Emotional Real Estate (and other unapologetically mixed housing metaphors)


Love knows, love grows, bigger than before. In your heart, there’s always more.

{That's not Hafiz.  Those are words our 7-year old daughter sings with great gusto (from a Barbie movie, natch).}

Yes indeed. I believe in the heart’s infinite capacity for love.

I also believe in efficiency.

Capacity vs Room.

When clients present in session with uphill battles they’re facing, or difficult relationships they’re “managing” (ugh…do you HEAR the weight of that?), I’ll often ask them to consider the emotional real estate that’s being taken up with the current situation, as it is. You have only so much bandwidth to work within. How much space do you want this situation, this person, that conversation, that decision, this relationship to take up? Is it worth it?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And ever a good enquiry.

That’s talking about room. Not CAPACITY.

So let’s assume your heart is a home. ‘Cause, it kinda is. It houses your emotions and is your sanctuary when you remember to rest there. You do your best to keep it well-tended. It’s neat and tidy and yours. You are a gracious host and so you invite people in. After the soiree has ended, some guests feel entitled to stay in this loving place for longer. You, of course agree. It would be unkind otherwise.

At first, it’s most convivial. You enjoy the devotional acts of leaving mints on the pillow and making your guests breakfast. Sure, they can pick the movie tonight and don’t worry about using all the hot water. Over time, you start to feel a subtle, but mounting resentment to the space they’re taking up. You can’t walk into your living room without tripping over their bags. Is that MORE dirty laundry for you to do? Don’t they EVER wipe the counters down after they shave? And about that toilet seat…

Then you stop yourself for being unkind. You take a step back and think: no, it’s not the last beer that they drank or the fact that they tear out articles from your magazines. No…the problem is you. It’s your house. If it were BIGGER, then you’d be a more gracious host.

Maybe it’s time to put an addition out on the back of the house. Then there would be TONS of space for visitors and their bags.

Sure, it will cost a ton (money, resources, effort), but then there will be room enough for all? Right?

Hmm.

You have only so much room in your heart. Fact. AND, heart’s capacity knows no bounds. But your love can.

So by all means, throw open the doors. And them all in. Just be mindful of who gets to STAY.

Allow to stay those who give as freely as they receive.

  • Those who value your radiance; not simply your PVR.
  • Those who come bearing nourishing greens + sumptuous broths to feed your soul; not three beers from a 6-pack.
  • Those who make you want to laugh with the world; not at it.
  • Those who cherish your quirks; not deride you for them.
  • Those who see you for the infinite light that you are; not just your generosity and comfy couch.
  • Those who are worthy. Of the space that you are sharing.

Before you know it, your house will have filled well beyond the imagined constraints of any architects’ drawing. There, in every room will be more love, joy and fulfillment than you thought possible. An effortless expansion with not a bead of sweat.

Exactly what your heart’s been yearning for, all along.

8 Comments