Foundations of freedom – my sanctuary


ID-100241522In the process of revisiting my needs, with the aim of moving from my vulnerable fragile childlike ‘I need to be comforted’ mindset, to the stronger adult ‘I need to be doing and giving’ mindset, I became distracted with my revival identity and a vision for my future. Miraculously my pain disappeared and I instantly had more energy.

Not knowing how long the energy would last, I spent a few weekends doing some tidying projects that had mounted up including resurrecting my old home-office. This room had previously been used for our business management when I was at home with the children, but over the last two years had become a grotesque junk room.

I decided this room would make a new life for me.

When I married, I lost myself in my husband and my family. That was not something that (in marriage) I would have resented as the benefits of my marriage out-weighed losing myself. However, when my marriage collapsed I felt I had nothing left because, in losing my marriage, I also felt I had lost me. When my ex-husband left me I began to slowly revel in the freedom of doing things my way. After a time, I realized I was doing our things my way and still not doing my things. For example, even though initially it was great to watch what I wanted on TV, and attend or hold parties only when I wanted to, I soon discovered that I actually did not like watching TV at all and, likewise, I disliked loud parties immensely, preferring small casual gatherings. So it also went for the previous frenetic fast-paced activities for leisure and experiential pastimes. These were not my preference. My preference is for calm relaxation. Now I could live like that all the time, the way I want to.

Back to my room-

Over the past two years I have written about creating security and stability through routine revolving around my home; basking in the glory of it being a peaceful sanctuary of comfort. Yet here was this room that was a mess, neither peaceful or comforting. I got to work.

I cleared out the mess of accumulated business and divorce files and records, moving them elsewhere. I archived or burned mountains of papers. Then I rearranged the space. I upgraded my computer and bought a good quality scanner to begin copying the family photos. I halved the number of books. When I had finished last weekend, I sat down at my desk. I had a view outside to the tree in the court-yard; my favorite photos are displayed nearby; a whiteboard and favorite books are within easy reach; there are empty drawers, empty shelves, a clean and tidy desk, good lighting, time to myself, peace and quiet.

Then I suddenly realized. This is something that I have wanted my entire life.

As I looked around my new room, it finally sunk in that I now had no-one else I needed to think about ahead of myself. I could choose to do exactly as I wanted to do. This room would have a greater purpose than simply a place for quiet reflection. It would become a greater provider than mere comfort. This is where I would begin to move up the levels of my needs from a ‘comfort’ level to a ‘doing’ level; albeit doing quiet solitary activities. This will become a new haven for me – a writing and project room. This quiet solitary space will allow my creative abilities to flourish. That part of me that has been locked away for 40 years will now make herself known.

An incredible feeling of warmth and excitement arose within me.

And I realized that I was in seventh heaven right here on earth.


Image courtesy:[panuruangjan]





31 thoughts on “Foundations of freedom – my sanctuary

  1. Yes, I can relate to what you are saying here. I have my own office at home but it is much more than that. I have my books, my studies, my family history, my craft basket (waiting for the day I feel creative) … I also have my ironing board and ironing in here too! It is MY space and I hope you enjoy YOURS!

  2. I delight more in your feelings of joy than the introduction to your new space (and I celebrate that with you too!). Your haven, your room…your safe place for anything you want it to be. That is truly wonderful.

  3. That was how I felt last year when I cleared out the big room in the basement and turned it into my studio Elizabeth — such comfort, joy and peace — and solitary space. Just perfect!

    So glad you have created this space, just for you. Enjoy!

  4. How wonderful Elizabeth! May that room be the beginning of many great things that you will accomplish. I feel your excitement in this post and I am excited for and with you!
    Diana xo

  5. Oh, what a Joy!

    Of course I can’t know, but it feels to me like you’ve crossed over into a new place; and this warm feeling of excitement will be a frequent companion in your next months and years. It’s sounds like a shift in perception–the kind of thing that we can never force, it just happens when we’re ready for it.

    I’m happy for you! And happy because your happiness is infectious. What a wonderful story!

    • The feeling was brief (a few hours) but the fact that it was there at all was a huge turning point as I had not felt that feeling for a very long time. Thanks for feeling happy for me. That means a lot.

      • Based on my own experience, once that feeling returns for the first time in a long while, it continues to occasionally sneak in an surprise us — then more and more frequently.

        I want to let you know — I had a long introspective and evaluating talk last night about priorities and obligations, and I’m dropping my blogging priority quite far down the list while I attend, for the next year or longer, to some deep writing. I’ll only be posting once or twice per month, and not doing much reading of blogs.

        There are a few people, however, (5 or so), whose blogs I will make a special note to check in on and follow because I feel a “kindred spirit” kind of fellowship with them, and blogging has been our primary means of communication. You’re one of those people. So if you don’t hear from me as often as usual, it’s not because I’m not thinking of you — I will be. And we’ll keep in touch.

  6. Yes to the discoveries of my preferences and pieces of myself I didn’t even realize were lost. And the liberation! I drank coffee every morning for years; it took almost a year post-separation for me to realize I don’t *like* coffee. I drank it because it was my ex-husband’s habit. And I hadn’t even realized until long after he was gone. It was great fun trying new things to drink in the morning and finding what I really enjoyed.

    • Ah-ha, you too? For me, it was really weird when I turned around and wondered why I had been doing those little things all that time – even after he had gone. Yet it was empowering to know that I could change those little things, in fact I could change everything. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Thanks. It started out an oppressing task having to deal with the mess, and gradually the concept of changing the room into something for me grew and grew. It was empowering. and yes, I am rejoicing

  7. Oh, Elizabeth, I am thrilled for you! Is there anything better in this life than feeling you have discovered what you were meant to do? Since I wrote my novel and received positive feedback from a couple of readers, my confidence has soared. I can’t wait to dig into the sequel that is percolating. I can see this happening for you too.
    Bravo!!! 🙂

    • Yes, there is a deep calling beginning to make its presence known.
      I am so glad that you have received positive feedback from your novel. I did not know that you had actually published. I had read where you were looking for a publisher. What is it called? Where is it available?

      • No It isn’t published yet, but a couple of people I know read it and loved it. I’m trying to get it traditionally published before I think about self-publishing. It seems writing it was the easier part of the journey!

  8. This sounds wonderful and heavenly, in so many ways! I am happy that you got rid of some things, books are not always needed since we can look up things on the internet. I love my small choices of books, my favorite items being secured and kept in special locations. I love that you scanned your photos to ensure safe keeping and the space you have made is ready for many calm, serene moments. Glad you are completely happy, realizing this is what is yours, no one else’s reflection of ‘what is right’ or ‘what is wrong.’ Take care and enjoy! Hugs, Robin

    • I LOVE my little room that is all my own. No sounds and distractions. Complete solitude. And yet my books and my writing is keeping me connected.
      Thanks for your comment. I value your friendship.

  9. Pingback: When home no longer feels like home | Spring into Summer

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