Approaching the end of the month in which we have gone on about our lives with empty stomach, it is perhaps a good time to reflect on what else is empty in our lives? I walked out of my house this morning with this thought and while planning what I would be eating to break my fast this evening I was reflecting on what else needs feeding?
The first thing I want to say here is that empty, in my definition, is not bad! I do not look at empty as a synonym for lack; I look at it as a space to be cultivated. “Empty” just IS. I accept that it exists without it being good or bad. It can be a fertile place and we can fill it with whatever we want to or it can be an opportunity, a challenge, some quiet, some hurt place, a reflective corner or a place to dream, plan or just BE. It is our choice.
Emptiness often frightens people and we manically run around trying to fill it with things to do (work, gym, friends), stuff we buy (books, furniture, holidays) or feelings (love, courage, fear…) that might be lies but we think they are still better than not having any feelings. But what remains behind those things is our heart and that is what we need to look after.
What is your definition of emptiness?
Hearts can be empty for all sorts of reasons. A time of the year when nothing makes it skip, a fragile relationship, the loss of a loved one, or just a simple burn out. Emptiness shows up without warning. Understanding and accepting the emptiness of our own heart is the first step to contentment. Philosophies, religious and spiritual practices teach us that contentment and happiness comes from within but this is not an easy concept to grasp.
As I went about my life during the day I realized that what needs to be fed is not activity, not the doing, it is not acting and finding solutions to every single question I have in my life. What needs to be fed is my real nature, my real friendships, my important relationships. When I do that, the craving to be more active, stepping in certain pre-meditated directions in life, doing what needs to be done ceases to tire me and connection, depth, clarity and meaning become available to me. This is when my heart becomes engaged and I can fully participate in life. I understand in this space that quality is more wholesome and organic than quantity. The positive quality of our thoughts and feelings bring deeper results than having lots of thoughts (quantity) that are confused, frazzled or negative. Quality feeds, quantity stuffs our hearts. (just like a warm soup would feed but junk food would stuff us after fasting).
So empty your heart so you can feel what needs to be fed in your life