Feel The Emptiness

Our greatest pretences are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there. – Eric Hoffer
The other day, I sat down in front of my computer to write a blog post, my weekly diatribe to the blogosphere.
But instead of words pouring out from me, there was only emptiness. Not only was there nothing that I felt like putting down on the screen, but I felt this gaping emptiness inside of me.

This happens occasionally to all of us.
We feel this emptiness that threatens to engulf us whole if we don’t do something to fill it. We use all sorts of things to fill it. Food is one that I tend to migrate towards a lot – in my most unhappy moments, food has been my constant companion. Shopping used to be a great companion of my empty moments. Drinking alcohol, smoking, or caffeine has been used by other people to fill their emptiness by changing their chemical structure.
For the past few months, I have been using Yoga, meditation, journaling, and motivational videos to fill the gap. Instead of stuffing myself with meaningless food that I don’t even taste, or items that will fill my minimalist apartment and make me feel stressed, I turn towards a great yoga class, a meditation session, writing with pen and paper in a special book, or listening to Joel Osteen or Tony Robbins for inspirational words.
These work really well to help me fill the gap with something else – something positive.

But, I have been thinking over the past few weeks that I want to feel the emptiness.

I don’t want to fill it up anymore. Like a dug-up hole in the garden, when you try to refill it with the dirt, your hole will never be filled up completely. There will always be a space left behind that could come and bite you in the cranium in the future.

How about, I said to myself, instead I try to feel the emptiness when it comes?

Once a month, during my monthly visit, I feel that pain body in an extreme manner, and I feel emptiness and sadness bubbling up inside of me. This last month, instead of eating bags of fat-free popcorn, going to yoga, or calling a friend, I sat with it.
I put everything away. I sat down. I closed my eyes. I focused on the emptiness and felt it. It went so deep – I could see the darkness. It was like the Great Lakes – deep, dark and scary. I was afraid that I was going to be swallowed whole and then there would be nothing left behind. I wouldn’t exist anymore as I was. I would be taken away by this emptiness.
I was afraid but I decided to explore further. I sat further with it – without moving away from it at all. I noticed the emptiness in all of its forms. It was darker in certain spots. It was heavier in certain spots. It was scarier in certain spots. I sat with it. I observed it.
I truly tried to feel it – as much as I could.
After twenty minutes of this panicky feeling hitting me, panicking because I had let the emptiness take over me, I moved onto a different stage. Without actually trying to, I was at the joy phase.

I didn’t realize feeling emptiness in its fullest form, results in the feeling of joy, and gratitude.

But it does!
I felt such great joy and gratitude – even the thought of it now, brings tears to my eyes. I was so happy in that moment. I put on some music and danced around my condo, feeling as much joy as I could. I wanted to share this joy with everyone around me. I wanted to hug as many people as I could. I wanted everyone to feel as happy as I was feeling. How could I share this joy with the world? It was so ephemeral – just a feeling. How to share a feeling with the world?
How to show the world how much gratitude I feel – for being alive, for everything I have, for all the love I have felt and am feeling from everyone around me, for everything I am?
I decided to write this post – hopefully you can use this strategy to bring more joy into your life. This way, I can thank the universe for everything I have and everything I am.

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4 thoughts on “Feel The Emptiness

  1. This is great, Shikha. Developmental psychologist Dr. Gordon Neufeld talks about this in his model. In order to feel the fullest joy, you have to be able to first sit with the emptiness and sadness. He describes this in a few ways:
    * If we’ve lost the ability to feel sad about what does not work, then we lose the ability to feel fulfilled with what does work (“Joy & Woe are woven fine, A Clothing for the soul divine, Under every grief & pine,
    Runs a joy with silken twine” – William Blake)
    * Happiness is on the other side of the tears that have not been shed
    * “Sate” in Latin is turning point; “sat” “sad”
    This process is about how one reaches maturation as we reach our own potential in development; vulnerability is a must. Dr. Neufeld says that the feelings that are missing are a vortex that brings forth negative behaviours. It really is all about being vulnerable enough to feel. You have discovered this powerful process!

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