I believe in connections. Recently, as a TED Talk filled my earbuds with the voice of author, Elizabeth Gilbert, I was introduced to the concept of coming home. She spoke of the overwhelming success she experienced after publishing her book Eat, Pray, Love and how it felt nothing would ever top that, or compete with it. She felt there was no place to go and knew any writing she did after that would be scrutinized and most assuredly fail. It haunted her, and she couldn’t see her way past it. She found herself searching for a safe place to find herself again. For her, it was her writing that took her ‘home’ to herself. She spoke of her writing being her retreat. It was where she reconnected with herself. And that’s what moved her forward from the hopeless place she was stuck.
I stumbled on this concept again reading Sara Bareillis’s book ‘It Sounds Like Me’. She is a musician, singer, and song writer. She shares in her book about her year long study abroad and how utterly lonely and lost she felt at one point. Sara fell to her knees and asked God to show her a place that resembled home. Soon after she called her Dad in desperation, sobbing and pleading with him to send her keyboard. It didn’t occur to her until then that home meant writing and singing and that’s what she needed to do to come back to herself.
We leave home when we are young adults and venture into the world to make a space for ourselves. For some of us it takes years to learn that all we’re really searching for is a place to call home. Knowing we can’t go back to where we came from when we were kids. It wouldn’t be the same. I find myself wondering if that’s what’s wrong with the world today. Maybe we are all just looking for a place to call home. A place we can retreat to when we are disconnected from ourselves. Only we don’t realize it, and we ping pong from place to place only getting further from who we are meant to be. Some never find it. Some are destined to know from an early age and can recognize it despite outside pressures. (the lucky ones)
Home is a place inside of one’s self, protected from the pressures of expectation. It’s a place you go to feel safe and accepted and complete. It’s a soft space absent the judgement of self and others. It’s where you go when you need to be still and steady yourself from despair, ridicule, and abandonment. It’s a place to be vulnerable and notice what is. Blame and guilt don’t live in the quiet restful retreat. Home is where you soak in the warmth of now and cleanse the need to choose or be indecisive. Home is where peace wraps around you soothing your soul while you sit still. It’s where you can breathe in and out fully. You can show up as you are, scars and all. You can visit as much as you like, and you leave feeling ready and strong.
Where is home for you? I’m not sure I’ve fully found it for myself. At times I find it in nature. Nature never judges me and allows space for me to be, but I don’t go often enough. I find home in writing, but I resist it. I’ve never been taught how to write and only go to it when I’m touched at a soul level. I find home in my running, when I’ve gotten in shape enough to allow myself to explore the depths of my mind. The cadence of my breath and my feet in motion take me to a place I feel is home. Each of us has a place to call home, but we aren’t always open to its invitation. It comes to us in our dark moments. It whispers to us when we’re alone. We have to be willing to go to it. We have to be willing to be rescued from ourselves.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk https://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_success_failure_and_the_drive_to_keep_creating
Sara Bareilles’s Book
Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song