It was almost 2,000 years ago that this famous phrase was coined: “Home is where the heart is.” I believe this often-recalled thought expresses a concept as important to our lives today as it might have been then – the idea that a physical place and part of the body exist together. In fact, let me walk a few more steps into the core of that idea and state it as a metaphor: our truest home is our own heart.
The holidays mark special seasons in our lives; we can find ourselves making our way to homes, again and again. That kind of traveling can be both lovely and stressful, and clearly-marked maps are often a must. The most reliable, honest map for holiday journeys is our very own heart; letting it take the lead guarantees our most accurate compass. Take a quiet moment to think about or visualize the physical spot you call home . . . or, perhaps even the place you’ll travel to be at home for an upcoming holiday. Does that place reflect what’s most true in your heart? If not, what might you review, rearrange, reinvent or redecorate to prepare so that each can reflect the other?
We’re making a choice every time we find our way home. Homes don’t just appear . . . just happen to find us. The most healthy and cozy homes are found with the heart’s desires in mind. Listening well to what our hearts find valuable will always walk us toward our most authentic home match. But, of course, as heart home owners, we never just let the place take care of itself. We’ll have to stay aware and keep up the repairs – sometimes updating and adjusting . . . even walking away if we must – to overhaul a home with our best self, our most contented heart, in mind.
No matter where we travel to find our way home, when our hearts and homes are one, living becomes thriving. The memories we’ve made in those places – the compassionate actions, gracious decisions, joyful laughter and acts of genuine gratitude – ground us. A heart home offers us time and space, even as it nudges us forward, to practice acceptance, manage stress and offer forgiveness. It will always encircle us with more comfort than uneasiness, more joy than heartache, more peace than frantic busyness. And if it doesn’t, it’s just the place you live. If you want more, try retrofitting. Embrace and then make the conscious choice to live the idea that your truest home rests inside you. Honestly, once there, you can always find your way.
No matter where you find yourself during the upcoming holidays, take with you the peace of living within your truest home – the one you’ve created in your heart.
May you know and then pass to others patience and understanding.
May you feel the joy of simply sharing time and space with all the other hearts surrounding you.
And, may you stay open to all the moments that surprise, enfold and warm you with loving kindness.
With love from my heart to yours,