Mary Louise sent me an email about the fact that, although she and her family had lived in their home for nearly 10 years, she still hated it. I had met her at several classes I had taught over the years—-her red hair was unforgettable. She continued to be haunted by the fact that she couldn’t seem to find anything to like about her house and her resentments were piling up. She loved her family, her kids, her neighborhood—–it was just the house that was irksome.
Without knowing what her house looked like (don’t know if clutter was the issue) or the circumstances under which they bought the house (perhaps it needed a lot of repairs), I could only suggest she start in one room, or a small corner, or part of a room and lay claim to it. I surmised that the reason Mary Louise didn’t feel “at home” in her home was because she didn’t have a place to call her own. When I asked her where she went to read, or journal, or pray, or just be alone, she assured me she had no place to go. We eliminated her first answer to that question when she said her place was in the kitchen.
What does it take to have a special place of one’s own?
I suggested she be on the lookout for a place in her house that would offer some possibilities for privacy. I wanted her to look in spare rooms, spare corners, the basement, an extra large closet that wasn’t being used properly, even a place where, with a simple wall, could become an enclosed, private space for her. Then I wanted her to consider as many of these suggestions as possible for that space:
1. It has a door (maybe even a lock) 2. She can paint the walls her favorite color(s). 3. She could move a chair/rocker/sofa/fainting couch that is comfortable and makes her feel special. 4. She could imagine filling the space with a few special and cherished items of her own. 5. She should make a plan for how she would use her special place: read, meditate, journal, crafts. Catching up on emails is not the right answer here. 6. Imagine herself going there every day.
By finding a spot to call “home,” it’s more likely that the energy from this treasured place with slowly work its way to other areas of the house. And eventually, she can begin to love all part of her home.
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