Allowing her eyes to adjust to the diminished light after just leaving the glaring sunlight outdoors, she felt her way through the dusky hall and came to the foot of the staircase. Her fingertips lightly resting on the bannister which was covered with dust, she began to slowly and carefully climb the stairs. The creaks and groans under her footing did not worry her, instead she felt the assurance in the steadiness of her heartbeat that she was not only safe but being guided to whatever waited for her on the next floor.
When she reached the top she was surprised to find herself in a garret with one small window. What was even more surprising is that though the rest of the house had been covered in dust, one pane of the window had been recently cleaned allowing the sun’s rays to shine through like a beam onto the surface of a free-standing, ornate floor mirror. She reached into her pocket, drew out a dust cloth and began to rub the caked-on dust off the mirror’s surface. She smiled with pleasure as the image being reflected became clearer and more beautiful. It was not the barren garret room which she saw being reflected. It was a room she had never seen before but which she joyously recognized as her own.
When we neglect our homes, they become dusty, dirty and untidy. Likewise, when we stop striving for truth, goodness and authenticity, we lose our inner beauty by being less conscientious. If we were to wipe clean all our callousness, our selfishness, our fiery tempers and all else we are striving to correct within ourselves, we begin to reflect beauty. However, if live our lives emanating others, our falseness is often screamingly obvious. On top of that, we are not very happy. We don’t have any reassurance that we are liked for who we are and we don’t feel comfortable in our own skins. This can also be true when we decorate our homes to please others or to look like what we see in magazines. We may have a beautifully decorated home but we don’t feel comfortable in it. It may not even feel like home at all.
You may be thinking, ‘I see the point in self-development and living authentically but what does it matter what your home looks like? Isn’t that just superficial?’ There are several reasons why I think it’s important that your home reflects who you really are. We need a sanctuary to retreat to after a hard day. We need to be able to come home to a place that envelops us in warmth and understanding, a place where we feel accepted. The funny thing is, you probably knew this when you were a teenager. You couldn’t decorate the house you grew up in, but you probably had a room or part of a room to yourself where you hung posters, strewn lights, tossed a few cushions. You probably found yourself saying, “That’s so me!” when you found just the right poster in a magazine or the right words in a song lyric. Your room was your sanctuary where you could be you.
Sometimes, we forget about our authenticity when we dress to impress or decorate our homes in the style of the latest trends or perhaps we just decide it really isn’t important. Which brings me to something which I think is even more important that can be accomplished if we really work at it. I think if we are creative enough, we can decorate our homes to not only be who we are but who we want or are striving to be. This is after all a reflection of our true selves not yet realized. What makes this exciting is that our rooms will then be made to continuously serve as a reminder of what we are hoping to achieve and help us maintain our focus on our goals for us.
For the next few posts in this series, we will be discovering (or re-discovering) ourselves, learning some basic interior design knowledge and figuring out how to design our rooms to reflect who we are.