Be the best version of yourself.... at home.

And I feel your warmth,
and it feels like home.
-Depeche Mode; Here is the House

Home is were you can put your guard down and be yourself. But at times that can mean the people who care the most for you get the tired, frustrated, over-worked, and over stressed version of you. The outside world usually gets the polite, smiling, I appear to have it all together version of you.

At home I can show my flaws because the love feels unconditional.
 The ones that love us have seen us at our worst and they remain by our side. I can ignore a phone call from my parents because I know they will always try and call again. I can look at my Ipad when my spouse talks because he will be there to repeat himself if needed. I can turn on a cartoon for my kids because I can play with them anytime I am home.

But what if we put the ones that care the most about us first? What if we were just a little more polite and a little more present in our daily living with our family? What if we listened when our loved ones talked the way we listen to our boss? What if we didn't rush to look at our phone the second a notification went off, but instead finished the activity with our children or spouse first. I think it would improve all areas of our lives. Many times the version of ourselves our loved ones are left with is the side we try not to let the rest of the world have to see. 

Since we have lived with and loved our family for so long it may seem that we know what they are thinking, doing, or feeling. But this isn't true. We are the ones that know our loved ones better than anyone else, but everyday is different and everyday is filled with new thoughts. We have never walked a mile in any ones shoes but our own. We don't know what small interactions have occurred to change their day. We may not even recognize the small things they do at home. We don't know what dark thoughts or behaviors they are still trying to manage. We can only try to give them a soft place to come home to. We can try to be the one that listens, shows empathy and appreciates who they are and what they do.

 I have been lucky enough to always live in a home filled with love and so many positive memories. But there are always the days and times that the negativity and weight of the world brings out the angry and unkind version of each of us. I write this because I can be guilty of it myself; and I don't think I am the only one. I see it occur in my own family and have seen it happen to others. Day to day living can be boring, and difficult, but your family deserves more than the leftovers at the end of the day. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to speak your mind, be yourself and still feel acceptance and love. While I'm with family I am going to try and make the words I speak a little kinder, my ears more open, and my heart more present; I hope you join me. 

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