The Emotional Energy of Your Space: Empty Nests, Divorced Bedrooms, and Baby’s Rooms

Photo by Lorna Tedder, copyright 2011.

Of course, people re-arrange rooms when a relationship breaks up or a child leaves home…or a relationship solidifies into shared space or a new addition is welcomed into the family!  Spaces fill up with energy, usually the energy of the person who occupied it or with the energy of events that occurred there.

I have spent the last 7 years that I’ve been divorced reclaiming the sacred space of my home, painting the walls in bright colors, decorating in exclusively my style, making my home a complete reflection of me.  There is none of the energy left here that was here when I was married to him, and honestly, very few memories.  It’s like those memories took place in a different home…and it was a very different home then.   As happens with many newly-separated women, the first change I made in the house was to redecorate my own bedroom, to change it into something very light and cozy and romantic and as different as possible from what it had been for the previous ten years.  It was several months later, after admiring my new bedroom, that I read that this is so terribly common (drat!  I’m common!) because bedrooms are usually where the most emotional attachments are found and what needs to be paved over with something less jagged.

As I write this, I am dealing with an empty nest.  My youngest has left home, and it’s strange not to have her energy in this space.  But I now understand the connection between energy and space in a very different way.  The best coping tool for me in my newly empty house has been to work on clearing out her room and starting to redecorate it.  It’s truly that I am moving energy around, clearing out what’s stagnant and scattering my daughter’s buoyant energy throughout the entire house as I reclaim the space she left behind. I understand now why so many moms recreate their grown children’s rooms and why there’s either an urgency to remake the rooms or to encase them in carbonite as a shrine to their children’s dependence on them in their mommy years.

It took over two years to reclaim her older sister’s room.  For a long time, I wasn’t sure what I’d turn it into–a sewing room, a dungeon for 25-year-old boys, a reading room, a huge closet, whatever. I had a vision of the type of room it would be if I went more traditional (traditional in use, not colors) for a couple of years but it still took a while. Last fall, I finally made the changes and spent my painting/menial labor days listening to all three books of the HUNGER GAMES series.  I can still walk into the room now and immediately feel the energy of my emotions from listening to THE HUNGER GAMES.  For me, the room is a mix of my own creative and emotional energy of the re-decorating phase as well as an occasional old memory, such as sitting at the sewing machine in there when Shannon was 7 and napping after her tonsillectomy while I stayed home with her.  It still carries Shannon’s energy–as a child, a teen, and now as a houseguest when she’s home.  It also has the energy of various visitors who’ve stayed there since it became my guest room.

I’ve definitely put my energy into the house, as well as the energy of what was going on in my life at the time.  I still connect my refurbished garage with the audiobook of that weekend, THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE.  My dining room sometimes carries a sad energy for me.  My boyfriend of that era had just left town, and I was listening to the second Twilight novel, NEW MOON, where Bella is feeling lost without her creepy guy. That was just tooooo close to home.

But shifting the home energies around isn’t always about sadness or loss.  I’m enjoying watching several friends prepare for their new babies, mostly first babies.  It reminds me of the beginning of this cycle when I was creating my first “Baby’s Room.”  There was all the excitement of preparing a new space full of emotion and promise.  Dreams had not yet been lived in those rooms, but they were being prepared for the dream, for the manifestation of a wonderful and happy future.

That’s how I look now at the shift of energies in my home.  They’re not about the loss of how things once were but about the promise of how they will be, the possibilities of someone new coming into my home and building emotional castles with me.