When things are not going well for you, or the world is seemingly conspiring against you, it is easy to feel dismal. Underneath all of that negativity, you can lose sight of what is good about your life. If you spend too much time listening and reading and watching, there is less time for simply being, for appreciating. You most certainly do need to keep informed about the world, to stay connected and be part of a variety of communities, but no time away from all of this is unhealthy. Bad stuff happens to all of us. That is life. I have been hit recently with bad health and some tragic events in my personal life. But, you go on. You find the ways to seek joy, and you celebrate the fact that you are still here, which means opportunity and possibility. Do you feel lucky? It is easy to get bogged down by the difficulties of life that we all face and forget to be grateful for what you have. Despite my personal challenges, I feel lucky each and every day I wake up, and every night when I kiss my boys good night.
We are a funny animal, us human beings. Just like little birds we like to strut and flash our colourful tails. We feather our nests and bring back shiny objects just like a Bowerbird. No matter where you live, or how much you have or don’t have, a home is something that all of us need. Shelter is in fact one of the primary needs of all of us. The famous theory of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” has shelter as one of the most basic needs of all human beings, usually being added as an important physiological need. Maslow later extended the concept to include our curiosity about life, and when you add in creativity, spontaneity and all the other levels of basic needs, you can easily see why our homes are so important to many of us, on a number of levels.
When you play in decorating and creating in your home, when you move beyond the basic needs of warmth, safety and shelter from the elements, and start to move into aesthetics, satisfaction, pleasure and art, it is lovely if you can do so with grace and dignity. Having respect for other people and other places and other generations, noticing our planet and our impact on her, makes all the difference. Decorating your home is not just slapping on a coat of paint. It is creating a place for family and friends to come together. It is ensuring your family can work together, to grow children into people who can make a difference in their lives. It is creating a place to rest from the pace of the outside world, to regenerate and come back out into the busy world. It is about enabling you to feel you belong somewhere, and that you matter.
Those who are homeless suffer more than you may ever imagine. To never be able to relax in that space you call home and constantly worry about the cold, the heat, the safety of any belongings you may own. Always worrying about your personal safety – these are things lots of us will never have to deal with. Yet many do. When you see children living out of a car, on a street corner, in the dirt – then you think again about how you choose to go about feathering your own lucky nest. I am not saying you should not do this, nor that those who are lucky to have a home should feel guilty, we should feel lucky. And so, you should try to do something for someone who is not so lucky.
Here are 7 reasons why you should feel lucky you have a home
- You have a roof over your head – whether that is rented, owned or anything in between, it is the place you wake up and go to sleep each night.
- You have somewhere to keep your belongings, to display your treasures, and play with design and decor. You can put your own personality and style into your home – even in a rental.
- Whether you live alone or with others, a home is a place you can spend time with and care for your loved ones. That might be family and friends, or your pet – having someone to love makes a house a home.
- You have a place in the world that belongs to you, even if you are renting or sharing a home, it is a spot that is yours right now. You don’t have to fight anyone else for the place you call home.
- You have the ability to do more in the world, because you are not spending every day finding somewhere safe to sleep.
- You can grow some of your own food, create an oasis and live a life that is more sustainable through the choices you make in living in your home every day.
- You have a haven. A place to retreat from the busy pace of everyday life and find solace.
Ultimately, living a life that is gracious, one where you realise how lucky you are each day, makes you happier and more at peace. You should feel lucky you have a home, even if it is run down, not your favourite style right now, or seems a little cramped. Think about these reasons next time you feel a little blah about your home. It will do wonders for your self esteem, your sense of belonging and your happiness, and be good for the world at the same time – and that is something we all need.
(updated from a post in 2016)