When we're hurting, it's not uncommon to look for ways to fill the void.
The void is made up of the empty, lonely feelings that stem from holes in our heart and soul. Sometimes these holes are fresh wounds like a breakup, death in the family, or losing our job. Sometimes they stem from something much deeper, like a lack of connection with family growing up, a childhood trauma, or hurt caused by someone in our past.
When we lose someone or something in our life, most of us jump right into distractions. We start seeing new people, working on every single thing that needs to be done around the house, picking up more hours at work or packing our schedule full of things to do. We do all of this instead of feeling what we feel.
This is called stuffing.
When you lose something or someone, all of the wounds, emptiness, pain and hurt are exposed. As much as it hurts, the void should not be feared. The void is where miracles, strength and change are born.
The truth is that anytime you try to distract yourself from feeling what you're feeling, you're avoiding the fact that you're not whole. Something is missing, damaged or broken, and until you face it, no person or thing will ever make you feel complete.
When you take the time to really feel and experience the uncomfortable space that is the void, you begin to see things clearly.
And when you can see things clearly, you can begin to heal.
Maybe it's not that you need that specific person in your life to talk to... It's that you need to be heard.
Were you once expressive in another form that you've since lost? Painting, music, poetry or something else? You used this person to fill the void. But they could never fill it because whether or not they listened to you, you still weren't able to feel heard on a more fundamental level. And when they left? You thought you missed talking to them, when really, you're still missing that greater thing. Not them. Did they really listen to you anyways?
Maybe it's not that you miss your job... It's that you don't know how to define yourself without it.
Have you lost sight of yourself? Is being honest about who you are and what you really want so hard, painful and confusing that you instead chose to focus on your work? Work you probably didn't even love and killed yourself over with long hours and tons of stress... then "rewarded yourself" with material goods that still left you feeling empty. The pain isn't coming from the job loss, it's about the fear and uncertainty that comes with not knowing what you really want.
Maybe it's not that you miss spending time with them... It's that you're afraid to be out in the world alone.
Because now? Now people are going to see you and only you. This person was simply someone you stood behind, like a shield. Maybe they were there because you were afraid to go it alone. Not because being alone scares you, but because the "spotlight" does. All eyes on you is too intense to handle. Without this person to buffer the eyes, you're feeling vulnerable and unsure of yourself.
Or -- and this I know for sure -- it's that you have to face yourself.
You have to be with only you... and without another person or thing to fill the void in your heart and soul, all that's left to do is feel it. Feel the emptiness or the pain. The hurt, fear and loss. To take a good, hard look at what's missing, what you left behind and the parts you've ignored.
If you're wise, you'll sit with the void. You'll feel the hurts and let them out. You'll talk about them, cry, break dishes in anger and write, write, write it out. You'll explore them. Why do I feel this? What have I been neglecting? What have I not allowed to heal?
If you're not ready, you'll stuff them with someone or something else. A new guy you met randomly and convinced yourself is the next "one." A new job or client with excessive hours, or the regular workload you've managed to max out to 12-15 hours a day. Food, drugs, sex -- these are the worst ways to fill a void.
The only way to be happy, healthy and whole is to face and deal with the voids you carry in your heart and soul. If something is missing, broken or empty inside of you, there is no person or thing that will fill it. Only you can heal yourself and close the voids.
The first step is to stop stuffing, hiding and avoiding.
Trust me, it's worth every heart-wrenching moment.
Because when you heal the hurts and fill the voids with your own love, light and self, you become whole again. When you're whole, you feel a sense of joy and fulfillment that no outside person or thing can replicate. These outside circumstances wil simply heighten the feelings you're already experiencing.
Take action now!
Get honest with yourself... What are you hiding from? What void exists in your heart and soul and how are you stuffing it? What scares you about facing this part of yourself? If you're ready to heal and grow, remove whatever you're using to stuff and distract. Sit with it and really allow yourself to feel and explore the void.
Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique. Here she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help young women build passion-based businesses. Click here to download her free guide, "The Unexpected Trick to Transforming Your Life With ONE Single Question."
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