This is why your home is so important to you – from a Psychotherapist’s Perspective. Part 1.

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“Be it ever so humble, There’s no place like Home.” 

“A gentleman’s home is his castle.’

‘Home is where the heart is.”

“Home and dry.”

What do you associate with home? Perhaps that depends on what kinds of homes you have experienced. Were they warm and welcoming, or cold and forbidding?

The popular notion of home, with all its associations, appears to be about warmth and safety, a place to escape to, relax in, be cosy and comfortable. There will be a fire in the hearth, a cat on the rug, hot drink steaming, furry slippers.

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The house has long been known to reflect its owners. In psychoanalytical terms, Jungian theory sees the house as reflective of the whole of the self. In fact, there are houses that do resemble people, with what appear to be facial features.

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“….there is the more obvious role as the home as the projection of self. The facade is quite literally the face, the expression with windows for eyes and a door for a mouth and, once inside, each room has a role in the representation of a part of our inner lives. The hall represents a shadow of the time when a home was a single living space containing every activity; it announces arrival and departure.

The kitchen is a space of transformation and alchemy, of raw materials into sustenance, but it is also the space of the mother and of refuge, the warm, secure womb. The bedroom is fraught with a complex symbolism of birth, sleep, sex, dreams and death. The cellar represents the dark recesses of the subconscious upon which our public lives are precariously built; its counterpart is the attic, with memories and secrets of the past. And so on.”

Heathcote.

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When Jung built his own house, he was aware of how it represented aspects of his inner world. He knew that the unconscious expresses itself outwardly through symbols and that each tower and addition he made was meaningful in terms of his own psyche.

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                          Jung’s House. Bollingen Tower. Wikimedia Commons.

Jung added various towers over the years. In 1955, after his wife’s death he made the final, symbolic extension to his house:

………..I added  an upper storey to this section, which represents myself, or my ego-
personality. Earlier, I would not have been able to do this; I would have regarded it as presumptuous self-emphasis. Now it signified an extension of consciousness achieved in old age.

Jung.

Jung also wrote about his powerful dream of descending through the storeys of his house, which he interpreted as reflective of moving through different layers of his unconscious mind.

Leaving Home.

Some find it difficult to leave their home; it is a kind of protection from what might feel like an ‘un-homely’ world.

“Traveling is all very well if you can get home at night. I would be willing to go around the world if I could be back in time to light the candles and set the table for dinner.”

Gladys Taber

Others may be really afraid to leave home, feeling the world outside is dangerous and unfriendly.

For many people, leaving home is a rite of passage. It is often described as ‘flying the nest’:

“You have to go out on your own
So you can find your way back home…”

Barry Manilow- Somewhere Down The Road

 

At this current time, many young people in their late teens have to stay at home, as they are denied this important rite of passage though lack of funds.

Travelling Home.

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Of course not everyone’s childhood home is a happy place. There are people who cannot make a home. Fixed roots for them may feel like blocks of cement, tying them down. For them, the open road is home. This often feels freeing.

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“We both have no home to go back to… so we can go anywhere at all.”
Kazuya Minekura

“There is no comfort anywhere for anyone who dreads to go home.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little Town on the Prairie

 

Sadly, others have no choice but to attempt to make themselves a makeshift home on the streets.

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Photo: pxhere. Carlos ZGZ

Without some kind of  home, for whatever reason, people often feel lost and insecure. It appears to be a primitive feeling. Perhaps the home really does symbolise the womb in our unconscious.

There does also appear to be, for many people, a need for their own specific territory; boundary disputes between neighbours can be intense and angry.

In Short : 16 reasons your home is so significant.

Attachment– deep feelings/memories from childhood about home. Feelings of love.

Family/people/friends we live with/nurturing relationships

Routine

Control– home might feel like a place where you have some personal power.

Neighbours

Neighbourhood – amenities like restaurants, GP, bus route etc.

Security, safety, both physical and emotional. Cosiness.

Ownership– ‘our own little corner of the world.’ A part of a massive whole.

Belonging

Belongings– eg photographs, important possessions which are infused with life and memories. Importance also of pets, garden, etc.

A reference point; roots; the centre of our lives.

Containment

Familiarity (and ‘home-cooking!)

Refuge, retreat –

“He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.” (Goethe)

Memories

Identity– home often feels like a part of the self. 

 

“There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” – Jane Austen.

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Photo by Peter Boccia on Unsplash

Anything to add? Do leave a comment below on your experiences of home. Thanks, Linda.

 

12 comments

  1. Home is where the heart is, even if it is whereever we roam. There is a homing instinct, nostalgic attachment; home is the place where we let down our defences and pretensions and allow ourselves to be as we are. Homeless is to be rootless, without a compass.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Home is where if you go there, they have to let you in. (forgot who said this). Home is your place in the world. Home is for lovers and growing children and by which you present yourself to the world. Its for beloved memories – grandma hanging out the wash – where Michael fell from the tree – the fort we made for the boys – the many roasts and pies and potatoes Chantilly and calzone and shepherd’s pies set before those we loved. The place where Michael learned to cook and Joe set fire to the kitchen. Its wisps of times past and the people of our lives that made us who we are.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting and thought provoking post. So many good quotes. I somewhat relate to the following as well….. ” You will never be completely at home again because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. This is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place ” Helen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for this really thoughtful comment, Helen. I think you might find next week’s post even more relevant, in view of the quote you’ve chosen as relevant to you. Always interested in your responses to my posts! Linda. 🙏

      Like

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