Heartfelt Thoughts: "I Feel Empty"

When feelings of emptiness arise, it can be a sign that a self-protective strategy is in use (often unconsciously). Emptiness is not an emotion, but a way you empty out your emotions. Being empty could have been a really useful skill when you were younger; it kept sadness, anger, and even happiness away so that you didn’t have to feel their presence. 

Now, being empty does one thing: it keeps you away from these important, guiding forces that are your emotions. You don’t do this on purpose, because if that was the case then you could just stop. This strategy has been used over and over again, to the point where it has become automatic. 

Is there hope that this emptiness will fade? Only if you’re willing to face the feelings underneath. 

In my experience, the more we can look and accept our feelings for what they are, the less control they have over us. Anger can simply be an activation of feeling in your body that indicates a boundary has been crossed. Sadness can go back to being a feeling of loss or longing that reminds you of what you must let go of. 

Real freedom comes from knowing in your bones that your emotions are your ally’s. They can’t hurt you. They show up at will only to guide you forward.