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
- 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
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.