You know that confusing feeling when you’re not necessarily sad, you think you’re sad, but you can’t really put you’re finger on it? You’re missing something, you’re in lack of – and you’ve measured that space against something for some time. Its emptiness. It’s the feeling of emptiness. The Emperor of tests. Not a very pleasant feeling, I must admit, but its not really horrible either, its just.. I think were taught to fill up every space we’ve got, all the time, and never really get through the desperation that emptiness creates when first encountered. We don’t linger long enough. Well, I don’t linger long enough. Rephrase: I didn’t use to linger long enough.
It’s a fight. Every single time. Mindfuck can go fuck itself, it’s got nothing on emptiness. It’s so easy to cling to something that disagrees with you’re values when confronted by emptiness. It’s so easy to hold on, refill or make absolutely bonkers decisions to run away from this beast. Even though I struggle with it every time I cut something out of my life or something leaves, I’ve come to learn that emptiness is more like a cat. Yes, I am a cat person. I fucking LOVE cats. Anyway, it might claw, bite and hate you at first. It lays on its back, lets you rub its belly and then just viciously attack you to keep you on alert. But then, after som time of grooming and not trying, it simply teaches you to relax, tend to your needs and to gain respect and value. You see, humans don’t keep cats, cats keep humans. They are master teachers in self value. And once you’ve lingered for this amount of time – then suddenly something appears to fill this space, this space that you’ve come to comfort with, something good and better. Something that doesn’t disagree with your values. Something you actually care about.
Why is this feeling so hard to deal with? I don’t think is odd at all that we sometimes confuse emptiness with sadness, because there is actually sadness there. There is not necessarily sadness about what have been, but ideas about what could have. I’ve encountered this more than the grief of what was, in my adult life. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve become more aware of what it actually is. It is usually the pain of crushed hopes and dreams. Of ideals. Of a shitty canvas painted with the most glorious colors. Not much use when you can’t hang it on the wall, if you ask me. I still do it though. I suspect we all do, consciously or not. So, we have this pain, which I think is greater than the pain of what was, because we’re not moving backwards. We’re moving forward. And now you have to recalculate everything. It’s uncertain, and it is scary. On top of that you have nothing to replace whatever was in there in the first place with. Not at first. It doesn’t work that way. That’s like curing a hangover with three shots of vodka: You’re just delaying and adding to the already painful situation with a worse outcome. So yeah, this is why I think emptiness is the most challenging feeling: it’s sadness, uncertainty, fear and desperation to avoid a void all wrapped up in one fierce little present.
I googled emptiness-quotes to see what other minds of humankind have consolidated themselves with in the earring meet-and-greet with emptiness – and the aftermath for that matter – and this is so simple, but so true: The usefulness of a cup is in its emptiness. I’m going to be honest here, I’ve never thought about emptiness that way, but now that it’s put out there right in front of me, I can’t help but to see the genius of it. We fill our lives with what we choose to fill it with, and that is sort of the purpose, no? Either it be wine, beer or water in your cup. That’s a matter of preference. Or values if you want. Sometimes it’s easy to fill it with the wrong thing, like beer when what you really need is water. So pour with clarity. Don’t grab whatever is in front of you, just for the purpose of filling your cup.
I am empty today. I have a void and I am struggling – which obviously led me to write this out. It’s my way of making sure I don’t fill my cup unnecessarily and rather let emptiness linger until I’m ready to greet something amazing.
So here’s to the Emperor, I salute you with my cup of empty.