Posts Tagged ‘unexpected discoveries’

Finding Our Way Back Home

December 17, 2015

With Christmas just around the corner, a lot of us will be traveling hither and yon to join family or friends for the holidays—I among them. This retracing of steps is fraught with bittersweet memories and a certain amount of anticipation, whether or not we imagine it to be the “holiday of our dreams.” (Ha ha, as if…) But the concept of finding our way back home expands much, much further than simply a fixed geographical or genealogical destination. In fact, if truth be told for many of us, we find ourselves at “home” in the oddest or least likely of circumstances, completely upending our expectations of where or who or what might bring us closer to who we are deep within.

 

Of course, it’s also fully possible that we respond to a variety of different settings or types of people as “home.” We each have more than one side to our personalities and different contexts evoke different, equally legitimate parts of ourselves. For example, there is a definite part of me that will always be someone from Washington—the city imprinted on my brain from the start and will never fade. But, then, there’s another aspect who seeks refuge in a totally relaxed and non-competitive setting, which I often find in the hills of Tennessee or the beaches of Santa Barbara. It’s not that those snarky elements don’t exist there, it’s more that I am somehow far more immune to them than when I’m back in DC.

 

What places speak to you? What settings resonate with the different parts of who you are? Can you explain it?

 

But beyond physical locations, what fascinates me the most about this topic of feeling at home is the unexpected people we meet who make us feel that way. This is what I love most about life, crossing paths with others we’ve never imagined were “out there” or who, on paper, don’t seem like the sort that would float our boat—but then they do, big time! Isn’t it exciting when that happens? When was the last time this happened to you? What puzzles me is when people I know say that there isn’t “anyone new to meet” or that they have enough friends. What? I’ve never understood either of those attitudes because, to me, one can never have enough friends and interesting people are everywhere, simply waiting to be discovered.

 

This concept of finding our way home is the crux of re-booting. Finding that place, occupation, or person who mirrors who we feel we are is a powerful experience and critically important to leading a fully realized life. As I type these words, I think of a man I’ve known forever who has always seemed discomfited by his own skin. While we used to play together as kids, I hardly know him as an adult; but the last time we crossed paths, he seemed as displaced as ever. I don’t know why that is, but it has been a consistent theme in his life ever since he was a little boy. It makes me sad for him.

 

Where do you feel displaced? Who have you met in your life who has developed into a kindred spirit? Does it come as a bit of a surprise that this particular individual would play such a role? Have you welcomed them into your life or do you hold them at arm’s length because somehow they don’t fit with your image of what your “home” team crowd should look like?

 

The regrettable truth is that sometimes we fight what feels right to us because it conflicts with our rigid ideas of who we are, the crowd we keep, or the places and activities we’re supposed to enjoy. I bet you know what I’m talking about… “If I like X, what will Y think? What will that say about me?” we wonder to ourselves. Crossing that Rubicon of who we have always thought ourselves to be, or wanted to be, in order to relax sufficiently to go with the (unexpected) flow requires courage and flexibility. Are those qualities you possess? If you’re bothering to read this blog, my guess is you do!

 

So, back to that highland, cross country jaunt so many of us are gearing up to take. In one form or another—particularly during the holiday season–we each must confront what “coming home” means to us. Perhaps the first step is to be more accepting that where we are now doesn’t have to be perfect, that it’s ok if we feel slightly out of place. Why do I say that? Because these are data points, important clues to what is going on internally… So, your final homework assignment for the year is to check in with yourself as you proceed through these next two weeks and see what feels right and true and honest as well as what feels forced or somehow out of kilter. They’re data points—that’s all they are.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!

I’ll be back with more re-booting twists and turns come 2016…

Xmas tree

 

 


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