My keyword for this year is reparenting, and I’ve noticed that close to + after this full moon in Cancer (the sensitive water sign that is both my moon and ascendant according to astrology), the theme of feeling homeless has come up for me.
And when I say homeless, I mean disconnected, empty, lonely, in need of more connection — isolated inside.
I’ve gone through these cycles before where I feel totally connected and at peace, and then something triggers those old wounds of feeling like a reject or alien in a strange land. And then I go on a desperate search to find a better therapist, more friends, a community of which I can belong, a physical place that feels more like home, and on and on.
Following that, I enter into a spiral of anxiety and negative self-talk when I realize that I don’t like spending time around lots of people (I’m an introvert and HSP). My thoughts scream, “There’s something wrong with you!” “You must have an undiagnosed mental illness!” “You’re agoraphobic, just like your mother!” “You’ll always feel this way because people don’t like spending time around others that make them uncomfortable!!”
And on and on the tyrannical critical inner voice rants (that we could call The Critic or The Critical Inner Parent).
This is where the 10 of Cups — my inner guidance card for this year — pops up.
This card reminds me that reparenting is all about building a strong inner family; a sense of inner connectedness, warmth, and safety. And no matter who I have in my life on the outside, it won’t truly fill that void inside that longs for a true home.
I long for a true home.
And I have for as long as I can remember, in some shape or form, whether consciously or unconsciously.
The ups and downs of last year made me realize that at the core of my spiritual path and my journey of evolution, is the need to cultivate mindful compassion.
In mindful compassion, the mind and heart unite — it is the heiros gamos, the sacred marriage, the union of opposites, non-duality, freedom.
But forgetting that mindful compassion is at the core of my path is SO easy, which is a big reason why I’ve started Into the Wildwood — to remember as many times as I can and stay committed to this soul work.
Yesterday, feeling fed up with the spiral of my mind trying to avoid my feelings of inner homelessness, I decided to look up “finding my true home according to Buddhism” on my internet browser.
I love Buddhism and took official refuge on 1/1/22 meaning that I’ve made a commitment to integrating this wisdom into my everyday life. (By the way, I don’t see myself as Buddhist necessarily, just as a follower of Buddhist philosophy.)
I came across a beautiful poem by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen master who I love so much that I read his words every night. He writes:
I have arrived, I am home
In the here, in the now
I am solid, I am free
In the ultimate I dwell.
The moment I read these words, I knew that I had found the answer to my inner feelings of homelessness.
I have arrived, I am home.
Home is not something found in other people, places, or communities. This is it, here and now.
In the morning, before meditation, I read these words among others (as a part of my integration of Buddhist philosophy into my life):
Everything and everyone I love will change, and I will be separated from them.
No matter who comes into my life, or how “at home” I feel with them, eventually that will all change. They will grow old and die, or perhaps they may change and want to move on. Maybe I will want to move on or will grow sick myself. The possibilities are endless. I have already experienced a severing from my birth family due to wanting to be free from their religious beliefs (and continue to deal with the trauma of that), so I know all too well this reality.
The only true home I have is within myself — my inner family — and that can only ever be found in this moment through mindfulness and compassion.
What I love about Buddhism is that it unites both the heart and the mind together, and doesn’t favor one or the other (and let’s not forget about the body, which it uses as a foundation for staying grounded!).
When I look at the Bodhisattvas of compassion — Quan Yin, Tara, Avalokitesvara — I see them as my spirit family, supporting me in this work.
And it’s probably some of the hardest work in the world. Damn hard. I forget so much.
So here’s my prayer:
May I become more rooted into my heart, into my loving inner parent, and find the safe and warm home inside that I have always longed for.
May my mantra, in times of sadness, loneliness, and emptiness, be: I have arrived, I am home. And may I find peace in the practice of mindful compassion.
And may you find that too.
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