Belonging

I stood in my parent’s garage with tears streaming down my face. I was drenched in sweat and the ache of loss that had finally bubbled to the surface after two long years away from home and since my grandmother had died. I was surrounded by an armada of boxes with my grandmother’s belongings held in each one. I unfolded my grandmother’s life and her story as I opened each box. We’re often told that objects carry no meaning, that they have no agency. I beg to differ. Belongings are a reminder of the gifts we are given, they habitually reorient us to each other. An object held, however grand or humble, reminds us of our connection to one another and diminishes the power of time and space, bringing us gratefully back to each other with a more focused lens. As someone who has decorated and organized homes on both sides of the Atlantic I know this truth to be universal, we seek beauty and connection in the humblest shack or the grandest house. We long to tell our stories. We long to connect with each other and to offer up our whole selves to those we love. Our belongings play a key role in connecting us to one another and telling our story, a story that transcends distance, space and time. The importance of creating a home that gives a sense of belonging cannot be overstated. We are hard wired with the longing to belong.  The objects in your home should work for you, they should weave together your story and give a sense of oneself. Belongings are there to help you and those you love belong, that’s why they are called belongings. Ironically since 1800 the use of the word ‘belonging’ has been in steep decline. Guess which word has had a steep ascent since 1800, ‘belongings’. Belonging comes before belongings in the dictionary for a reason. Objects in our homes are there to serve the purpose of helping us feel a sense of connection to ourselves and those we love. When our loves are out of order belongings take the place of belonging. We are generation swimming in a sea of belongings, yet desperate to connect and to belong.  Focusing our lens on belonging instead of our belongings dramatically changes how we see the objects in our homes, ourselves and those we love. Happy Wednesday from our home to yours. 

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