We are now just a few days from the reopening of Talbot House after a year of being closed. The anticipation of this opening feels like having been away and then savoring the experience of heading home after a long absence. It just feels right to be back where we belong – there is a feeling of security and comfort that arises from “Coming Home.”
More and more I hear this from the numerous individuals who work in the west. We hear it in their voices and read it in their emails and texts as they talk about coming home for a few weeks or longer. Home for most of us is the place where we feel most right with ourselves.
Of course we know that not everyone has had that experience and for some home can be a place and memory of hurt and pain. This is precisely why it is so important that each of us find our home – that place where we know we are alright, where we are accepted, loved and even the place we can fail.
Recovery is the invitation to “Come Home to Self,” because the opposite of this is feeling totally alienated from self. Active addiction leads the individual to feelings of self hatred and contempt for what I have become. Overcoming these feelings is difficult and takes time – and it begins I feel with first finding the physical places where you can safely begin this journey.
I have a sense that this is what has made the 12 Step Community and meetings such a powerful experience for many. The meetings provide this experience for those who attend; indeed first timers at a meeting will often comment that they felt right at home at their first meeting, because there were people there who cared and without judging them.
In my years in the Talbot House Community the overwhelming sense is that this is our greatest success – we are home for so many people who live and work here. I couldn’t begin to count the number of men who have shared with me that Talbot House is the first real experience of home they have felt for years or even ever.
However, for all of us the principle goal of our lives needs to be creating that feeling of coming home within ourselves. While it is critical that we all find the physical places where our hearts are content; we also need to find that within.
Many say that they find this in their personal relationships, others may say that they find it in nature and while I think we all can relate to this; there still remains the challenge of finding love, acceptance and contentment with ourselves. Otherwise, we may always run away from self and thus comes the constant need for noise, people, activity and for some alcohol and drugs just so that we can feel ok.
And so I am glad to be coming home because in this place I find the daily challenge to become more at ease with my own vulnerabilities and fears. In this place I share in the experience of so many who have for so long lived with the pain of isolation and alienation and just listening helps to remind me that I too am in need of hope and healing.
I hope that you too will continue to seek the places within your own heart and experience where you may the pathway to coming home to yourself.