Feeling empty is a strange and uncomfortable sensation. The feeling of desolation can only be described as a gaping inner hole. Your insides ache under the gnawing pressure of this profound vacuum. How can feeling empty be so terribly painful?
Contrary to all logic and reason – emptiness hurts. You would not believe the pain and the suffering that can come from a thing which, by all accounts … is not even there. – Ranata Suzuki
I expierenced this emotional numbness for a number of years starting in my early twenties. It was an unfulfilling, confusing, and upsetting void that I could not shake. I felt suffocated underneath the weight of this seemingly eternal, nothingness. It happened despite having everything together; being part of a healthy, happy family unit, having a good job, a good education and a busy social life. But despite this, the scary feeling lingered and made me question why I felt the way I did. I realised then emotional numbness wasn’t exclusive to those missing these life achievements.
I had experienced a lot of anxiety at that time and it took a large amount of energy to sustain my body and mind. After a while, I had nothing left. The constant state of fight, flight, had depleted my emotional resources far past a healthy point.
In a sense, I had become disconnected from my inner peace and the emptiness that descended upon me was an oppressive force. The origins of emptiness are vast, I imagine as everyones story is different but our obsession with money, fame, power, beauty, and the “perfect” body are perhaps all attempts to try and retrieve that which we may have lost: ultimately contact with our soul and to fill the emptiness that remains.
An eternal sense that something is “missing” from our lives or in other words, it is disguised as the perpetual “search for happiness” .
A wise friend told me “YOU fill your life. No one else. And I don’t mean you have to do it alone. I mean, the more you challenge yourself to wake up and get up positively and to fill your life with challenges and self-giving, the more you will feel the appreciation of others and the value of your magnificent self”.
Right now, I have much less achievements than I hoped I would have at this age and far more reasons to feel empty than before but the opposite is true. Perhaps my much greater sense of self nowadays has helped with this. It’s said emptyiness does not come from outside; it comes from within.
When you have lost touch with your soul and are feeling empty, you will inevitably lose touch with your lifes purpose. My friend reminded me that “emptiness is a very big club and the feeling has nothing to do with disability. The fear of a purposeless existence haunts every human being, because we are creatures of meaning and love… or else we are nothing.”
I’ve often been told that I have found my purpose to inspire and motivate others and to show others that nothing is impossible. One of the happiest moments for me was when I found the courage to let go of what I could not change and embrace the emptiness. Afterall…
Emptiness is the ‘possibility yet to be filled.’ – K. Hara