It’s there in the beginning – Adam and Eve left the Garden. Noah left. Abraham left. Jacob. Joseph. David. Daniel. Jonah. Joseph and Mary. Jesus. They all left.

There is no story without leaving home.

It means grieving. Even good change includes loss that needs to be grieved. Things will never be quite the same again, and it’s important to acknowledge that.

Love isn’t strong because it doesn’t change. Love is strong because it bears change, even embraces it.

Grief is a funny thing. It means both letting go and holding close. Pausing to sit, or getting a move on. Anger and peace. Hope and release.

Whatever it looks like, grief is part of stepping over the threshold to leave. Or realizing that’s what we already did without knowing it.

Leaving home also means a journey. An adventure. The unknown.

It’s risk and opportunity interwoven – you can’t get one without the other. Which is why sometimes people choose not to go, to live with the smaller story. They are afraid of the risks, and the opportunities don’t feel worth it.

But we’ll never have a capacity for love and joy greater than our capacity to risk pain and loss.

You can’t get one without the other.

The one that would save – protect – their life? They will lose it.

But in accepting the risk and the loss, we can also find life we never imagined. That’s the opportunity – to grow beyond home. To meet people, encounter ideas, face challenges we never would have known at home. And in discovering the world beyond, we will also discover ourselves, finding healing and strength and ability in ourselves we never recognized or needed at home.

There’s no story without leaving home.

It can look like so many things, from moving out to changing paradigms. The thing is, it’s never really done. We know what it looks like for teenagers and young adults to begin to find their own way and discover who they are apart from their family. But so many of us carry home with us without even realizing, like a turtle shell we just assume is part of our very being.

Assumptions we learned from family and community when we were young just look like reality to us, and that shell of home feels like safety and security. But there are places it keeps us from going, life it keeps us from living.

There is no story without leaving home.

And it’s the journey of a lifetime.

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