Founder Story

The concept of The Compassionate Home did not come quickly.

Like most creative endeavors, it was born as a seed that grew into an idea, which required much trial and error before it could become what it is today.

Essentially, this concept evolved from a culmination of life experience, my professional pursuits, and the desire to create something useful that could positively impact the lives of every mother or father who is struggling to find meaning and purpose in their lives while building a happy home and family.

See, I’ve always been a dreamer, an observer—a student of the Human Experience.

The universal questions that haunt us have been on my mind since I was first conscious of my place in this world:

Why am I here? What is my purpose? What am I supposed to do with my life? How do I find happiness? What is happiness? What makes life meaningful?

These questions were woven into the fabric of my childhood as I struggled to heal my mother’s broken soul, wondering why she couldn’t find the reasons she needed to stay alive.

I often felt lost and inadequate—unable to lessen her pain. My self-esteem and self-worth suffered as a consequence, and for years I lived with what doctors and psychologists called severe bi-polar depression and borderline personality disorder.

Conventional medications and counseling didn’t help, however, and I was left to listen to the sound of my soul echoing it’s discontent within my body, my thoughtless choices and actions a visible sign of my confusion.

I wondered if there was something wrong with me.

I wondered if I was broken.

Yet, despite those thoughts, something inside me questioned, “Is it really me? Is this who I really am?” 

“If I had grown up in a different situation, in a different home—one that did not involve emotional or psychological abuse—would I still feel this way? Would I still struggle to find happiness? Am I like this as a result of environment and circumstance?”

And I wondered, “If my mother had gotten the support she needed would she have been cured of her mental illness? Would she at least have suffered less?”

Then, at the young age of seventeen I found myself married, having my first child, and in control of creating my very own home.

Suddenly things weren’t just about me anymore.

This question of happiness and whether or not it was a possibility stared back at me in the form of two beautiful blue infant eyes.

From that moment on my story became the story of my son (and eight years later—the story of my daughter). On some level I knew that whatever pain I carried from my past would haunt my children, too, if I didn’t find a way to heal.

Trying to heal and be a good mother without having had one to model myself after proved to be quite difficult in the beginning. I relied heavily on intuition, instinct, and my powers of observation.

The only thing I knew for sure was that I couldn’t let my children grow up uncertain of my love.

Everyday I promised to let them know how much their lives meant to me.

To have love, to give love, to be loved—that is where happiness begins. But to sustain it—to nurture it and let it grow, I knew required something more…

The intention of love and happiness is not enough. There must be action, for those states of being cannot sustain themselves.

Above all else it requires the belief that you are worthy of love.

It requires the courage and patience to face your vulnerabilities head on.

It requires people in our lives who understand how to accept us for who we are, in all our imperfection, as we learn to know and embrace our authentic selves.

It requires trying, failing, and trying again until we know what we want, what we don’t want, and what we absolutely will not tolerate.

And, ultimately, it requires a place that is capable of supporting us on this transformational journey—a place we call home.

Thus, in its infancy of an idea, The Compassionate Home was born as a small seed of inspiration—a concept concrete enough to hold onto, one that could be manifested into real change.

While raising my young children, I searched everywhere for “the secret” to building this idea of home.

I looked for clues in conventional parenting books, but quickly lost interest.

I spent four years getting a bachelors degree in Interior Architecture & Design, but could never get on board with the ethics of consumerism that seemed to fuel the industry.

I sold my mother’s childhood home after her suicide and bought a refuge of my own for my son and I before remarrying and having my second child.

I watched more people I loved die by their own hand as my cousin, first love, and several friends and acquaintances chose to give up their own searches.

I searched for more clues in memoirs, and books on the humanities, positive psychology, and philosophy while I redesigned our basement to give our young family more room to breathe. I constantly tried to clear the clutter to improve my mental clarity, and even implemented superstitious elements of Fung Shui in an effort to find some peace.

Could light heal my depression and the traumas of my past? Would color bring me out of this intense state of grief?

For awhile I even tried to find my purpose while running a photography business, but my back gave out on me and I realized I found more joy in learning how to live sustainably as I continued studying the ever growing world of personal development and experiential learning.

Throughout all of this I was still struggling with depression, the trauma of my mother’s suicide, and a debilitating fear that I would lose everyone I loved.

The year I turned 30 I said, “This is enough!”

Until this point, I had been doing the best I could to keep myself sane and remain available to my husband and children, but I knew something had to change. So I embarked on a deeply personal healing journey, armed with the courage to face my fears and the spark of hope necessary to fully grow into my authentic self, along with the faith to trust my intuition even if the path it took me down didn’t make rational sense.

What came of that journey is what you will find within the pages, posts, and images of this website. What I discovered was a way to build the support system I never had in my younger years. It represents how you, too, can discover what you need most in life to become fully open to the extraordinary possibilities that await you.

It is my hope that together, we can redefine the way we live, love, grow, and parent.

Here’s to happiness, ten-fold.

~ Darcey