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Home Base

When you are a child, in the healthiest of situations your parents (or primary caregivers) are home base. It does not matter how rich or how poor you are or how nice your physical house is. If your parents are safe and secure, you will feel at home when you are with them. You will likely develop a healthy sense of self and feel comfortable in your own skin and in the world.

Oftentimes though children don’t feel this sense of home with their parents. This can cause some feelings of distrust in oneself and in the world.

Regardless of your upbringing, as you become an adult, you get to become home base for yourself. You do this by creating a relationship with yourself that is loving and kind and compassionate. A relationship where you trust yourself and your intuition and you listen to your inner wisdom. When you create this secure relationship with yourself internally you are able to handle whatever comes your way.

One of my favorite quotes by Pema Chodron says,

“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

The one thing that is constant in life is change. Even when everything is changing around you, if you have a healthy, stable, secure relationship with yourself, you can still feel at home.

If you become partnered as an adult, this other person can also be part of your home base. When you enter a committed relationship, you create a co-regulating nervous system between the two of you meaning you can help take care of one another on a deep level. This dynamic is similar to what parents are supposed to do for their kids.

I highly recommend, when possible, creating the home base within yourself as an individual prior to partnering up. When two people with healthy relationships with themselves come together, as a couple, they are unstoppable. I know though that this is not always realistic. The good news is even when you are already coupled you can still work on your relationship with yourself.

The most powerful steps I have ever learned for creating a healthy relationship with yourself come from Dr. Kristin Neff who is a researcher of self-compassion. If you want to test how self-compassionate you currently are and which areas to focus your attention on in this realm, take Dr. Neff’s self-compassion test at: https://self-compassion.org/self-compassion-test/.

She talks about three steps to be compassionate with yourself during difficult moments:

1. Mindfulness – Say, “This is a moment of suffering.”

2. Common Humanity – “Other people feel this way too at times.”

3. Self-Kindness – What do I need to say or do right now?

For example, I need to hear “I am doing the best that I can.” Or “I need connection."

Home is not just an external structure; it is an internal feeling.

How can you create the feeling of home within yourself?

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