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Friday, October 16, 2015

Do You Know Where Your Home Is?

I can imagine some of the answers flying in from all parts of the globe, indicating that your particular home is in Rome, or in Sussex, or Singapore, Christchurch, Nassau, or Rio. Other answers might specify that your home is where your family is, where you hang your hat, and where you feel at home. And of course all of those answers are correct.

I'm thinking of my favorite icons right now: Mandela and Frankl - favorite, because it was all taken away from them - one, when he was imprisoned on Robben Island for 27 years, and the other, when he was sent to the horrors of Auschwitz. Clearly, both men lost everything. They lost all those things that most of us would use as descriptors to indicate where our home is. They not only lost it all materially, but they also lost family. Mandela's mother and eldest son died while he languished on that island in plain view of Cape Town - just across the water - but he was not permitted to attend either funeral, and Frankl lost almost his entire family to the gas chambers.

And yet ... if I were able to ask either of them the question where was your home while you were going through that man-devised horror, I am certain that a portion of their answer would contain the following ideas: their home was inside themselves, in that place to which they had connected. In other words, their home was their connection to themselves, to their inner most self, to their soul.

But careful: words are said so easily, and yet I very much doubt that either of these two men were in such strong connection to themselves when they were first imprisoned that they would have been able to speak in those terms immediately. Building up such a connection requires time, practice, diligence, and patience, as well as faith in the connection itself and in its value.

Those of us who live 'normal' lives where we are not subject to political pursuit or racial genocide may not have many opportunities where we are forced into the development of such an inner connection in order to be able to go on and simply get through another day. In our 'normal' lives such development of an inner connection generally only happens after we have gone through a period of much suffering (for example, in our relationships, our finances, our health, or our profession), or if we have come to the realization that being aware is something we wish to strive for. Clearly, the more aware you are, even if there is no suffering, the more you will strive to achieve the inner connection and in so doing, the more you will have your home right there, inside of you, whether your outer home is as lovely as the one in the above image, or a modest dwelling at the edge of a small town; and whether your family is with you or not. Connecting to the self, recognizing the value of such a connection is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself.


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

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