these people in your life, you know you’re not alone, whether they are physically present or not.
Home is where the “control” factor is taken out of love. In my experience, many times when we love we also want to control. Out of the best of intentions, we want to keep our loved ones safe. We don’t want them to be in pain or danger and we don’t want ourselves to be scared or hurt for them. We also don’t want to lose them. Sometimes fears or disapproval take over for some people and they withdraw love and support along with their disagreement and disapproval. When that happens, that’s not safe, and that’s not what I mean by home or authentic acceptance. For me, love has little to do with approval or permission or agreement. Love is separate from approval and agreement.
Home As a Location
Home can be a place, a location that is comforting and where the naggings of my mind give me a rest. When I walk in the mountains of my childhood home in Virginia I am free from expectations, deadlines, and competition. In my own living room I feel the same peace and acceptance. Home is a place where it’s easier, more natural to practice self-compassion and to see myself and others more clearly.
Home is a place where it’s safe to cry, to be sad, and to show the pain that you feel. When you are home, you don’t need the mask that hides who you are, no pretense is needed. You can smile and shout with joy if you wish.
I think the idea of wanting a home may be true for many people, given the popularity of a song about home.
For some, loneliness is partly about not having a home: not having a place of refuge from stress, or having skills to cope, or the acceptance of others to feel safe to be yourself. In my experience, not being able to be yourself is one of the main contributors to loneliness.
If you are emotionally sensitive, not having a home may mean being constantly on guard and not having emotional safety in your life, even with yourself. Learning how to trust yourself is a step toward allieviating loneliness and emptiness. We’ll discuss this in a future post.
Note to Readers
If you are emotionally sensitive, please consider taking my survey about understanding loneliness. I appreciate your time and help.
Hall, K. (2012). Home and Loneliness. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 2, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/emotionally-sensitive/2012/09/home-and-loneliness/