You may have no idea you’ve produced an extensive memoir, but you have. In fact, you’re living in it. According to psychologists who analyze the relationship between our homes and our psyches, we often—consciously or not—choose and arrange out living spaces to reflect our life histories. a home is an “environmental autobiography.”
When visitors walk into your home, what story do they “read”? Maybe you’ve put up wallpaper reminiscent of the pattern in your happy childhood home. Or perhaps the place speaks to a history of pressure and conformity, with stark decor and too little comfort, or a chaotic struggle for survival that shows up in the form of clutter and mismatch. Once you know that it all tells a tale, you can modify your living space to liberate or celebrate various aspects of your life.
Every autobiography requires its author to select and present what’s most inspiring about his or her own life. The same goes for the “environmental autobiography” of your home. When you let go of old business and celebrate the best in all you’ve lived—and have yet to live—you allow yourself and others to know you. And that goes a long way toward living well. Food for thought? In my next article I will explore some of the things we do in our home and what the reflect about us.