There is a place we long for. It is safe. It is comfortable. It is a place where we can be authentic and drop our defenses. It feels like Home, perhaps a home we never had. We can cry there. We can laugh there. We can rest there.

We long for this place and we often spend a long time searching for this place, and when we find it, we want to stay there forever, maybe for 10,000 years. We want to stay there and live there and rest there forever and this place is our resting place, a resting place for our heart and soul and body and spirt, for our self. Our whole self. We can rest there and feel safe and feel loved.

We often choose a partner because of this feeling we get when we’re with them, a feeling where we can rest and be safe. For many couples, this feeling is the foundation of their relationship. They know that, despite disagreements and arguments, despite getting irritated and irritable with each other, despite the challenges that can come with knowing another so well, that this place, this resting place, is always there for them, just as it is always there for their partner. They feel loved and safe there, and they provide that love and safety for their partner. It is a resting place of peace and comfort which supports the less peaceful goings-on which occur in all couples’ lives, the stresses and worries that life provides.

We can find this resting place in our partner’s heart, and we can also find it elsewhere. In nature. In our beloved pets. In nostalgic places, such as our old family home, or our favorite neighborhood walks. Through a spiritual practice, such as meditation or prayer. With close family and friends.

Maybe you’ve never experienced this feeling before, this feeling of truly being able to rest. I want you to know that there is nothing wrong with you, and that it is not your fault. Many of us have heightened cortisol levels from being on high alert for a long time, which can prevent us from truly settling into safety. This heightened stress can occur for many reasons. It can be from childhood trauma that was never attended to by a caring other. It can be from childhood neglect. Even subtle childhood neglect can have an impact on our nervous system. It can be from systemic forces, such as the impact of religion, or discrimination, or racism, systemic forces which prevent us from being truly seen and held, systemic forces which put us on the high alert of survival. It can even be intergenerational; more and more studies are showing epigenetic inheritance of stress from a parent or grandparent. No matter the reason – we form the belief, the necessary belief, that without hypervigilance we die.

I invite you to check in with yourself right now. Turn inward, and let your attention focus on your breathing. As you breathe in, pull air into your core. As you exhale, feel that space constrict. See if you can tune into the feel of your heartbeat – in your wrists, in your belly, in your temples, in your chest. Inhale and exhale as you focus on your heart beating, as you focus on your core.

Now call into your core a resting place, real or imagined. Feel your way into this place with your entire being. Where have you rested your head and known you were safe? What if you could rest there now? What if your own heart offered you this place of rest?

What if your own heart, your own self, offered you this place of rest? I invite you to welcome your weary being into your own heart. Imagine resting there, being able to rest there, being welcomed and loved just as you are. Rest there and feel your system calm. Feel your system calm and your breathing settle. Put a sign post on this place – a sign post so that you can return there whenever you want to.

Let this experience be a new resting place for your heart.