mum and son in front of new home

The Meaning of Home

The meaning of home often seems like an abstract concept.

During this recent pandemic we discovered that home literally meant the physical building we all live in. The bricks and mortar, our property.
For some, lucky enough, this same building “felt like home”:
– A place where they were safe and sound and all their needs were met.
– A place where they could give and receive love
– A place to rest their head when the going got tough.

For some, not so much, experiencing abuse, hunger and fear and for others that place never really existed.
With all this in mind during this last year I felt a complete sense of gratitude.
I am home; grateful to be healthy, with people I love that love me back.
The four walls that surround us daily were not that bad either and secondary to the fact that we were together.

For some in fact home is staying together as a family.
Their family is their home.
I still remember the day we brought Andreas back from the hospital as a baby. He was asleep in the cot-bed next to me and on the other side of the bed was my husband.
As I was falling asleep I felt this complete sense of happiness, this belonging, a feeling I had never felt before.
To this day I am convinced this feeling of belonging is what bliss feels like… it feels like home.

These two people right next to me had co-created home for us. I knew at that instance we were together in this lifelong journey.
And this journey has been bumpy.
It usually is for most of us; life has the tendency to challenge us deeply, may that be physically, mentally or emotionally, but it is in that space we call home that we can work towards finding balance.

Sometimes that space is not our family or our house though, sometimes that place is a community of like minded individuals , or individuals that share the same experiences.
When I was first diagnosed with lupus, back in 2004 I searched for that community of fellow luples.
These people knew exactly how I felt. I was not a hypochondriac when I said “my whole body hurts”, they immediately understood what I meant.
They understood how infuriating it was to not be understood by those you consider your family and it was this empathy and understanding that felt like home.

In those moments I could truly express myself without feeling like I was judged.
It felt like I do now writing on this blank piece of paper.
This true expression of myself with words feels like home.
For many this true expression of themselves could even be art.
That moment where they create, with full honesty and vulnerability , where they feel empowered and feel like home…

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I could continue writing about what home may mean to me, but in essence it will turn out not to be a location, but a way of life. It will not be the four walls that surround me, but who I’m surrounded by. It will be a feeling of love, understanding , empowerment and gratitude.

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Leave a comment to tell me what home means to you.
Can’t wait to hear from you
Big love, Maria x