Food for Thought

Home is a word rich with depth, meaning, and nuance. At its most basic level, we tend to think of “home” as the house in which we grew up, usually having the connotation of permanence or longevity. We also think of the primary place we establish to live in adulthood as home. However, having a place to live does not automatically make it a home. So, what is it that makes a home a home? Home connotes that the dwelling we reside in and where we live our lives also provides us with a feeling of fit, warmth, and belonging. Beyond that, we also experience our home as an expression of our tastes, personality, and character.

Our sense of home may also be tied to certain geographic areas, their landscapes, weather, and culture. It may be reflected by our choice to live in a city, a smaller town or in the mountains or countryside, our choice of a certain type of house or neighborhood, the amount of energy we invest in our yard or garden, furnishings, artwork, and interior décor. The modes of expression are endless and some are more important to us than others, but all together they create a sense of home.

Home is also a place we share with others. Whether gathering with people with whom we share a household, other family members, or open our doors to adult friends or friends of our children, home is usually a place where we spend time with others we care about, celebrate holidays, or simply enjoy our relationships. Home is a gathering place.

On another level, we talk about home in broader, sometimes metaphorical ways. We talk about going home, being homesick, feeling like we do not have a home, and coming home to ourselves. Home is in its essence a core notion we carry in our minds and hearts, but what it means to each person is different, personal, and unique. Let us talk about what home means to us.

Questions to Consider:

  • Does where you live now feel like home to you? Why or why not?
  • What makes a place to live feel like “home” to you? How do you transform a house, apartment, or other living situation into a home?
  • Thinking about home in a larger sense: Are there places you have lived in this country or in the world where you felt an especially keen sense of being psychologically, emotionally, or spiritually at home?
  • Describe one way in which you feel that you have come home to yourself (i.e., fulfilling a sense of purpose, expressing your true talents, or living authentically).
  • Does a nursing home/assisted living qualify for the important title of home? Can it ever feel like home?
  • What makes one ‘feel at home’ when they are NOT at their home?

All rights reserved           © 2021 Beth Firestein, Ph.D.      Wise Women Group