I’ve often described my body as just the apartment that I am renting while I am on this earth. It is the physical representation of who I am, this time around. The outer view of this apartment may be pleasing to some and not to others, but it doesn’t really matter. Where the treasure lies is inside of my apartment, and let me tell you, it’s a sight to behold.
My apartment has the most beautiful artwork on its walls. Vibrant colours, exquisite figures, and breathtaking sceneries. The floors and counters gleam. Plants and flowers thrive. There is comfy furniture that makes you say ‘’ahhhh” when you sink into it.
My apartment has a space devoted entirely to meditation and thought. A space designed just for creating. A space for experiencing love. A space for experiencing joy.
Huge gleaming windows let the light shine in. The temperature is always just right. The air smells clean and fresh. Like love would smell.
And there is one little room that contains all the junk that I’ve accumulated over a lifetime that is useless or broken or dirty and even though I know I need to clean out this room, it’s too hot in there and it’s dark and musty. Actual gremlins live there. It sucks going in, but I do it anyway, every so often, and make throw away piles and manage to get some stuff into garbage bags and kicked out to the curb. My goal is to get this room down to a closet. A little closet. (Maybe even just a junk drawer.)
This apartment has been mine since the day I was born. I just didn’t know it.
You see, not all of us know that we have an apartment of our own. And if we don’t know about this beautiful space where we can live, if we don’t know we have a home, we live outside instead, on the streets, looking for our home in everyone else’s apartments. Peering in windows, searching for where we belong. Where we fit.
And if, once in a while, we remember that we have a key in our pocket that opens a door, and we decide to take a look at this space, it is unrecognizable as a place of love because all that we can see is the garbage that has been accumulating. Cobwebs hang in the corners. Everything is dusty and dirty. Those gremlins have taken over and they’re slobs. So we quietly close the door and go back to peering into other people’s windows.
In my case, after years of trying to find my home outside of myself, I mustered up some courage, and I walked back into my apartment. I pulled the curtains right off of the rods and took a good look around. It wasn’t pretty, but under that dust and that grime, I saw something. I saw potential. I saw hope. So, armed with tools and cleaning supplies and garbage bags and gremlin repellant, I went to work and uncovered the masterpiece that is my home.
It was hard work. Sometimes I thought I was too tired to keep going. Sometimes I screamed and yelled. Sometimes I just sat on the floor and cried. But I persisted, got more supplies when I needed them, and now, I have a home that I love. I no longer have to look in anyone else’s windows. I only have to open my own door.
Now, in a perfect world, I would never leave my home again, but life is not like that, and sometimes, a gremlin bites me while I’m sleeping, (their fangs contain poison that causes temporary amnesia) and I forget where my home is and I start going out, looking in other people’s windows again. And while I’m gone, those nasty pests tip-toe out of their room and start making a mess. Dust bunnies made of shadows and old memories roll across the floor.
Eventually, though, the poison wears off and I come home, and either shoo those gremlins back into their room or boot them out of the front door. (hopefully the latter) I get out the vacuum and the duster. I remember that it’s up to me to maintain my home. It’s up to me to keep it filled with beauty and love. Maintaining my home is a practice, not a one-time event.
So for those of you who have forgotten or just didn’t know that you have your own apartment, I wish for you the courage to find and unlock that door. I wish for you the best tools and cleaning supplies. And I wish for you the stamina to stick with it, even when you want to quit.
Just throw open the curtains. Your apartment is your home. Your home is in you and it’s magnificent. I promise.