A guest post by Amy Bayliss of Cajun Joie de Vivre
Amy approaches a topic that I’ve never really dug into–how our emotions and memories can affect how we see our home, such an applicable read, I’m going to walk through my house today and see if I have things that are bringing up negative feelings.
Have you ever really considered what kind of emotion your house causes to rise up in you?
I finally gave it some serious thought one day when I walked past my bathroom and caught myself snickering at it while doing the malicious eye roll. For real, I did. I stopped myself mid-step and laughed as I wondered what in the world my bathroom had done to me to deserve such a reaction. That’s when it hit me that homes have a persona whether we want them to or not. I saw my home as my enemy. Time and change gave me a new perspective on the ol’ girl and I’m thrilled to be able to share that with you here today.
I wanted desperately to enjoy living here.
I wanted to be happy at home but I couldn’t be. For years the walls that separated us were made up of more than sheet rock and two by fours. I didn’t like her. I didn’t find her beautiful. She was a nuisance. I tried painting her with new furniture and decor but my feelings didn’t change. I was holding grudges against her. You may find it odd to read that but if you truly ponder it you may find that you have felt the same way at some point too.
It is a true statement that your home is a reflection of you and your innermost being. That means that if we are to ever love our home, enjoy her presence, and see her as the beautiful but imperfect space that she is then we have to change some thought patterns and deal with our emotional baggage. I know it can be tough but it is so worth it.
The first couple of years that we lived here I actually felt as though I was just a visitor with some closet space. I didn’t feel at home.
Everywhere I looked was some negative reminder of something that I wanted to forget. The incomplete kitchen told the tale of when Hurricane Gustav came through and we had to spend the rest of our kitchen budget on damages and a generator. Blue walls in our bedroom made me sad because I didn’t have a say in choosing the colors but yet I had to make it work. I didn’t think this house was “my style” either. I had issues and I blamed my house for them.
The reflection my home gave was of my emotional struggle. I was the driving force behind my not feeling “at home” here.
With that in mind I set out to change and when I did, so did my home.
The process I took was to go area by area and write down what emotion it triggered and why I believed it reflected that in me.
I dealt with each negative memory or feeling in a particular area then I added things to that space that triggered joy, peace or memories that I was fond of. I couldn’t believe some of the things I was holding against my house.
The issue I had with the bathroom was that the shower curtain was the same pattern as a towel that I had been folding when I received a phone call that my mom was near death. Just seeing that pattern triggered the memory of when we were asked to come say our goodbyes. It reminded me of the disbelief, anger and guilt I felt at that time. Until I stopped to think it through I didn’t realize that was why I didn’t like the bathroom. At that point I needed to change. I had to remember the blessings that came from that situation and how far I have come since then. My mom not only lived but our relationship has been healed and renewed. Because of that I wanted to keep the memory of that time alive but I wanted the reflection to be positive so I chose shower curtains with flowers in bloom, just like my mom’s life. She is now in full bloom.
We assign the value to our home. We interpret the character, history and charm.
Even if you don’t have much say in the style or colors of your home you can love her. Change your perspective by exposing your innermost feelings and deal with them once and for all. Then, make yourself open to a space where two worlds meet and create something so grand that you want to wake up each day and be welcomed by it. Sometimes the walls that need to come down so a home can be beautiful aren’t necessarily the ones that are on the floor plans. That realization helped me to create my surroundings and not let them create me. I have great joy now and my home reflects it.
About six months ago we made the decision to put our house on the market. We simply examined our priorities and realized that this was the best decision overall based on our current and long-term needs.
You may ask yourself, “how can she give up a home she loves?”
That’s an easy question to answer. The love I feel is a reflection of me. I can bring that anywhere I go