About a year ago, at the age of 34, I made the decision to move back in to my parents’ house for a while. During the year preceding this, my life had fallen apart. It began with the the end of my 3-year marriage and the beginning of a new relationship a week later. In that separation, I not only lost a wife, but a second family I had grown to love. I was devastated when they stopped replying to my messages, even though the split with my wife had been amicable. A few months after that, at Christmas time, my sister Gina died suddenly. My family was devastated, and my first instinct was to stay in the spare room in my parents’ house and do whatever I could to help them through this huge blow for however long was needed. That initial stay only lasted a week or two, and left me completely shattered because I didn’t care about myself enough while trying to look after everyone else. Thankfully, my family and girlfriend talked me into taking some time for myself, and that helped me to find some balance again. Half a year later, within the space of a week, my job as a Magazine Editor, my relationship with my girlfriend, and the lease on my apartment all came to an end. I signed on the dole, and made the decision to move back into the spare room in my parents’ house while I got my life sorted; a decision which meant I had to also say goodbye to my cat, Luna, who went to live with my ex-wife. I had rescued Luna from our front garden when she was abandoned as a kitten, and loved her even more during the times when I was feeling abandoned; so it was heart-wrenching to say goodbye to her, but it wasn’t an option to bring her with me.
I made the decision to move back in with my parents, in part, as I thought it a good idea to give my Mam someone to Mother, to try and, in some way, balance out the devastation of losing a child. Does that make sense? All the children had moved out of the house at that stage, so it was only my Mam and Dad and the huge gap left by the loss of my sister. Being there, I could also keep an eye on them and my other family members who lived close by and came to visit. It also gave me a safe space to fall to pieces, to completely collapse and just rest after everything that had happened. There were days when I would just lie on my bed staring out at the clouds passing in the sky for hours, or break down crying quietly in my room, full with feelings of loss and failure. My world had been turned upside down.
A year later…
“If you think you’re so enlightened, go spend a week with your parents.” ~ Ram Dass
This last year of living back at home has been both a blessing and a challenge. I seem to have grown up a second time, after having gone through a second childhood and adolescence. Only this time, I did it with much more awareness and mindfulness than I had the first time around. My habitual reactions were triggered often, so I was eventually able to see through them and let go of them.
I see now how my personality was very influenced by my parents’ personalities, in both good and bad ways. I remember reading, in a book called “The Purpose of Your Life,” how all children have a combination of their parents character traits, and that the purpose of your life has to do with making the most of the best of those traits. Caring and creative are two of the main qualities I’ve been handed down from my parents, which I love having and expressing. There are also plenty of challenging traits, such as not finishing projects I start and unintentionally creating a mess.
Not being able to invite friends or “friends” back to the house has also been a challenge and a blessing. It made me feel like I wasn’t really free to start any new romantic or sexual relationships because I didn’t have my own place. This was quite frustrating at times, but intuitively, it felt more right to stay where I was, and I’m really glad I did. Apart from seeing my best friends (who lived across the city) occasionally, I spent a lot of time alone. This alone time, while crushingly lonely at times, gave me the opportunity to look at the source of happiness and love in my life, and to develop my self-love in a way I never had before. Thanks in big part to Mooji, I learned to connect in with my deepest self and my inner, endless source of love, and when I did that, I found comfort amidst the storm of life.
I am the eye of the storm, the deep, calm ocean, the space between, the pure awareness. My coming home has been a coming home to my true self. I am beyond success and failure, worthiness, achievement, status, right and wrong, good and bad, need. I still dance in the theatre of life and forget myself at times, but it matters so much less than it used to. I feel lighter, more spacious, and less vulnerable. I’m more often happy, even though other strong emotions pour through me. I still rage sometimes at the silliest provocations, but I allow it. There’s more flow and less resistance in my life now, more gratitude and less need, more love and less fear – on this human level (I’ll explain this further soon).
So, yes, I came home, and then I found my way home to my true self, and I’ll take that with me even when I move out.
Trust the flow of life, but don’t worry too much about it. It can help you to remember yourself. 🙂