What does “home” feel like to you?
Has it changed with age, increased independence, or maybe through disappointment or loss (like me)?
Is it one place, or many places?
Today after my morning run and gym session, I took the dogs to my favorite little spot to tire them out. This place makes me feel most at home.
I can be my awkward self. I feel safe, able to relax and be the most present. It’s familiar, inviting, and open. I don’t have to worry about who I am, how I am being, or what image I am trying to portray. This place is my comfort zone, because it accepts me for who I am.
You see…when you are home, there is no obligation to be a certain way. You are in your comfort zone. Your safe space.
But the reality is, we don’t get to be home all day. Living in comfort zones does not exist, if you have a desire to grow or become a better version of yourself (mentality, physically, financially, emotionally, etc.).
You are faced with daily challenges. And, the more you fight those challenges by remaining in your comfort zone, the bigger those challenges become!
I’m not sure how you have handled discomforts in your lives; but a long time ago I “learned” that if I just fit in a little more…I would feel more comfortable, and more at home. By doing this…I have come up against time and time again, where I needed to stand out; speak up for myself, set strong boundaries, and care less about how others thought about me.
You see, when I was in 3rd grade my family moved from California to Idaho and I was bullied severely for a whole year. My comfort zone had changed. I was in a new place, no friends, and was just different from everyone else in this small farming/rural town. I learned that in order for it to stop, in order to things to feel easier for me; in order for me to feel more comfortable, I needed to fit in.
This behavior became a habit over time, and bled into other areas of my life. Its led to a cycle of unhealthy belief systems, learning to withhold feelings and not speaking up, staying in poor relationships way longer than what’s healthy, and avoiding conflict to maintain status quo in order to control my comfort zone.
In the last year I have bee challenged in different areas to get out of that comfort zone. I have had to really face some huge fears. Although I admit, I have fallen back into that “home” space at times…I am slowly building a new home for myself, that includes getting out of that comfort zone of thinking I am protecting myself by being the same way I have been up to now.
It’s crazy how much this wild ride, over the last two years, post divorce has forced me to really take a hard look at myself. I have had to re-evaluate everything I thought about who I am, was, and how I am “being” in my life. I had always thought that I stood out, I mean…I do. But in the most important areas; the ones that really speak truth to my feelings, thoughts, needs…I have kept locked up in that basement closet that most of us avoid because of how smelly and scary it is.
I’m still learning, I’m still trying to figure it all out. But one thing is for certain that each tiny step is leading me in a direction that I want to go versus being afraid to go at all…and thus making myself a prisoner in my own home.
If I can give you any guidance or direction, it would be these things:
- Be compassionate with yourself versus punishing yourself for not doing something right away.
- Stay “home” as long as you need to, but don’t avoid getting out of the comfort zone.
- Own who you are..the awkward, quirky, strange things about you; they make you stand out for a reason!
- Use therapy, a coach, or a mentor as a mirror for reflecting on how past experiences have led to how you behave now. The more you are willing to witness your resistances against life; the more you will see them change!
- Have a support system that cheers you on and holds you accountable…but above all else loves you no matter what.