As human beings, we are all naturally programmed to respond to narratives, and to look for metaphors, symbols, and compelling stories, that can help us to explain and understand our existence and experiences, and give us a sense of the best ways in which to live.
Often, some of our most insightful and widely-beloved tales come in this format, such as Aesop’s fable of the Tortoise and the Hare.
When it comes to understanding and structuring your own life, one of the best metaphors to use might be that of a home. Here are a few ways that a home can be a great metaphor for your life.
- Just like with a home, your life needs care, attention, and discipline, or else it will fall apart
A house, or for that matter, an apartment, isn’t the kind of thing that just appears out of nowhere, and endures indefinitely. It has to be built up, and once built, it has to be continually maintained or else it will be destroyed and swept away by the forces of entropy.
Within a remarkably short time of neglecting your home and its assorted repair and tidying duties, you can find water in crawl space, mould and rot in your wooden beams, and all sorts of other mishaps rearing their ugly heads.
Just as with a home, your own life needs care, attention, and discipline, or else it will fall apart.
- A home has to be a hospitable place that you can relax and appreciate the simple pleasures in. Your life, also, can’t be all work and stress
Would you be happy if your home was just an incredibly Spartan area that kept you out of the elements, but did just about nothing else for you? If it was a bare cement chamber with no windows, for example?
Well, a home like that would be better than having no home at all, but it certainly wouldn’t fulfil many people’s criteria of a “dream home.”
For our homes to really “feel right,” they need to be hospitable places that we can relax in, and in which we can appreciate some of the simple pleasures of life. if your home absolutely lacks these features, you’re likely to quickly become depressed and restless.
Sometimes, we treat our lives as nothing but a gritty series of duties and challenges, and eschew fun hobbies, social events, and leisure activities, for the sake of being more productive in our jobs, among other things.
Your home, and your life alike, need to feature relaxation, comfort, and simple pleasures. Otherwise, you’re bound to burn yourself out and be pretty miserable, pretty quickly.
- Both your home, and your life, require constant commitment and persistence – there’s no rapid once-and-for-all fix
It’s already been mentioned in this article that your home and your life both require work, discipline, and attention, in order to be maintained – but it’s important also realise that those things have to be permanently ongoing.
Sometimes in life, we become totally fixated on certain goals of ours, and convince ourselves that if only we were to achieve those goals, we would have “made it,” and we’d finally be happy and fulfilled.
Of course, just as a home needs constant attention and work, so too does a life need constant and ongoing work. There’s no rapid once-and-for-all fix.
It’s sometimes tempting for us to fall into the trap of believing that there is a point we reach in our lives when we can just “cruise” and “things will take care of themselves.”
Ultimately, though, that point is an illusion. It never comes. If you want your life to be a healthy and fulfilling adventure, you’ve got to remain vigilant, and keep working on it.
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