I think personal growth is a lot like moving from one box, which could be called a psychic home, to another. Much like the hermit crab who is in continual pursuit of a larger shell as it grows, our current psychic home becomes too constrictive for us and we are forced to move into a larger one. In-between homes, as in between shells, is a vulnerable time.
The new larger space seems endless. It has no edges, walls, or ceiling. “Ahhh. I’ve arrived.” I’ve got breathing room, growing room, room to play, think, create. I’ve finally made it through all the boxes to, at last, open space. But darn it if after a while it doesn’t start closing in again. I’ve grown larger yet again and am again outgrowing my psychic home.
Forced to Move
Ideally we would at least see, and hopefully move into, our new home before completely outgrowing the old one, but it doesn’t seem to work that way. I think we could remain content to live in our constrained space until it choked us. We like familiar and it takes something drastic to get us to move. We are usually forced by a loss of some kind: health, finances, a partner. Those are the times when our metaphoric home is burned to the ground before we’ve been able to dream and structure a new future. Divorce is an event that can force us to leap from the windows grabbing whatever we are able on the way out. Once out, it takes a while to gather our wits. If we’re smart, we ask for help to sort things through, find solid ground again, and start assembling some kind of new structure.
Since moving is inevitable (we can choose it or it will be handed to us) you can start dreaming now of what you’d like your new larger life. Here are a few ideas:
- A great singleness
- New friends
- Living out loud
- Creative expression
- Learn an instrument
- A new physical appearance
- Better health
- ….what else?
When you get there you can hang a sign over the door that says, “Home Sweet Home, I think” for it may not feel like home just yet. You will need to get in there and hang a few pictures, explore the corners, add some color. You get to decorate it just as you want it. It will feel like home soon enough.