Our homes can be a great metaphor into understanding ourselves. Allow me to use my home as an example. 1) The front of my home:
The front of my home, aside from the garage, is covered by a huge pine tree. The tree provides shade and lots of privacy. In fact, you can’t really get a good sense of what my home even looks like until you get past the pine tree.
Similarities to me: I am a little guarded and shy at first, especially if I just met you. Call it a trust or a familiarity issue, but that’s me. I want to get a sense of who you are before I show you the inside of my soul.
2) The main floor:
Once inside, you'll immediate notice the warmth and coziness of the main room. This is where I hang out most of the time…not to mention where I do most of my entertaining. Many of my friends and family have mentioned how this room makes them feel like they are up in a mountain cabin somewhere. I often get the same sensation. This room truly is the heart and soul of my home.
Similarities to me: I prefer authentic conversations over the proverbial sports, weather, and “how you spent your summer vacation” chit-chat. I want to know who you are…how you are…and what you are most passionate about. I want you to know who I am…why I do what I do and why it matters to me. This requires a certain vulnerability on both our parts.
3) My office:
It's really not messy...I know where everything is. I like the clutter, the busyness, and the memorabilia spread throughout the office. It gives me a sense of my past, present and future, all in one. It’s in this room where major decisions are made…checks are signed…and critical communication takes place. The walls are lined with books, awards, and file cabinets spanning over twenty-five years. All the many sides of me can be found in this one room. This room is all about action!
Similarities to me: I’ve been called complicated before, and it fits; I am. Why even the inside of my head resembles the photo you see of my office; lots of clutter…be it past, present, or future. My mind is always racing…my ideas always flowing. In fact, I have a tape recorder in my car so that I can capture all the thoughts I’m having while I drive! I go to bed late and wake up early. I reflect often and keep a daily journal. To me, it’s all about passion and wanting to make my mark in this lifetime.
4) The back of my home:
The back of my home is wide open with a deck and hot tub that face the mountains. In the summer, I sit on the back patio in the evenings to watch the sunset over the mountains. In the winters, I use the hot tub in the early morning hours to do some serious reflection about my life, my relationships, and my place in the world. The back of my home has become my spiritual center. It’s where I go to be alone with my thoughts and my higher self.
Similarities to me: I consider myself to be a very spiritual person. Rarely will a day go by where I haven’t reflected, meditated, or been in a state of appreciation. I also like to visualize my future and use the mountains as the backdrop for that process. Although many may not see my spiritual side, it is the foundation of who I am.
I can’t end this blog without showing the lighter side of me, my basement. This room has been decorated to simulate an actual beach bar somewhere on the Caribbean.
Similarities to me: I love the ocean and I love to have a good time. Enough said.
So what about you and your house?
Here are some questions to consider about how your home is a reflection of who you are:
1. From out front, what are the first impressions that most people would have about your house? How similar or dissimilar are these impressions from the first impressions people have of you?
2. What room in your house are you most comfortable in? Why? Would people who are comfortable with you use any of the same words? Why or why not?
3. If your house was a living organism, where in your house would the heart be? Why?
4. How is the outside of your house different from the inside? What about with you?
5. Do you have any unfinished rooms in your house? If so, are there any parallels to unfinished parts of you?
The next time you are entertaining friends at your house, ask them if they see any similarities between you and your home. You might be surprised. I was.