I have noticed that I avoid emptiness. My default is to fill a space, a shelf, a surface, my closet, my stomach, a wall - whatever - to fill it with something. Even with my time, I struggle to allow empty spaces. I have to be intentional about rest and calm because my default is to do and not to just be. It has become clear that I am unused to having an empty stomach. My natural bend is to snack and pick throughout the day, never feeling overfull, but never experiencing empty.
Emptiness has such negative connotations. Yet, I have experienced the process of being empty and then filled with what is better. I want to allow empty spaces so that God can fill them withe what He has for me. The things on which I gorged most are the spaces that hurt the greatest when they were let go. They are the spaces where I now recognize the most satisfying fullness.
I've heard of empty calories and empty dreams. I don't want to fill myself or my spaces with things that do not matter, do not satisfy and only create more desires. So, I'm learning to get comfortable with and empty feeling, to recognize and acknowledge when I feel that way, so that I can pray and seek healthy ways of filling the void.
Today, when I don't like my body I think buying new clothes will help. What will really make a difference? When I feel disconnected from friends or family I've been filling that space with mindless reading, online surfing or zoning out to the TV. What would be a better choice for cultivating a real relationship? When I don't like the way I feel, I look for a quick snack to soothe myself. Is that helpful?
These are questions I'm considering. I don't know the answers. I do know that emptiness isn't desirable, but it is a necessary part of journeying to a better place. Are you comfortable with empty? Do you recognize a pull to fill all the voids in your life? How can we balance or filter what we fill up on?