335 Days ’til 40: A Safe Haven, A Home

23 Mar

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.  ~ Maya Angelou

We all need a safe haven – a place to run when we are overwhelmed with the chaos of the world that sometimes swirls around us.  We all need the place where we can run to escape.  The place where we can be ourselves, with no judgement, as Maya Angelou states.  Many individuals are lucky to have their home be this safe haven, but others find that the home where they reside causes, rather than calms, the chaos in their lives.

There are many factors that can cause a home to not feel safe – these can be physical threats, emotional threats, or just coincidental life circumstances.  Here are some of the reasons people tell me their homes do not feel safe:

  • They live with an emotionally or physically abusive partner
  • There was a death in the home that they cannot erase from their mind
  • The neighborhood in which they live is not safe and subject to varying forms of theft and violence
  • The home is falling apart (physically)
  • The home is full of conflict (fighting with family, roommates etc.)

Unfortunately, in the instances above, home is not the shelter and safe haven that we so desperately need it to be.  Home becomes something dreaded, a trap, depressing.  I am always saddened when I hear of someone who dreads going home – as they do not have the experience of home as a place of relaxation and escape.  In some cases, home can be the ultimate place of terror and nightmares.

If you or someone you know lives in a home that cannot be a safe haven, please encourage them to get help.  Our homes are meant to be places for us to unwind, recharge our batteries, and find acceptance and love.  A home should be:

  • A safe haven
  • Full of love
  • Happy
  • Understanding
  • Clean and welcoming
  • Conflict – solving (note, I did NOT say “conflict free” – conflict in and of itself is not a negative thing, our reactions to conflicts can turn it into a negative experience
  • Peaceful
  • Safe
  • Supportive
  • Loving

If someone you know is living in a home is not radiating these qualities, they need to evaluate their situation.  It may be time to find a new safe haven to escape to.  It is critical for mental health, and everyone deserves a safe place to call home.

Today, 335 days ’til 40, I remind myself that we all need a safe haven.  When it is within my ability, I will strive to maintain my home as a home of peace, safety and support.  My home will be a place where my family feels embraced and cared for, a place where my family can find rest.

I wish for all of you in cyberspace the opportunity to find your safe haven.  When you do, embrace it, as you deserve a safe space that is your own.



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71 responses to “335 Days ’til 40: A Safe Haven, A Home

  1. living4bliss

    March 23, 2012 at 00:17

    I always say that home should be a soft place to land.

    • 400daystil40

      March 23, 2012 at 07:47

      What a great saying, living4bliss! I suddenly pictured myself collapsing in a big, safe, fluffy bed!!! 🙂

  2. dogdaz

    March 23, 2012 at 00:26

    Very nice thoughts on safe haven. Thanks for the post – DogDaz

  3. Maura

    March 23, 2012 at 01:11

    I believe that safe and stable housing would provide a one possible source of improved resilience in children and youth. The positive spin off from that in terms of improved health outcomes both physically and mentally would be considerable. Thanks for taking the time to highlight this important element in a healthy productive life.

  4. An Unrefined Vegan

    March 23, 2012 at 03:19

    I feel very lucky to have what I do. More than I need, in all honesty. Thanks for making me pause and appreciate it!

  5. heartmama

    March 23, 2012 at 03:31

    Very well put. In my mind a “home” is a place of love, comfort, and safety. It’s a place where it’s safe to be uniquely you. A place where you feel a sense of belonging. If a place cannot be described this way, then it is not truly a home, but is merely a house, apartment, or some other dwelling place. Sadly, not all who have a dwelling place have a home.

    Naturally, for me, this brings to mind the millions of orphans residing in orphanages. They have a dwelling place. They are waiting for someone to give them a home.

    • 400daystil40

      March 23, 2012 at 07:45

      Thanks, heartmama! I LOVE your comment about home being where you can be uniquely you!!! You make such a great distinction between home and just a place where we dwell. Thank you for such great insight! 🙂 PS – My girls are adopted and lived in orphanages before they came to me, so this comment means so much to me! 🙂

      • heartmama

        March 24, 2012 at 00:07

        I’m glad you enjoyed my comment. I didn’t realize you had adopted. 🙂 Congratulations! In that case, you may find my blog interesting. I use it share our own family’s journey toward adoption, as well as to help spread awareness of the many ways people can help the fatherless. It’s called Dear To Me ( if you want to check it out. 🙂

        • 400daystil40

          March 24, 2012 at 00:17

          Thank you, I will definitely check it out! When I adopted years ago (I adopted twice, the last one almost five years ago) I chronicled them online and it was such a great experience for me and my family… and putting the journey online meant a lot to my family who were then able to feel more actively involved in the process -it also meant a lot to other prospective adoptive families at the time 🙂 I wish you the best – it is an AMAZING journey!

  6. rabidmongoose

    March 23, 2012 at 03:35

    400days, my wife and I have a friend who lost her 6-month-old baby a year ago. She is understandably still grieving; do you think moving to a new home (where their child did not live) might help her through her greiving process and establish a home that is healing the way you describe?

    • 400daystil40

      March 23, 2012 at 07:43

      Wow, Rabidmongoose, such a hard and poignant question. It really depends on the person. When I was growing up, at age 16 I lost my best friend (only child) and her parents STILL have her bedroom saved… over 20 years later…… I do not think it was healthy and it was a constant reminder… but for them they needed that reminder to go on. Does the family have other children? I ask this because then it is even more critical that they find a way to work past their grief for the sake of their other children. Are they planning to have more children? Could they picture the new child in the room where the old child once was? I know families who have managed both ways, depending on their own responses to the trauma, which is so personal…. I hope this helps!

    • Ray Laskowitz

      March 23, 2012 at 23:25

      Where I come from, that’s called a geographical cure. It rarely works. Only time, talk and prayer really help. A year is really a short time for such a terrible loss. — Ray

  7. terry1954

    March 23, 2012 at 04:02

    for me, my safe haven is with me here, now, the past is a memory to be laid to rest

    • 400daystil40

      March 23, 2012 at 07:40

      So very true! When we are able to walk away from our past (particularly hard pasts) we can creat for ourselves a safe present.

  8. mountainmae

    March 23, 2012 at 04:32

    Home is still where the heart is.

  9. Alicea Jones

    March 23, 2012 at 05:54

    What a wonderful quote from Maya Angelou, one of my favorite writers. Yes, that place called “home” is more than where we go to eat and sleep. If we are blessed, it is the place where the heart can soar free without fear of someone trying to ensnare it. Thank you for this poignant reminder.

    • 400daystil40

      March 23, 2012 at 07:40

      Thank you, Alicea! She is one of my favorite writers too! 🙂

  10. buckwheatsrisk

    March 23, 2012 at 06:58

    i didn’t have a safe home growing up, i always dreaded my father coming home. i walked on eggshells and lived in constant fear. i do have a safe home now with my Hubby and this blog reminded me of that gift. thank you. 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      March 23, 2012 at 07:38

      Thank you, buckwheatsrisk, for your comment – you bring up such a good point. When you do not have a safe home growing up it means so much when you create one for yourself later in life.

      • buckwheatsrisk

        March 23, 2012 at 18:09

        yes then i don’t like to leave it which can pose a problem…ahaha

        • 400daystil40

          March 23, 2012 at 23:57

          This made me laugh and I can so relate…. When I am in real safe haven mode I can be so very content curled up in my bed all day (a bit like my cat!!!) 🙂

          • buckwheatsrisk

            March 24, 2012 at 05:29

            i like your style!

          • 400daystil40

            March 24, 2012 at 15:48

            Why thank you!!! 🙂

          • buckwheatsrisk

            March 24, 2012 at 17:11

            you’re welcome!

  11. Spider42

    March 23, 2012 at 12:28

    Great sentiment and idea expressed here – a home should without a doubt be the place you can go to at any time when you need to get away from the world and not be judged.

    It’s rare though in my experience for home to be 100% the ideal haven, though barring domestic strife and troubles it is always a place where you feel at peace more than anywhere else. I think in part we need to not just look at home or a place but at people – the people who make us feel the most secure, loved and at peace regardless of the situation are my idea of ‘home’ because so long as they are with me, home is close at hand. 🙂


    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 00:13

      Yes, Spider, you are correct…. home is usually not 100% ideal for a variety of reasons (I personally want a bigger one!!!) – In the end, I think that what you mentions the most critical – the people make the home… wherever you are. 🙂

  12. maudestandard

    March 23, 2012 at 14:06

    It is hard to live these days. I think of the man with a family whose unemployment is running out.
    I was chatting with a woman in the supermarket a few months ago. At the time I was looking for part time work. I told her I was waking up scared every morning.
    Her husband had been downsized out of his long time job. She said that when he was waking up, she could hear this breathing change. He was scared.
    She was afraid of losing her house and had a son in college.
    Losing what you have is very frightening. It means going downhill and not knowing how to climb back up.
    I am fortunate not to have ever been in an abusive situation. I wasn’t smarter than anyone else, just lucky.
    Home is where I can finally unpack. The apartment I’m in is uncomfortable.
    I have gotten rid of things from the past and I did this a long time ago. It has worked for me. I also trained myself to forget and has helped me very much.
    I write fiction and have created safe little worlds for young characters.
    This puts me out of step with a lot of writers. Hunger Games is a huge seller.

    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 00:12

      Wow, your comment really resonated with me – I agree with all of your points… we are living in very hard times, which is so very scary for all of us. I also agree with you that often we are fortunate to have not experienced pain of abuse, etc. but sometimes we are fortunate due to luck….. and I am thankful for those moments when I realize luck has been on my side. I am so glad you shared this, as I think many readers will benefit from your input!

  13. viveka

    March 23, 2012 at 15:21

    For me is the most important platform – have rented furnished apartments and houses a big part of my adult life – and I have done them all to mine – just because the place we come back to for rest and relaxing is so so important. A home is we do it to – and I feel so sorry for those that don’t have a place – fare too many of us all over the world don’t have a home – for various reasons. Terrible. Then we have all those you have a home – that are not safe in it – for many reasons. Specially for all the children that aren’t save in their own home. Fantastic blog again. You raise great questions.

    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 00:08

      Yes, I agree with you, Viveka… home is what we make of it and I too am so saddened by the many people in our world that do not have a home to go to. Thank you so much for your great insight and encouragement!

  14. WaterOverFire

    March 23, 2012 at 16:19

    Thoughtful post….it is hard to rest when a house is not a home. We all need shelter from the storm…

    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 00:02

      Yes, we all do need that shelter from the storms of life.

  15. caprimontgomery

    March 23, 2012 at 17:17

    Yes, I think a lot of people are searching for that safe place, unfortunately some people never find it. Great post.

    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 00:01

      It is unfortunate that some never find it…… my hope for everyone in this big world is that more people are able to find those safe havens… wherever they may be.

  16. simon7banks

    March 23, 2012 at 18:25

    Some people are nomads

    • 400daystil40

      March 23, 2012 at 23:57

      Most definitely – so then they need to learn to create a touch of home wherever they may land!

  17. mommysorganics

    March 23, 2012 at 20:50

    Hi There! What an insightful blog. Home should be a place where you should aways feel at peace and loved.

  18. sahbinahvioletflynn

    March 23, 2012 at 21:35


  19. mobyjoecafe

    March 23, 2012 at 21:35

    I’ve moved several times as an adult after spending my entire childhood in one place. People will ask which place I’ve loved most, or felt most like home, but I honestly feel like I’ve found a piece of myself every place I’ve been, as if it had been waiting for me. It is wonderful to have the security of a place that feels safe and familiar, but home for me is more a state of mind than a physical location.

    • 400daystil40

      March 23, 2012 at 23:44

      This is so great and so important – that you have been able to find yourself in every location. I like the hope in that statement as well – that as we all move to various places throughout our life we can search for the things that make us feel at home, that help us connect. I also agree that state of mind does have a bit part to do with our ability to feel at home. Thank you for the great comment!

  20. Ellie Kuykendall

    March 23, 2012 at 21:35

    Thanks for liking my blog. I like yours, too!


  21. saymber

    March 23, 2012 at 22:15

    There was a time when I felt like the bed my husband and I shared was the only safe place in the world…..oh how that has expanded in our life now. Great topic and very well written.

    • 400daystil40

      March 23, 2012 at 23:42

      What a great comment, Saymber! I love that your safe space has expanded over time…. I hope that all the readers find this in their lives as well. Thank you so much for stopping by the blog and I hope you come again as I really appreciate your input.

  22. souldoula

    March 23, 2012 at 23:11

    A safe haven can be more than just a physical place. I would add my hope that we each find a haven within ourselves, and in doing so discover that we already have what we need. And that we already are enough. 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      March 23, 2012 at 23:37

      What a wonderful point, souldoula. Indeed, sometimes the safest havens are within ourselves – thank you for this important addition.

  23. Ray Laskowitz

    March 23, 2012 at 23:25

    Than you again for looking at Storyteller

  24. zen and the art of borderline maintenance

    March 24, 2012 at 07:38

    I like that you mentioned NOT conflict-free. There is always conflict. Excellent post. We need more people like you in the world. You are much loved. Thank you for posting this. My home was far from safe. I so wish that everyone could be mindful enough to make their homes a safe haven. Kudos to you for being so present-minded. Zen mind! 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 15:47

      Yes, such a very important point – people cannot live in fantasies believing that there will be no conflict in life – if there is more than one person, there will be conflict. It is the nature of the conflict and how it is resolved that is key. Thanks for the compliment – and I hope that you are now creating the safe space in your home that you did not always have. Please come again! 🙂

  25. soumyav

    March 24, 2012 at 14:18

    Beautifully written and expressed…about The greatest necessity of anytime…Home..

  26. ihaveishoes

    March 24, 2012 at 20:35

    Wonderful post! And thank you for liking mine 🙂

  27. stephanie fitzpatrick

    March 25, 2012 at 04:25

    Beautiful post. I wish for a safe haven for all as well.

  28. greyphoenix69

    March 25, 2012 at 06:16

    Thank you for a wonderful post. It reminded me of my old home and the story behind why we lost it. I planned on writing about it when the right time comes.

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 12:04

      Thanks, Greyphoenix – please let me know when you post your story, as I would love to read it.

      • greyphoenix69

        March 25, 2012 at 18:49

        Will do. Thanks for replying.

  29. memyselfandela

    March 29, 2012 at 01:24

    Beautiful !!!! 🙂 ❤


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