Homesick

Today I had this weird feeling. It was a queasiness in my stomach, an ache in my spirit. When I was teaching we were discussing the Observe and Describe skills where we observe feelings, body sensations, and then put the most accurate words to them. As I am wont to do I used my current state as an example, and struggled to find the right words to describe this feeling. My student said “you’re homesick.” And dang if that wasn’t exactly it! What prompted this was my (again) missing my friend but today it was louder than usual, more present. So I thought about homesick and why it was so perfect an expression.

When I think about my friend there is a sense of a very deep connection. There is a similar feeling when I look at the picture of K2. Both prompt very similar feelings. Weird, right? I see her picture and K2 and it’s so nearly the same: a sense on the deepest level of “home.”

I am told I think too much (to which I respond “that’s what I do!) so there is very fertile soil in this odd sensibility of home. We’ll see… What is it about these two disparate things that resonates so deeply in me?

I also used something she said to me in response to a recent whine and I used it with my student. First I was told to get my ass in the kitchen and bake cookies. So I did and of course it worked. Then she said “bake some bread, eat a stick of butter, and scrub the floor by hand.” To illustrate the Turning the Mind skill I mentioned “eat a stick of butter” and that did the trick. My student’s mind turned from her sorrows with DFCS and her kids to the absurdity of eating a stick of butter.

I then noticed an urge to tell my friend how helpful her silliness had been. The idea was to validate her and so feel good about herself. But then I thought about it and recognized that what I really wanted was to prompt a response from her. And that I did not like. That childish emotional mind need corrupted the value of her words and me validating them. I felt sick.

But then further down the rabbit hole I found that I didn’t need a response, that the value needn’t be corrupted. So I texted her and told the whole story, including the “need” for a response. I honored the value of her words and how helpful they were to someone she would never meet. And I left it at that.

It is the attachment to some outcome dictated by our childishness that we have to beware of, that corrupting influence that so easily infects the valuable aspects of ourselves.

Today (several days after the initial post) I am noticing again the homesickness and I think further about what “home” is, where, who and what. Maybe why, I dunno. Why may be a bridge too far.

I have always had this deep connection to the Colorado Rockies. Different places but the same sense of connection, of “home.” But I am not there, nor am I with my friend. But I am, in my heart, in my soul. And that has to be good enough otherwise my childish emotional mind starts up with “need.” Ugh. Gratitude helps recognize what is and ask “is there Home to be found here, now?” I turn towards gratitude and find connection with what is, and it is up to me to look for the deeper aspects of these connections, to ascribe Home to them too, and thus to experience contentment.

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