Let’s be kind to the emptiness inside

Emptiness is one of the feelings that most of us have experienced. Knowing the cause of this feeling is less important. It is more important to know how we can cope with it.

Talking about the durability of the new constitution, Benjamin Franklin wrote to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, “…but in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

When we turn our attention towards our inner world, the feeling of emptiness is certainly something that every human experiences to different extent, many times during a lifetime. Wikipedia defines emptiness as “a sense of generalised boredom, social alienation and apathy.

Think of these potential life situations:

  1. We are madly in love, hoping to spend all our life with the loved one. One day, we realise we need to start walking separate ways.
  2. We’ve recently attended the funeral of a loved one.
  3. We reached a goal after years of endeavours and hardships.
  4. Our life is missing someone close to us to love and care for.
  5. We made a huge leap of faith, leaving behind the safety of a job and plunging into the unknown of a new professional start.

In any of these cases, emptiness may grow inside until the only feeling we are aware of is the void, which carves our soul and numbs it.

Should we be afraid of the lack of aliveness?

Just like Winter is a natural and important season in some climates, the same with emptiness, it can be a natural part of the changes we go through in life.

Apparently, nothing happens inside us when we feel it. But if we contemplate more on it, we can see that a new start is on its way.

Instead of fearing it, we can embrace it and let it stay in us for a while.

Should we just lie down and wait?

The sun still shines and warms in the Winter. In a similar way, we owe it to our soul, that is momentarily void, to carry on with activities that can have a healing effect.

People are the most effective way to help our soul in transformation, especially those persons we truly connect with. Simply being by their side suffices to soothe our soul and sluggishly charge it with aliveness.

Assuming we don’t have any such person in our life, listening to music can be an equally good choice. Any type of music will do as long as it resonates within us.

Watching theatre performances can have miraculous effects on our soul. An actor’s gesture, facial expression or a fleeting line can touch us and lift us up. Or stand-up comedies can make us laugh the emptiness out.

Art exhibitions have a similar effect as theatre performances. I remember visiting one of Picasso’s exhibitions in Helsinki. I was watching one of his paintings when I uttered with admiration, “What a genius mind, thinking to paint a face based on the personality of that woman and not on her physical traits!”

Hardly did I know that the impact of Picasso’s painting was deeper than a one minute admiration. The moment I stepped out the museum I felt that I can do whatever I want. In the following days, I found the courage to truly love.

If arts are not our cup of tea, then maybe sports can help to move on from emptiness to the next stage of personal growth.

If none of the above-mentioned activities are appealing, then it may help the thought that at the same time with us, there are others who feel the same. And we can imagine that we all gather under the moonlight and watch it in silence.

The sun will shine tomorrow again.

How about you, what do you do when you feel emptiness?

  • Rachel

    Hi Oana – reading your blog reminded me of this piece i saw recently. Not as beautifully expressed as your thoughts, but on a similar theme. http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/life/8805292/The-happiness-plague. When I feel empty I simply trust that it will pass. Life is change.

    • discoveriesinto

      You’re right Rachel, in our weakest moments we need to remind ourselves that, “This shall pass too!”. :) Some months ago, I figured out that while I am at my lowest, it’s worth accepting that state of being as, “This is how I feel now, don’t try to fix anything.”

      Thank you very much for sharing the link. The article contains wise opinions on what’s a beneficial attitude to life. After reading each sentence, I had a comment. :) I agree with adopting an appreciative attitude to life. I believe that being appreciative makes us humble to any great success or tragedy that may hit us.

      But we can live a more inspiring life when we try to understand what genuine happiness and joy mean to us.:)