Friday, October 14, 2011

Shifting Comfort Zones

It sure has been a rough year for me, and for the first time in my life I actually had to go see a therapist for something that was beyond my ability to find an answer for.  So many changes not just around me, but within me has caused some pretty massive waves in my perceptions of how things are supposed to be.

It used to be that I could not find any comfort inside a home or around a family.  I was always nervous and full of anxiety and never really felt like I belonged there.  Not just in other peoples houses and homes, but even in my own.  I never really had a good home, growing up was a bunch of moving around and changing schools and friends and nothing was ever consistant.  My family was very dysfunctional and as kids we avoided home as often as we could.  I was uncomfortable around groups of people and I never felt like I was in the right place.  I started to take comfort in my work, I would just work until I couldn't take it any more.  If I was always busy and accomplishing something then I felt like I was actually of some value to someone.  Even that got lonely at times, but I knew it would be OK when I got that pat on the back or a "good job" from someone.

It wasn't until last year after several years of hard work around our house that I actually began to feel like my home was really "my home."  It was more like the place I came to rest and spend time with my wife.  The truth is, after all the work we put into the place, the more the work we did came to define what the house was.  It was the yard that I put in, the things I built, the painting we did, the floor we put in, and so forth.  As we made the changes it transformed from THE HOUSE to OUR HOME.

All the work we put into the place brought the wife and I closer together.  We made decisions together, made changes together and did the work together.  We got married in our early 30's so we were both very much set in our ways and accustomed to certain things.  It took us awhile to find the medium and once we did we started to grow closer as we grew up as a couple and as a family.  We brought in our animals and our little hobby farm became a reality and we found so much joy in what we were doing.

What started to matter most to me was coming home and taking care of things, and enjoying what we had.  Finding the laughter coming from the antics of our crazy animals and the experiences we share.  I found peace in my study with the bird sanctuary at my window.  I could rest on the weekend and go to church and not feel like I had to be part of a mission or someones cause to be spiritual.  I started to have my own idea's about what to do for my own spiritual work, and that led to some projects I am working on and I find joy in.

As things change, there is also a vulnerability that gets exposed and it's way to easy to exploit those feelings.  I often find myself in a state of shock after I leave the house after a weekend at home.  When a new comfort zone is established everything else becomes uncomfortable and it's easy to get into a state of anxiety.  You have to find a way to expand that comfort zone or bring a little bit of it with you.  If I wasn't able to talk, text, email, or communicate with my wife at some point during the day, I would be a wreck.

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