Happy fall! We’re about to wrap up our September theme of Home. Did you take action on the lists you made last week?
Anecdote: I can’t count the number of times I skipped the m in home while typing. This has made for some fascinating sentences if you look back.
But now let’s a get (a little) more serious for this week’s journal prompt. We’re gonna dig deep for this last one.
What has your home been like in the past?
Our past experiences influence our present perspectives. It’s how we learn, and it’s one way our brains try to keep us safe. Thanks, brain.
But sometimes it bites us in the ass, guys. Sometimes it keeps us from trying new things, because we learned that we can fail. And that feels bad. Good effort, brain.
How does this apply to our homes? Well, let’s take a step back and think about our past homes. Not just ~childhood~, but all our past living situations.
Try listing out your past homes in separate columns, then make a list under each one of the good & bad you experienced there. Lists on lists. 😉 Here are some thoughts to get you started.
- Were you respected, supported, encouraged?
- Was it clean and organized (to your standards, we aren’t all Marie Kondo)?
- Were your housemates good influences?
And so on.
There might be a situation here you could rant about for pages. That’s okay. Please do, a nice word-vomit it great for the brain.
Maybe it was a really positive experience and you’d like to gush about that. Also fine. 🙂
How might this be influencing your concept of home?
Now, let’s look at this month’s past prompts.
- What kind of home do you live in?
- What kind of home do you want?
- I hate my house / What can you do to improve your home?
Do your answers correlate with your response this week? I think they just might.
If you’ve had positive experiences, you probably try to replicate them. You might seek out similar housemates or living situations to the ones that gave you respect and joy before.
Positive people tend to (again: tend to) have positive circles. You may have made some good connections, growing your own positive influences, and your cycle of Good continues (for the most part, life has to keep you frosty after all).
If you had a negative experience in the past you, you might find one of these situations to be true:
- Your brain tells you that this is all you’re capable of, or what you deserve.
- You feel stuck, or in a rut, but feel unable to achieve what you actually want.
- Your brain said “never again.”
- You overcompensate; trying to achieve the opposite of the negativity. But overcompensating is stressful, and might not even lead you to your goals.
There are many mutations of these scenarios and yours will be unique to you.
What can you do?
Now, look at your response to September’s prompts again. In those pages, you might see some patterns. Repeated phrases or emotions. Let’s use those to set some actionable, achievable goals. Little wins make you feel good, and they add up to be big changes.
Find the patterns.
- What emotions do you keep feeling about your home?
- About the concept of Home in general?
- Are you used to feeling that way, based on your past?
- I.e., has your brain been conditioned to feel this way in an attempt to keep you safe (or to keep your feelings from being hurt?)
- Do these feelings apply to your present home?
- Could you be repeating negative patterns?
- Could you be looking for negativity and ignoring the positive?
- Change one thing every day, every week, or every month if you need to.
- You can start slow and add on as you go.
- Put them in your calendar, planner, journal: something you look at everyday to remind yourself.
Talk about it.
- If you have a family or housemates, talk to them. No one likes to be surprised with changes to their living situation.
- They can help keep you accountable & motivated for your goals, and talk through interpersonal issues if that’s a problem.
- Remember that people are allowed to have issues with you, as well.
- Try to remain calm and objective in your discussions.
- Most problems aren’t the end of the world, and often both parties have had a hand in interpersonal troubles.
- Also, talk to someone outside your home. A close friend, a counselor.
- An objective perspective (hey-o!) is an important tool.
Remember that what works for someone else, might not work for you. And what works for you, might not work for someone else. We all have different needs and priorities. If you can enjoy yourself most days, and make progress towards your personal goals, you’ve got a good start.
I know these topics can be not fun, or painful even, to address. But I do think it’s important to be happy in your home. Home is your headquarters, your haven, your place to be authentically you. A healthy base-of-operations can open doors and cushion you from the negativity in the world, allowing you to be your best self.
Have you been following along with these prompts? Learned anything new? Does something here not resonate with you? I’d love to hear in the comments, thank you so much for reading.