A book by Eliza Roberts.
It means our drives take us back to a place that has features very much like our original home, even if we hated it there.
* I’m going to excerpt the book here,
plus the HEAL (Home Environment Adjective List)
As a child, do you remember the feeling of being lulled to sleep (asleep) in the back seat of a car? The lights as they rhythmically pass by? Being carried inside in your parent’s arms and put into your bed in that half-sleep state? This feeling applies to those of us who have safe homes and those who have anything but. During childhood, we are capable of powerful hope that tomorrow will turn a home at war into a haven of peace. In any case, the safety we feel - false or real - is strongly associated with home.
Home is a strong label.
We know that reading labels is the only way to determine if the ingredients are beneficial to our health. There are always numerous attempts to eliminate damaging items from our “diet”, but these numbers tend to keep up with the number of times we go back for more. It is important for us to break down the ingredients that went into our original home, before we drive back there, usually with our own children in tow.
If you list the elements present in your original home environment, and your natural internal environment, and you compare them to the environment in which you find yourself today, I would suspect you might find very few differences. Despite how much you may consciously desire change, drive has far more impact on good intentions than those intentions have on our drives. A baby’s drives are a route to its means of survival. An adult’s drives insure the survival of the most infantile, often unusable aspects of our selves.
We give prison terms to violent criminals, thinking the fear of imprisonment will keep them from repeating their crimes. Most people who commit such crimes grew up in prison. Their homes were prisons. They were cold, impersonal, oppressive, frightening, punitive, deprivation based, structured unfairly in terms of power, tough, hopeless, filled with “bad examples”. In most cases, a prisoner’s drive home has taken him right back to what feels the most safe, as much as he might imagine that he desires to be anywhere else in the world. If we are sustained from our birth into our childhood by an external life of punishment and deprivation, and an internal life of chemistry causing violent outbursts, we never really wean ourselves from these elements. Prison gives an abused child, who’s become a criminal adult, a means of changing the form while leaving the content intact.
The question is, do we all have to live with who we are. Is it worth working to effect personal change? We are fooled into thinking that change is easy because we live in a world of changing tires and changing diapers and changing channels.
The book suggests you do a Home Environment Adjective List (HEAL). List the elements that describe the climate of your earliest life: Humor, Terror, Drug Abuse, Embarrassment, Poverty, Listening, Ignoring, Depression, Broken Promises, Hatred, Excessive Religion, Illness. Was there fear of hunger, fear of excellence, fear of failure, fear of losing control? What were the moods of the people who were supposed to keep you safe? Often, home is where the anger is. Go on to make a list of elements in your environment today. Wherever there is an unwanted match in any adjective from the two lists, you literally take a “work day”, and you do the changing work in fifteen-minute increments. You look at what you might find yourself doing for the next fifteen
and if that “plan” includes the unwanted element, you realize
it’s not a choice-based plan, but a case of autopilot. Then
you change it. Spend fifteen minutes absent of any
unwanted element from the matching list. As you work,
extend the periods from fifteen minutes gradually to whole
days, weeks and longer. It’s like
you’ve begun a drive to a new home, one of your