October 1, 2010 | 1:15 am
Posted by Merissa Nathan Gerson
I have no address. I don’t know where home is. Sometimes it seems to be wherever I am not. Is there a solution please?
This is a familiar tale, believe you me. My last name, Gerson, literally means “stranger from a strange land.” I once had a boyfriend who said to me, “Oh, you haven’t found a home in yourself yet? I always know where home is because I found it inside of me.” This was particularly annoying to hear, and only a half-truth about said male at the time, but within these words is a nugget of wisdom.
Home is, as they say, where the heart is. And in the U.S. of A. we do a good job of swathing our hearts in things like denial, repression and avoidance. Solution to all problems: get in touch with your heart. This sounds cheesy and/or easy, but it is neither cheesy nor easy.
Getting into your own personal chest and hearing and feeling the contents can be near torture, depending on what kind of things are stored there. Whether it be a giant grief unmourned or a complicated secret, or none of the above and just a simple lack of connection, it will take a hot minute to reach yourself.
That’s why, ladies and gentlemen, exercise, prayer, meditation, group support meetings, therapy, whatever your avenue of choice, these things are vital. In order to access the self we need love and we need community, and in order to find home, well, we need these things too.
A few starters? Try these heart-opening yoga poses, or this heart-opening breathing practice. Another beautiful way to begin to move towards an opening of the heart, wake up and read The Heart Sutra every morning. Things will shift within days, I promise.
A community can be online or worldwide or a small group of meditators, churchgoers, needlepointers. Either way, imagine your heart only beats with strings threaded through it and tethered to nearby perches. These strings, if not tied, will leave you feeling “homeless.”
Another issue many people have is never loving where they are, always wanting more, and therefore never feeling home. The grass is always greener syndrome. While it is good and important to have dreams and vision, it is a bad sign when wherever you go there you aren’t. Again, things like yoga, breathing, meditation and plain old exercise will help you be where you are, which is home, in your own body. Running, for the non-spiritual, is another fantastic remedy.
All in all, my ex was right. With or without an address, if you feel calm and at peace in your own physical body, mind and spirit, that feeling of “home” will follow you wherever you go.
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