Build a home within yourself.
For a very long time, I was unaware of the state of my own home. When I found myself living out of my car and crashing on friends’ couches, I was forced to consider the ruin.
I had to make a choice: keep breaking things, keep breaking loved ones, or start building a better home within myself.
I knew that this new habit at the age of 21 would be the toughest habit to develop. Everything had been given to me, I should have been off and running and living my best life. Instead, I made a habit of ruin. I was alone and depressed and afraid and didn't have the ability to build anything of value.
I started and stopped so many times. I would start to build, and then burn it down. This process took years, and wreaked havoc, and hurt loved ones. If those loved ones hadn't trusted the home they built within themselves, if I hadn't been able to lean on their homes while I tried to build my own, and had a chance to learn to trust my heart again thanks to those loved ones, I wouldn't be where I am today.
When my first daughter was born, I instantly understood how important my own home was. But taking stock of it, I realized it was still dilapidated, and in need of serious repair. She’s 13 now, and I’ve been getting better at building my home. I’ve been building just fast enough to provide a space for her and her sister to feel safe, to lean into.
With every passing year, I find rooms in my home that are still in complete ruin. While surprising, not impossible. But I have made a habit of opening doors now. I still manage to damage my home from time to time, mostly because of negative self-talk and unrealistic expectations and stepping away from the habits that have worked over the years.
But when I can stay focused on building rooms and opening doors, I can do all right. I know I have no other choice: faced with elation and devastation, I will break, reset, repair, build.
We will always break ourselves and our loved ones. How we respond—and more importantly how soon we respond—is how we build and preserve warmth and refuge.
So if you are faced with a break today, or feeling broken, make today the day you begin to build the home within yourself. Start with a door, leave it open, good things will come around.