January 26, 2015

The Emptiness Inside

Majority of the time, I can push the emptiness aside, bury it down, and get on with my day. Try as I may, day in and day out, I hide that dark piece inside for fear of what others will say and think. If their opinions were supportive and reassuring rather than harsh and judgmental, maybe I would reach out for help a bit more. So I do what I must, going through life on auto-pilot, taking care of what needs to be done, going with the flow of routines, and filling all the spaces in between with as many distractions as I can find. Once in awhile I find something that stirs me up inside but it only captures my attention for a short time before I inevitably give up.

I have my up and downs. It’s during those down times that the emptiness creeps in and leaves me with the feeling of being lost, hating my life, wondering why I was even born, and how I can possibly keep going on like this.

It started for me as a young child, feeling emotionally neglected and unloved. When I became a teenager, there was no one to look up to, no one to admire, and no one I could go to that would teach me life lessons I should have been learning at that delicate age. Without the proper guidance, I filled the emptiness by focusing on my friends, experimenting with drugs, running away from home, and avoiding all my problems. Eventually as I got older, I left all my jobs as soon as I became discontented, obsessively searched for ways to change everything about myself, and finally gave up everything about myself to please my partners.

This emptiness, this feeling of being utterly lost in the darkness; it consumes my whole being and just when I think I can’t handle it anymore, I let go; I give up; I stop trying to dig myself out. By doing this and allowing faith to take over for me, it permits me re-evaluate where I’m at and where I’m going.

I look around at my little world and see how truly blessed I am. I have everything I need...everything I need...but that empty void is still there. No matter how much I search for ways to fill it, in the end, it’s all just distractions, and the darkness seeps in again.

There comes a time in your life, when you still have a shred of hope left and maybe a guardian angel at your side, that you decide you’ve had just about enough and you just can’t take it anymore. These are the moments I cherish. These are the moments that define you, push you, test you, and make you take a good long look at your life.

The message I receive is always the same:
Amanda, you’re looking in the wrong place...AGAIN!!!

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters
compared to what lies within us.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s time for me to look inside, deep inside. There’s this innate knowing in each of us: We have all the answers we need if we just quiet that critical ego, get out of our own minds, fill ourselves up with love and listen intently to our higher self.

But what if you don’t hear anything? I was at a standstill. Then, I get a flashback from when I was a teenager. I can remember it so clearly, telling my higher self to just shut up already, go away, and don’t come back. Well it left alright, and here I am all alone in the quiet of the night wondering what to do about it. Of course, I do what I do best: I start researching online, asking those I trust for ideas, and get myself on a waiting list to see a therapist to make sure I have a professional to guide me if needed.

Along the way some very wonderful things happened:

I got more involved with the Law of Attraction, found a support group on Facebook, and learned about the 11 forgotten laws. 

I learned the benefit of taking a real gratitude journey with the Beautiful Happy Peaceful Facebook Page. 

I built up a small library of self-help books and resources. 

I created a support network of strong, independent, empowering women. 

I tapped back into my creative side through writing and drawing. 

I began a spiritual journey after reading The Celestine Prophecy and joining the support group

I got the closest I’ve ever been to knowing my life purpose.

And then that’s when I found Andy Shaw. This guy is a genius for so many reasons that I can’t get into here right now. I signed up to receive emails of articles he posts on his blog. One of them really stood out to me. It was about reading quotes and agreeing with their messages, then looking at whether you actually lived your life that way. The short answer is no, I haven’t implemented these changes at all.

I truly believe everything I’ve learned so far, has become a good foundation for me to be able to take the next steps in my process. It will protect me when I stumble along the way so that dreaded emptiness doesn’t suck me too far back in again. I can depend on this foundation I’ve built to guide me through the tough times that are sure to come.

I’m at a crossroads now in my life. Am I going to go back and live miserably in my comfort zone or am I going to take that leap of faith and face the cold hard truth about how I am really living my life...You know...the real me, behind closed doors, away from the prying eyes of the world.

Come on, let’s jump!! As they say, “Let go, let God”.

The more I think about this emptiness feeling, the more I realize I’m not empty at all; I’ve just been filling myself up with the wrong things which have become the result of looking in all the wrong places. 

“We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside 
that holds whatever we want.” ~Tao saying

If you’re still with me here, you can safely make the assumption that I’ve filled my pot with a lot of negativity throughout my life. I’d say it’s just about time to empty that pot and start filling it with more positive things that make me happy, joyful, curious, interested, optimistic, and excited about life.

So now, the obvious question...Where do I go from here? Well lets think about what we want to fill ourselves with, what kind of life do we want to live, what do we want to remember about it when it’s our time to leave this world, what do we want to leave our loved ones with? If you want to explore this a bit more and want some inspiration to answer these types of questions, check out this article from The Abundance Project. (It is part two of a series, you should really check out the others too!) Everyone will have their own unique answers to these questions, but since I am actually at this very point in my life as I write this, I will share my list with hopes that I may be able to expand on each of these endeavors in the near future as I work through them.

  • Slow down, tune-in, and be present where it matters most; with my family. Especially with my children, to connect with them more by allowing them to lead, adapting to share moments, and adding new experiences and words. Always remember to “enjoy the little things in life, for one day, you’ll look back and realize they were the big things”. ~Robert Brault
  • Be aware of my restlessness as a guide to judge if I have veered off my spiritual path. Stay conscious of my current life question and be open to synchronistic events to direct me.
  • Find out who I really am, accept all the good and bad, be the real me as I truly am, and let my light shine. Then, explore why I am here on this Earth and what I have to offer in service to others.
  • Be mindful of my feelings to find the pain I’m holding onto, heal myself through my inner child, and learn to love myself unconditionally so I can project that love into everything around me.
  • Re-evaluate the story I tell myself and others. Let go of the victim mentality, take control of my reality, and get a deeper understanding of what 100% responsibility really means.
  • Stay available to those that may need use of my talents. By helping others, I can help myself get out of the darkness and fill myself up with the joy of knowing that I am making a difference in someone’s life.

I don’t know if there is a quick fix to fill up the emptiness feeling inside with meaning and purpose. I know I wish there was, but I have come to find that for myself, it is all about the journey, taking one day at a time, and doing the best I can with what I have. When you reach the moment that you decide you are ready for a change, seek out guidance from those you trust, even a professional, if you need it. There is no shame in asking for help; the support will motivate you to keep going. Fill your life with positivity; search out groups or pages on Facebook that focus on encouraging others. Find out what works for you, what resources will benefit your growth, and what you can learn from others that speaks to your soul. 

The road out of the darkness may seem long and hard but we can build ourselves a foundation to give us the strength to keep trudging along until we reach the light. It’ll be so worth it when we get there. 

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