Do you remember when you were a kid, and you were so mad at your brother or fed up with your parents that you would dream of just packing your bags and running away?
"After I'm gone awhile, they'll miss me & see that they were WRONG, and I was RIGHT...and they will be SORRY!"
In my line of work, I often have to help people see that they may be running away from home right now, as adults --and they may not even know it.
They haven't packed a suitcase or left a tear-stained note on the fridge--
but they aren't really LIVING at home either.
Do you know what I mean? Maybe some of the characteristics of a runaway who never actually runs away sound familiar to you? Let's talk about some of the earmarks of such a person...
- That Sinking Feeling- It starts when the key goes in the lock upon returning home, or maybe even when she first pulls in the driveway--"ugh, this house...."
- General Discomfort--A real dis-ease when at home, because, after all, home doesn't feel "homey," but rather just disappointing and overwhelming--not enough space to store things, stuff not having a place where it belongs, rooms feeling stuck in time filled with things she isn't sure she really likes--but what else would she put in its place?? It is better just to....
- Avoid--For the runaway, most of the house becomes a glorified hallway --room after drab room that she has never really liked, and doesn't want to spend time in. She walks past these spaces and spends most of her time at home in rooms where she can...
- Distract--The only rooms that have time spent in them are the ones where she can focus on something else other than being overwhelmed or uncomfortable with her surroundings--sitting in front of a screen to work or veg, or escape by diving into a book. And the last tell-tale sign is....
- Perhaps choosing NOT to be at home much at all-- Meals out, activities that take her elsewhere--anywhere, really--are all preferable to spending time at home. The runaway rarely offers to host friends for get-togethers, since she isn't happy with or proud of the house she lives in, so sharing it with others is just not in the cards.
Do you see any of the qualities of the runaway in yourself?
If so, ask yourself these questions:
- What would it feel like to turn any corner in your house and feel your heart swell with pride?
- What would it be like to love being at home because it feels so welcoming??
- What would it be worth to you if your home added something amazing to the quality of your life, rather than feeling it was only a disappointing drain?
- How will you feel one year from today if you have spent another year faithfully paying your mortgage month in and month out, only to have your heart continue to sink when you pull in the driveway?
If you have spent years as a runaway, it is time to come back home! Your house is too big of an investment to waste any more time, money or energy not loving and living in every inch of it--and this is a great place to start.