I recently experienced the feeling of emptiness again. It is uncomfortable. It feels like I need to eat an entire Thanksgiving dinner by myself but I know that would not help. It mostly feels uncomfortable because it is unusual. With the emptiness, I don’t feel any feelings. And I don’t feel any of my normal defenses. It doesn’t feel numb. It just feels empty.
Even though it’s weird, I do have a sense of hope when I feel it. I know there has been a “letting go” deep down inside. Some unhelpful belief or painful emotion has packed up and left. And I know exciting and positive things take its place. So that fuels my hope. And I have to admit, my hope is pinned on one particular thing.
Over the past six months (or maybe longer at this point), I have been inundated with feelings of futility. And I must admit I hate them. I do my best to be accepting and supportive of my inner parts. I do my best to allow the processing to run its course. I do try hard to stay patient. And most importantly, I try not to let those feelings get tied in to my daily thoughts about my current life. The thought trap will easily ruin an otherwise good day.
But I am tired of not believing in a future. I am exhausted from fighting through days while some part of me thinks it is all pointless. I want to feel that gratitude I have felt during those brief moments of grace. I want to know with all my being, not just intellectually, that it is all for something.
I know where it comes from. I have learned that my inner parts hold beliefs that are holding me back. They are beliefs based on a child-like understanding of this life, people and the universe. I have uncovered and unraveled many of these beliefs over the years. So it is no surprise this latest string of memories has brought me to a new belief.
When I was a child, I came to the conclusion I would not be supported by anyone. And as a willful type, I took it upon myself to get stuff done without any help. Some of those attempts were not only willful, but desperate. And unfortunately, they usually backfired, which only encouraged my feeling of futility. What’s the point? I will only fail.
But with the emptiness came a memory that seems to sum it all up. I was 15 and desperate to make something happen. And a well-meaning friend looked at me and said, “You are trying too hard.” This friend had an excellent point. I was trying too hard. I had no faith left. I was running on pure will. And I was sure I was FINALLY going to make something good happen. Guess what. I didn’t.
But there is a problem with approaching the world from a child’s perspective. With little to no discernment, I didn’t know how to translate the well-meaning comment. So my inner parts translated it in a very black and white way.
There is no point in trying at all. The harder I try, the less likely it will happen.
Of course, that isn’t what my friend meant. And I know my friend was right. And I know today that I have to let go of what I cannot control. I know the courage it takes to allow some cards to fall as they will. I know the beauty in flowing with life. I have done it … not often … but I have. I know what he meant by trying too hard. And because of that, I am able to help my inner parts understand the real meaning of that phrase. I can help build a little more discernment in this system of mine. I can explain that trying isn’t an “all or nothing” type of experience. There is trying while in alignment with a greater purpose. And there is trying in opposition to a greater purpose. One will work eventually. And one will never work.
So I think the emptiness was the result of letting go of how I willfully get things done despite all signs pointing in the other direction. For a while, I will have some confusion around it as I settle in to a new pattern. But I am hopeful that this new pattern will leave a little more energy and time for me to enjoy life. I am hopeful this new pattern will manifest more faith as I flow with my life’s purpose a little more. I am hopeful that my parts will feel a little more integrated as more of me aligns with that purpose. And it is my hope that gets me through the memories, the past emotions and the emptiness because I have seen the results. I have seen the peace come little by little.
So today I am grateful for hope and faith and peace. I am grateful for finding more balance between trying too hard and not trying at all. And I am grateful for growing up a little bit more.
If you want help unraveling some of your inner beliefs and furthering your discernment, take a look at my one-on-one survivor guidance sessions.