Our Safe House

The new year, notorious for the act of wiping the slate clean to begin a new year, is our life’s equivalent to spring cleaning. We know that within the beginning of this new year new life will sprout and grow and it gives us a sense of hope that the cold of winter has dampened with rain, sleet and snow. Forcing us to stay inside, we are faced with the concerns and losses that surround a years worth of gathering. Throughout the year we have collected memories and junk alike, safely tucking it away within the rooms of our house. A realization that we are no different from the dwellings we live in, the house being a physical representation of our inner selves. How does this work?

In the search for closure of life experiences or moments, we tend to close the door prematurely as if to hide the fact that the room we stored this experience is dirty. Like locking up the house, we walk through the passages to these rooms closing the doors and locking all access into our house setting up an imaginary barrier to give us the feeling of safety, security and comfort. As we close these doors we briefly glance into the room as if we’ve somehow left something in there only to turn our back with the wink of an eye closing the door behind us. A thought crosses our minds about the contents of this room but this glance is exactly that, a glance. Traveling through the house we turn off the lights, close all doors that aren’t an access to a comfort room for we know that in case of an emergency (big or small), we will need this room. The bathroom, the kitchen or the living room. Notably public and high traffic areas. We get to the last door, our room, turn on the light and get prepared to sleep. Seemingly small actions, but like most things this story of our lives, it is meaningful. It is a glimpse of our lives. Things that you didn’t normally see due to busy nature of our world are now being seen. The stain on the carpet, the scratch on the door or the contents of a room.

How is this related to me?
When people search for closure, they often wait until the point of no return. When they’ve stepped into the room to open the curtains only to have the light show them how messy the room is. We walk through ourselves closing doors, not to close it out completely, but with the intention that we will return to it not realizing that closing the door will not change the contents or shape of this room. Going through the normal processes of securing the house in search of comfort, we close the doors in ourselves that will most likely interrupt the comfort zones we have created. In this process, we close these doors to go into the room that best represents us at our most vulnerable stage, the bedroom. It carries the personal effects, items and memories we hold the most dear. The room that not everyone will get to see and if they do, it’s generally brief. While in this room we do most of our thinking, we learn and we cry. It is us. At times we do not spend a lot of time in this room for we are generally working or outside but it is the room we lay ourselves to rest.

I have learned that closing doors only misplaces my desire to not have closure, but acceptance. It prolongs, obscures and distracts me from the rooms I once found comfort, no matter how brief the comfort may be. There has been a period of realization through my thoughts that have allowed me see beyond the contents of these places I’ve closed to realize the beauty of the room that was. A piece of myself that I’d shut out for however long. Since then, I have opened the doors and cleaned up. When I am ready to sleep, I walk to my bedroom knowing that I have closed no doors. That I am happy with the way the room is and that the contents are safe within the room reminding me of where I’ve been and what I’ve seen. Contents not necessarily for everyone to see, for if they were they’d be in a recreational area. No, these contents are on display for those who care enough to want to know what this room is for. For those of you that are welcomed into my bedroom, you will see how these other rooms with doors open have shaped the room I call myself.

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