The Illusion of Emptiness
There is a clear space deep within each of us, right inside the present moment, where peace lives.
I believe that one day we will all find it, but not until we learn to be still.
We are SO restless.
I see that us humans have become incredibly skilled at avoiding ourselves. That uneasy, vague feeling of emptiness that so many of us experience? That is just the tip of the iceberg that we are trying to avoid.
Many of us sense that there is something very wrong and refuse to admit it to ourselves. It seems that we spend a great deal of energy attempting to fill this hole within us……somehow……whether we are aware of it or not. We search externally for something, or someone, to fill us up again. We fill our time, our wallets, our bellies, our homes, our closets with more of this and more of that………
But we still feel empty.
We blame others for our unhappiness. We continue to search outside of ourselves, in vain, for that which we believe is missing. But all the while we search, we keep ourselves in motion, like stones skipping across the surface of the water, never pausing to sink deeper into our lives. For many, the goal has become to maintain this surface level awareness, because we sense that it is a lot less painful than peering into the emotional depths beneath. We steel ourselves against the sorrow and numb ourselves of the pain. We avoid our emotions in all sorts of ways, with all sorts of addictive and compulsive behaviours and activities: We busy ourselves. We work, we organize, we exercise, we “connect” to our screens, we eat, we drink, we take drugs, we analyze, we immerse ourselves in fantasy, we attempt to control…….or we compulsively try to NOT do all of these things (a clever flip)……..but these behaviours are all coming from the same place.
Avoidance. We do everything but sit still, so we don’t have to face the pain of being human.
How can we hear ourselves above all of this noise? And how might this world change if we could only just stay still and allow ourselves to truly FEEL?
We experience extremes of emotions only when we are forced into extreme situations. But even then, we can’t wait to get back to the surface. Rather than staying under water and having a good look around at all of the brilliant colours – the beautiful spectrum of human emotion – we desperately rush back to the surface for the air we think we need to breathe. We are terrified to be submerged. We are terrified of what we don’t understand and so we close our eyes some more. We say we want connection, but are depriving ourselves of the real thing. In order to TRULY connect with ourselves and with others, and to become truly compassionate human beings, we must find our stillness.
What are we so terrified to see? Why are we so afraid to feel?
I have discovered some important things since I began to make a conscious effort to be more present within my life and feel my feels. It takes vigilance. It takes patience. It takes heaps of forgiveness and self love…..and it NEVER stops. There is no end goal, because it’s a constant unfolding of truth, and with that truth, my inner landscape continues to expand.
I have accepted my lack of control over external circumstances, but my perspective has changed. I am no longer a victim, but a welcomed participant. I never knew I could feel so MUCH! And I see so much more. My biggest epiphany has been this: I cannot experience the true beauty of life without acceptance of the darkness in this world. That of my own and others. Darkness and light are opposite sides of the same coin, and I have chosen LIFE……the whole, entire thing.
Whatever you’ve got, life……just give it to me.
When we choose the whole thing that vague sense of emptiness goes away. Actually, when we choose to really live, we see that that feeling of emptiness was just an illusion. And even though this new world holds an entire spectrum of emotion previously unknown to us, there is a new sense of acceptance. A deep inner peace.
Tell me, is it time for us to face ourselves? Can we discover what is genuine inner strength and muster up the courage to dive in and remember what it is to FEEL? Not only just the extremes of emotions….the fear, the rage, the bliss and the sorrow…..but everything in between as well? The restlessness? The depression? The boredom?
I know it’s hard, but can we please just sit?
Because let’s be real, friends, we have created a mess. But beyond the fear, on the other side of not knowing, is a new world for us to discover. And the only way out……is in.