Welcome Home
Najwa Zebian

Welcome Home - Book Summary

A Guide to Building a Home for Your Soul

Duration: 22:21
Release Date: July 9, 2024
Book Author: Najwa Zebian
Categories: Personal Development, Motivation & Inspiration, Mindfulness & Happiness
Duration: 22:21
Release Date: July 9, 2024
Book Author: Najwa Zebian
Categories: Personal Development, Motivation & Inspiration, Mindfulness & Happiness

In this episode of 20 Minute Books, we explore "Welcome Home" by Najwa Zebian, a Lebanese author, poet, and educator known for her poignant writing on displacement, belonging, and identity. Published in 2021, this book employs the compelling metaphor of a house to craft a personalized blueprint for cultivating self-worth, belonging, and happiness.

In "Welcome Home," Zebian intertwines personal stories with poetry and practical advice, offering readers the tools to construct a sanctuary within themselves—a place of peace and self-acceptance. This book is a heartfelt guide for anyone on a path to healing and self-discovery, particularly young adults, individuals feeling lost or directionless, and those seeking to foster emotional strength and resilience in their lives.

Whether you are stepping into the world of self-discovery or simply wish to deepen your relationship with yourself, "Welcome Home" serves as an enriching companion, encouraging you to build your inner home and embrace your true self. Join us as we delve into the key concepts and transformative insights of this inspiring work.

Find your inner sanctuary: Creating a home within yourself for lasting happiness and self-worth.

Do you ever feel like something's missing, even when everything seems perfectly in place? Maybe you're surrounded by people yet feel utterly alone, or you're achieving your goals but still feeling unfulfilled. The reality is that peace doesn’t come from external achievements or relationships—true peace stems from being at home with yourself.

Instead of relying solely on others for your happiness and sense of worth—effectively moving into their emotional space—we can learn to build a much more sustainable home within ourselves. Imagine constructing a sanctuary inside you, one room at a time, each serving a distinct purpose and fostering a deep sense of self-love and acceptance.

Now, envision yourself standing before the entrance of a house, your personal inner dwelling. Take a deep breath—inhale comfort, exhale fear—and step inside. There's no need to hesitate; you belong here. This is a home built not from bricks and mortar but from self-understanding, acceptance, and love.

In this chapter, you'll embark on a transformative journey. You'll learn how to first notice and appreciate the love and validation that already surround you, without dependency. Next, you'll gain the tools to uncouple your pain from the sources that inflicted it, freeing yourself from past hurts. Lastly, you will explore the nuanced distinction between emotions and feelings, learning to navigate these internal signals without being overwhelmed by them.

By investing time in understanding and fortifying each room within this internal home, you'll create a refuge that nurtures your spirit, supports your growth, and withstands the challenges that life distributes. Through this inward construction, you find not just a house but a home, where your truest self can flourish. Step through that door—your soul’s sanctuary awaits.

Learning to love yourself before seeking love from others.

Imagine a person dear to you—perhaps a friend, partner, or relative—approaching you with a burden of distress. Visualize them grappling with a severe headache, workplace stress, or the pains of a recent breakup. Naturally, your instinct is to comfort them. You’d likely offer a remedy for their headache, lend a listening ear about their challenging day, or reassure them that better days lie ahead. We invariably extend our compassion and empathy to those we cherish.

Now, flip the scenario. It's you wearing the cloak of distress. Would you shower yourself with the same kindness and patience you readily offer others? If your heart hesitates with a 'no,' it's time to focus on fortifying the first room within your internal home—self-love.

Self-love isn’t about ego. It’s about treating yourself with the same gentle, understanding care you would extend to a loved one. It's about recognizing that love isn't just an external exchange but a fundamental internal strength. Loving yourself doesn't make you less capable of loving others; rather, it replenishes your emotional reservoirs, enabling you to give more generously.

Consider self-love as an essential practice of acknowledging your inherent worth. This might involve accepting quiet compliments from the world, whether it's a smile from a stranger or a supportive text from a friend. These instances of affection, no matter how small, are affirmations of your value.

Here’s a simple yet profound practice to deepen your self-love: Start each day by affirming, “Today, I will recognize signs that affirm my worthiness of love.” Pay attention to these moments—collect them like cherished collectibles. They are not just fleeting interactions but validations of your deservingness of love and respect.

At the day's end, reflect on these interactions not as external validations but as evidence of the love that already resides within and around you. You are not drawing self-worth from these moments; instead, you are allowing yourself the openness to perceive and accept love as it is presented. This practice isn’t just about seeking external validation; it's a way to mirror the kindness you would typically reserve for others back onto yourself.

Once you’ve nurtured this foundation of self-love, you are better equipped to explore further rooms in your inner sanctuary, like the room of Forgiveness, where you can continue to heal and grow.

Unlock the healing power of forgiveness within yourself.

Pain is an unfortunate but universal aspect of being human. Whether it stems from betrayal, personal mistakes, or misunderstanding, pain can cast a long shadow across our lives. One critical room in your inner home that provides essential relief and liberation is dedicated to the art of forgiveness.

Understanding forgiveness is pivotal—it’s about freeing yourself, not necessary about absolving others. You may never receive an apology or fully comprehend why something happened, but the truth is, your hurt can’t heal you; only your response to it can.

Acknowledging that you need to forgive is a courageous first step. It’s not about denying or concealing pain but rather transforming how you interact with it. The room of forgiveness is not a place to hide your pain; it's a space to release it. Its essence is not about forgetting but letting go, allowing you to move beyond your past self and the wounds you've carried.

It's crucial to recognize that forgiveness does not mean reverting to who you were before you were hurt. Rather, it's about evolving from that point. Consider it an opportunity to pick up the pieces—to explore them, understand them, and integrate them into the new version of yourself.

As long as resentment ties you down, true movement and progression remain elusive. Imagine the freedom of cutting the strings that tether you to old grievances, enabling you to step forward unencumbered.

A practical tool to aid this process is the use of "I" statements, a method originated in the 1960s for conflict resolution. These statements help refocus the narrative from the actions of others to your own feelings and experiences, facilitating a healthier, more personal form of closure.

For instance, if dealing with betrayal, instead of dwelling on "They lied to me," reframe it as, "I feel hurt because their actions made me feel undervalued.” This shift puts the emphasis on your feelings and healing journey, effectively making forgiveness an act of personal empowerment.

When constructing your "I" statements, start with identifying your emotion, link it to the specific action, and express why it impacted you. This formula helps detach your emotional well-being from the control of others, thus putting the power back in your hands.

Consider keeping these statements handy in your room of forgiveness. Whenever you find it challenging to move past pain or let go of old wounds, revisit this room. Here, find the tools and the tranquillité necessary to embark on the healing path, helping to nurture your growth and emotional freedom.

Master the art of selective engagement in your personal space.

The sanctuary you're cultivating within yourself is fundamentally a safe space, a haven where you can thrive in your most authentic form. Yet, this doesn't imply isolation. Much like any physical home, your internal abode should have a room dedicated to others—this is the room of Compassion.

Picture organizing a dinner party at your home. You wouldn't indiscriminately invite everyone you know; instead, you'd select guests who add value and harmony to your gathering. The same selective principle applies to those you allow into your heart.

The first guest, often overlooked, is yourself. As the host of this internal celebration, fostering self-compassion is crucial. Remember to serve yourself with the same care and attention you extend to others. If this concept feels challenging, perhaps revisit the lessons in your Self-love room for reinforcement.

Now, consider who else makes the guest list. Caution is key—you would naturally exclude strangers who haven't earned your trust or those who have previously caused you pain. It’s completely within your rights to deny entry to anyone who turns up uninvited or behaves disrespectfully within your space. Remember, there's no obligation to welcome them back.

This metaphorical guest list also pertains to the intangible visitors of opinions and societal pressures, which often find their way into our lives through avenues like social media. Consider unfollowing sources that perpetuate negativity or unrealistic standards to maintain the sanctity of your space.

The next step involves defining who you do wish to welcome. This is largely about establishing and upholding boundaries. Recognize that it's not about expecting others to change to suit your boundaries but rather about you asserting what is acceptable in your life.

Setting these boundaries starts with a deep understanding of yourself. What values are non-negotiable for you? Utilize insights from the Self-love and Forgiveness rooms to craft "I" statements that clarify these boundaries. These might vary among different relationships—what you tolerate from family might differ from what you accept from friends or colleagues.

A boundary might sound like, "I choose not to engage in discussions that make me uncomfortable," or "I do not accept disrespect, regardless of the situation."

Once these boundaries are defined, enforce them consistently. Think of them as the walls and fences of your home; they aren’t adjustable based on others' actions or opinions.

With your Compassion room now equipped, it functions as a selective gateway, allowing you to control who and what influences your internal state. Next, it's time to advance to the Clarity room, where the focus shifts back to refining your inner vision and purpose.

Undertake a journey of profound self-discovery and introspection.

Who exactly are you? This question might conjure a collage of various elements: experiences, professions, physical characteristics, familial ties, and the cultural or religious frameworks that have shaped your identity. But amid this complexity, do you have a genuine understanding of your core self?

Welcome to the Clarity room, a space adorned with mirrors on every surface, each offering a different reflection, a different angle. This is the sanctum for profound introspection, where you strip back the layers imposed by societal expectations and personal biases to uncover your most authentic self. It's here that you confront not just how others perceive you, but how you perceive yourself.

Facing these mirrors might not always be easy. Sometimes, the reflections are obscured by fog—metaphorical layers of guilt, confusion, or unresolved anger. These disturbances are signals, cues that something within needs attention. Use these emotional indicators as tools to guide your focus, navigating through the mirrors with your intuition as a compass.

Consider a few of these reflective surfaces:

First, the blank canvas mirror: list out all the aspects that currently define your life. Reflect—do these truly represent who you are? If granted the power to redesign your story without constraints, what would change? Identify the barriers keeping you from embodying the life you desire.

Next, the purpose mirror: scrutinize your actions. Do they align with your deeper life goals? If discrepancies exist, what adjustments are necessary to reconcile your actions with your aspirations?

If your life’s objectives seem nebulous, turn to the intention mirror. Query the motives behind your actions. Why are you striving for that promotion, or why are you active on social media? Clarity of intention, regardless of what it is, is crucial.

The escape mirror is particularly revealing if you find yourself shirking certain thoughts or feelings. Ask yourself, “What am I avoiding?” Identifying this can help you confront and release these suppressed emotions from your internal home.

Lastly, explore the real-story mirror. This mirror challenges the narratives you recount about yourself and others. Analyze these stories critically— are they factual, and more importantly, are they beneficial to hold onto? Consider a narrative like, “They don’t value me.” Is this verifiable? Even if it were, is it constructive to believe?

These mirrors, each a unique tool, facilitate tailored reflections depending on your current introspective needs.

Equipped with a deeper understanding of yourself from the Clarity room, you are now prepared to progress to the ultimate space in your internal home: the Surrellender room, where you learn to let go and accept the journey of continuous self-evolution.

Embrace the art of surrender within your internal sanctuary.

As you near the completion of the soulful home you've been meticulously crafting within yourself, there's a profound sense of safety and newfound self-awareness that envelops you. Suddenly, an unexpected sound disturbs this tranquility—a knock on the door. Curious and slightly cautious, you peek through the keyhole only to confront a familiar foe: the negative emotion you've been sidestepping. It's the unresolved pain, the nagging thought you’ve tried to ignore. Though your impulse might be to seek refuge in another room, you know that evasion will only amplify the knocking. Your inner home is not a hiding spot; it’s a space to truly live and experience.

This brings you to a critical area of your internal home—the Surrender room. Here, confrontation with your true emotions is not only inevitable but essential for growth. This room is your sanctuary for acknowledging and understanding the behaviors and patterns underlying your emotional avoidance. Let’s step through its door.

In this space, it's crucial to differentiate between emotions and feelings. Emotions are basic responses, raw and uninterpreted, while feelings arise from the narratives we construct about our emotions. For example, disappointment is a feeling born from the unmet expectation, an anticipated event that never came to fruition. While you are always cognizant of your feelings, emotions can affect you subconsciously.

Consider those times when you've felt anxiety, anger, or sadness without being able to pinpoint the reason—these are instances of unacknowledged emotions demanding recognition.

The strategy is straightforward yet profound: let these emotions in. Sit with them, understand them—have tea with them if it helps. Acknowledging these emotions allows you to explore their roots and, eventually, decide how to process and release them.

Remember, it's not just the negative emotions that demand your attention. Positive emotions also require acknowledgment and understanding. Whatever the emotion, give it its due time in the Surrender room.

Surrendering isn’t about giving up; it’s about accepting realities as they are. Often, we endure adverse situations until they become our distorted norm. The thought of change, despite being a gateway to betterment, seems daunting and fraught with uncertainty. But by embracing surrender, you acknowledge that the path to improvement involves confronting the unfamiliar.

Begin acclimatizing to the unfamiliar by examining what currently feels 'normal.' Write down the thoughts, behaviors, and relationships that define your present state. Next, articulate what you aspire to be, feel, or achieve. Recognize these aspirations not as fearsome unknowns but as exciting new normals waiting to be embraced.

As you continue to hear that persistent knocking at your door, reflect on its significance. How long will you let it resonate before you answer? Perhaps, now is the moment to open the door and greet whatever awaits on the other side, armed with the insights and acceptance cultivated in your Surrender room.

Embrace the journey to your true self

Throughout this exploration, we’ve delved deep into the significance of nurturing a profound connection with your authentic self. To fully engage with this transformative process, find a serene spot, preferably in solitude, and attune yourself to the subtle, often overlooked whispers of your inner voice.

What you might initially perceive could seem foreign, influenced heavily by past interactions, societal labels, or even misconceptions you hold about yourself. The challenge lies in moving beyond these voices—these external narratives that have shaped what you believe to be your identity. Recognize that these are merely echoes; they are not the core of who you truly are.

Your authentic self is the one observing these voices, not the one creating them. It exists independently of the judgments, expectations, and validations from the external world. Understanding this distinction is crucial.

Remember, your self-worth isn’t derived from external validations. The capacity for love, forgiveness, and compassion resides within you—these are not attributes you need to seek from others but qualities you already possess. Embracing this inner abundance is your true power.

By acknowledging and accepting your true self, you create a sanctuary within—a home where you can live in harmony with your essence. Here, in this internal home, you realize that all you need for fulfillment and peace resides within you, waiting to be acknowledged and embraced.

Welcome Home Quotes by Najwa Zebian

Similar Books

12 Rules For Life
The Gap and the Gain
Think and Grow Rich
The Power of Now
The High 5 Habit
The Mountain Is You
Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?