Emptiness and Lack of Meaning

Everyone experiences a sense of emptiness from time to time, even when we are skilled at distracting ourselves from it. Children experience emptiness resulting from a lack of empathic connection when their emotional and psychological needs are not met by their caregivers, and in their resiliency may quickly turn to their imagination to fill the void. This is a form of psychological survival and can be very creative. These days we have all kinds of gadgets to fill the void.

As we mature into adulthood and provided we developed a healthy personality structure, with awareness we may be able to tolerate a little emptiness for the purpose of self discovery. More of who we are is always in the void, in what we do not yet know. The struggle with the sense of emptiness is the fear of the feelings that we may have hidden there and probably for good reason. We are also afraid of the fear itself. We encounter a sense of emptiness because there seems to be a gap between what we thought ourselves to be and the more of who we actually are. This is why those involved in meditative and contemplative practices are in some form actively seeking emptiness by leaning into the quietness of the mind. The result is a greater sense of peace and equilibrium, and a greater sense of identity but without a label to provide an identity. A quieter mind allows space for an open heart. The heart opens and life becomes meaningful again.

The sense of emptiness can encompass difficult feelings that we may need to encounter as part of the healing journey. To be able to take this journey, it is therefore necessary to engage with acts of self care that help us become grounded and centered in the body.