Empty is a word that we don’t like to use to describe ourselves – garbage cans are preferred empty, we often empty a chip or cookie bag, a vacant lot is empty until a home is built. But for a person to feel empty, vulnerable, well … that must mean there is something wrong with us that the nearest mall, food court or our TV remote control can cure. Right?
According to “dictionary.com” the definition of empty is: containing nothing; having none of the usual or appropriate contents.
No wonder we spend an extraordinary amount of time stuffing our schedules with too many appointments, our bodies with food and beverage, our homes with stuff we don’t need or already have and decide to “update”, our minds with media distractions and our hearts with instant text messages.
Let me be the first to say that I was and still am a master of this overstuffing of the schedule, body, home, mind, and heart. There is something driving us to not look at what we actually yearn for – and I assert that something is fear. The Life Coach has a confession: there are times when I didn’t want to look too deep past the surface because I knew if I did, I’d have to change my damn life. The siren song whispers, isn’t it easier to just continue on the path that is “sort of” working and looks “normal-ish’?
What would happen if we did look? Would a deeper fear surface that says feeling empty means WE contain nothing, therefore ARE nothing? Would that fear swallow us whole? If we don’t have the usual or appropriate contents, are we deficient? And, what exactly are the usual and appropriate contents of a human being?
The good news is, if we sit empty and still for a few moments, we might actually think our own thoughts. We might feel. We might connect to our Spirit and Mother/Father/God/Goddess. We might feel our feet on the earth. We might begin to ask why we don’t do more of this when we get past the discomfort of sitting empty.
What is at stake?
Our individual lives, happiness, and dreams are at stake every time we shun feeling empty and stuff or overload our body, home, schedule, mind, and heart. And so, we may stay in and complain about jobs that are not challenging us to grow; or stay in relationships that are stable or safe yet lackluster; or spend more time at the mall shopping for Christmas presents than we spend with family during the holiday season; or watch TV and surf the internet instead of talking to people in our homes or at a cafe.
To be sure, it is easy to blame advertisers for luring us to buy stuff we don’t need. It is easy to blame the news media for inundating us with opinionated talking heads instead of journalistic news or truth. It is easy to blame the sugar industry for adding a legal yet addictive substance to almost every packaged food. It is easy to blame a capitalistic system, holy warriors or illegal immigrants for our missing dream.
Yet, we have a personal responsibility to wake ourselves up from the slumber of fear-induced laze, laze-induced self-loathing and unconsciously going through our lives. It is true we won’t always like the truth of what we see in our external and internal worlds. In fact, those truths may send us back to the mall, food court and bars for a while. But once we wake up, no matter how many times the snooze button is pressed, we are awake.
Awake is a powerful place and Empty can be the way to get there. I love to look out my window and see an empty beach and the wide-open Pacific Ocean. When I began to walk on this beach after moving here twelve years ago, the emptiness is what whispered to me about the dream I’d been trying to delay. And the emptiness here ignited the dream until I had to speak it out loud. It certainly changed the circumstances of my life and ended my relationship. Yes, it brought me great and painful teachings yet I am stronger, surer and more capable of achieving current dreams. I thank the emptiness, and my willingness to sit in it, for helping me evolve into who I am today.
Empty is a place I now choose to visit. And when I feel the pain and loss within empty, I’ve learned to just sit through it – knowing I will feel full again. I am reminded of a beautiful passage I read years ago in The Tao of Relationship. I will paraphrase since the book is in a box in my, um, stuffed garage … That which is full must empty in order to receive and that which is empty must receive in order to be full again. Isn’t that beautiful?
What are your ways of filling the space to avoid the emptiness? What is your true dream? Be brave. It takes courage and willingness to sit in the emptiness and rediscover your true self. It also takes support. Reach out to me if you’d like support in sitting in the emptiness, discovering your voice within, and in hearing your current dreams and goals.
Love & Light,