From the moment we are born, the world tells us that we will do great things. Opportunity insists itself, expectations consume our fated course, yet as a child we are filled with all of life’s dreams and desires. Innocence continues only by the outcome of what will be. It isn’t until we start losing things, experiencing life for what it is, that our fill, our completeness is chipped away; a whole person stripped away by despair, death, pain, failure, and heartbreak. For most this happens gradually, mimicking the normal course of when society tells us it should occur, but for others, it happens to soon; all of life’s tortures experienced in what feels like an instant. The gratitude of health, family, success and love is now replaced by their opposites, leaving emptiness in one’s soul. A loved one’s death, a crippling illness, love loss, and lack of success hack away at our childhood wholeness, creating bereavement: the void inside us.
For the most part, we have just as much control over what creates the void, as we have making the sun rise or set. Emptiness taunts us as what we have come to know disappears, never to return again. It becomes a permanent lash in time, draining out possibility and prediction. This lack of control is what makes us mortal and how we handle that lack of control is what makes us human. For some, filling the void is as easy as filling time with something to do, replacing what cannot be replaced with a distraction, masking the yearn for entirety. For others, the path is paved with destruction, turning to society’s vices for completeness, watching as everything you love is destroyed while hoping to gain some similarity. Either choice is like putting a band-aid over a gaping wound, hoping time will allow memories to fade. Either choice is also the most common, overshadowing a third; wielding the void.
Much like trying to think in a loud room, filling your void with insufficient means is frivolous. The thought of embracing emptiness, something that is not there but should be, is frightening to most people. But it isn’t until you search for what isn’t there when you find out anything could be there. It is at that point when the world slows around you; sounds heard clearer, colors more vivid, the scope of focus broadened. When you have nothing, you also potentially have everything. When you are filled with what life gives you, you are limited to those gifts. As we lose more and more in life, the void gets bigger, washing out expectations and commitments the world has bestowed upon us, allowing us to gain positive self-reflection. The more of the void we wield, the clearer our life’s purpose will be.
Most people confuse wielding the void with meditation. Meditation occurs in wholeness, reflecting on what we have. Seizing the void occurs in emptiness, reflecting on what we don’t have. For those who feel trapped, isolated, able to touch the bottom of life’s venture, alone and in solitude, it is at this moment when wielding the void can bring clarity to your purpose. Ward off distraction, and welcome silence and stillness. Search for what you have lost and when it can’t be found keep searching, until your mind becomes blank, focusing on what could be rather than what was. Abandon filling emptiness just to fill it and wield the possibility of anything. Never fill it; embrace it as a constant reminder of what preceded and, in this, you will find happiness and endless possibilities; the void.