The title of this blog seems silly in a way, doesn't it? I mean, how many of us need to be instructed about loving two of the things that may mean the most to us? But as with most things in our lives, I feel there is always something deeper to learn about most everything. So I am offering up a little perspective.
Both Need Attention - To show our love to our home, we need to give it attention. We need to keep up with the maintenance it needs, keep it clean and tidy and know that it doesn't have to be perfect for our love. We need to learn to love our homes in spite of it's flaws--not for our home's mental health, of course, but for ours. If we are content with our homes, we will be more content in general. To make sure our family knows we love them, we need to pay attention to them. When a young child is born, it needs our constant attention to know he/she is loved. As a child gets older and more independent, he/she still needs to hear that you love them with your words and your actions. Not just by hugs, but by listening, caring for the things they need and care about and keeping up with what is going on in their lives. With our partners, we need to give them attention as well and show our love for them by listening and being there for them in times of stress as well as good times. Sometimes our lives get so busy we don't really notice if someone is having a rough day--we just get irritated if they are grouchy. It's important to stop and take the time. With our extended families, parents, aunts, uncles, siblings--all of the same applies. Sometimes a loved one needs a note, card or phone call to see how they are! Maybe an elderly relative just needs a visit. Giving someone attention is one of the greatest gifts we can give to show our love for them.
Both Need Hopes & Dreams - For our homes, it's important to keep hopes and dreams alive in it. If you lose that, you find you are miserable in your home. The more you dream about different ways to continue for it to be your "safe place" the more you will continue to love the potential there may be. When we first bought our current home, it was a mess. There were holes in the walls, damaged flooring, doors missing and even some light fixtures ripped out. I could see the potential in it from the beginning and I specifically remember thinking one day "she just needs to be loved again". As we began the process of "bringing her back to life" the ideas and dreams came way faster than the money and the time did! But, I know I have time to continue to show "her" my love! With our families, they need our support for their hopes and dreams as well! As parents, it's easy to have our own hopes and dreams for our kids, but, sometimes it may be a challenge to support THEIR hopes and dreams for their lives! We worry about their future and want the most for them, and sometimes we see a scary path they may be headed down. We all would love for our kids to learn from OUR mistakes, but they learn from their own. Sometimes you need to back their hopes and dreams to the best of your ability and let them make those mistakes. When our parents are doing something we never expected, it can be hard to support their hopes and dreams as well. When mom and dad sell the family home unexpectedly so they can travel the world, or when maybe your mom or dad takes a job that will move the family far away--no matter what age we are or our family is, we need to show them that we support their hopes and dreams and let them know we will do our best to respect their lives and choices.
Both Need Unconditional Love - For our home, I have learned after many unhappy moves (and quite a few happy ones as well) that it needs our unconditional love. It's our home--warts and all. If you truly love it, when the furnace breaks down, or the roof needs repaired, you won't be ready to pack your bags and head out the door. No home will go on forever without needing something--even if it is brand new. There is nothing like that feeling of being "settled" and it only comes when you learn to be content where you are--unconditionally. It's a choice. Even if you are living in an apartment during grad school, it's your home for that time being and if you love it unconditionally, you will be content until it's time to move on. Who needs the stress of hating your abode while trying to study anyway? We all need a safe, comfy place to just chill. Our families need that from us as well. They need for us to be their "safe place" no matter what. Whether you agree on everything, whether you both like broccoli or not, whether you both have different views on just about everything in this life (I believe I am talking to a few siblings out there who need to have each other's backs regardless) your family needs to know they have that from you. Period. There is nothing so hurtful and scary as when your family turns their back on you or chooses to let you know continually you have made bad choices, or even worse, when your family chooses to ignore who you are completely, because they can't accept WHO you are. Those are the kinds of hurts that will follow a person through their entire lives, unless they are fortunate enough to find that unconditional love in another family. Even then, scars may heal, but they never fully disappear.
I know comparing love for a home and for your family seems a little "out there", but, where we live and our family are the two things that really are our protection in this world. Both physically, spiritually and emotionally. We all need to feel safe and loved and cared for. I don't know about you, but, I believe if we are focused on giving that to OTHERS, we will be hard pressed to find it lacking in our own lives.
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush, Associate Broker and Mother of Managing Broker