I have spent the majority of my life filling empty spaces. Probably much like yourself, I wasn't aware at the time I was even doing it. I just did it. Sadness was filled with food, lonliness was filled with unrequited love, grief was filled with distractions, shelves were filled with trinkets. My body was covered in designer clothes to ensure that all of my empty spaces were covered up...and covered up in style.
To look at us, we seem like everything is in it's place. We have it together, We got this. There is no emptiness to see here...move along...and quickly, please before something falls out of place.
And it always does.
Divorce, separations, single parenting, arguing, losing a job, bad relationships, crying, financial troubles, sadness, depression, miscarriages, death, stress...not knowing. It happens to the best of us. And sometimes it happens quick and hard. Without any advanced warning. It catches us off guard and sometimes we only have ourselves to rely on. And if you are like me, our reserves are already taxed. So we throw the newest trauma on top of the latest trauma and keep going. Covering up the piles until we feel completely overwhelmed. But by then, my dear readers, it is too late. We are in for one major collapse.
Hello drinking. Good morning food. Get ready shopping mall.
Space on the wall? no worries, you will be filled soon.
Sadness in the heart? there is a relationship right around the corner waiting for you.
Hole in the soul? Dairy Queen, here I come.
But what if....what if...we didn't.
What if we left the holes for a while. To just sit there and...heal on their own? (gasp)
To breathe through the hurt and the pain and to just feel, with all of the darkness that may come with it. To love it as fiercely as we need to love ourselves. With as much compassion as we give our children, it will be given to ourselves.
Readers, I see you. I hear you. It hurts so much sometimes that even breathing can be painful. But hang in there. The most beautiful lesson is about to be learned: You can do it. You are so capable of just being with disaster that even these beautiful messes will carve out so deeply who you are, why you are and where you are. And all you need to do is...ready?
Allow. Feel. Observe. Accept.
Allow the pain to wash over you like an intense wave. Feel the holes, the empty spaces and resist the urge to fill them with anything but compassion and love. Observe the reactions your body has, without judgement. And accept that whatever raw emotions you may be feeling, they are more than appropriate...I imagine you have earned it.
I know I have earned it.
So, this year, I am manifesting something different and it will have nothing to do with 'filling' anything. Instead, I am saying goodbye. Goodbye to loneliness, struggles, and pity parties. Goodbye to anything that doesn't serve me or bring me joy. That's right, other people's drama. You can keep it. See ya, expectations of how I should live or how I should act...(even how I raise my children)...no longer needed. Ciao to judgments, au revoir back stabbing, sayonara gossip. I wish you well.
I am also clearing out 'stuff'...minimizing and getting rid of the physical distractions that have made up my life, so far. I am clearing out the cobwebs, the trinkets, the unread books.
Goodbye pez dispensers and unused pottery that sits on my shelves serving no apparent purpose. I am letting go of the pictures that are strategically placed just to take up space. Donating gifts made from exes that don't create a beautiful energy in my home (sorry James, your homemade box was thoughtful, but, it is time to pass it on). Goodbye toys that aren't played with, paper scraps I just may 'need' someday, clothes that I only wear once a year. Goodbye junk drawer, second and third stapler, and extra material stored in the bottom drawer of my dresser. If you don't bring me extreme joy when I pick you up, chances are, you won't make the cut. I am talking to you fourth mixing bowl, red feather earrings from five years ago and Doc Martins that really aren't very comfortable anyway. Jewelry, unloved plants, unused yarn...your new home awaits you. Extra blankets, almost dried out markers, broken crayons, old picture frames...none of you are safe, anymore.
After three days of purging, it already feels empty in here. But a good kind of empty. A great kind of empty. A "I got this' kind of empty.
And this time? Well, this time...these empty spaces won't be filled.