A response to the daily prompt Empty.
It isn’t often at all, that I believe in signs and signals, but my brain loves patterns. I love connections and similarities and repeated occurrences I can pin a sign to, a signal of some sort. I’ve been seeing the word ’empty’ a lot. First, upon glancing at my bank balance and then hearing it uttered on the lips of someone I care for, and then reading about it whilst scrolling the endless sappy shared-on-Facebook-esque self-help articles. Now that I’ve seen it is also a prompt, I think the universe wants me to stare this word in the face and tackle it head on, and place it in the cosmos appropriately. Or maybe the universe just wants to expand and do its thing, and I’m seeing a pattern that is instead the introspective side of myself going “HEY, EMPTY, THATS YOU. OH LOOK, THERE IT IS AGAIN. stop avoiding me.”
Empty isn’t something we can feel, or rather its the lack of anything to feel. And I’ve always struggled to identify it. I’m sure we all can agree here, we never recognise it until it hits us, and like a huge wave it overwhelms us, the realisation of what this feeling is.
Its putting a name to the unknown, and knowing it, that makes it all the more frightening.
The emptiness we feel, hides in the insecurities our feelings have brought us. I may speak for myself, but we all know how hurt brings about a fear, and we link that fear to a certain emotion or occurrence. I never know what triggers these empty days at the time of experiencing them but looking back on them, I can pinpoint the hurt, the trigger.
It isn’t a flow of conscious thought, more so one of questions, burning questions that have no answers, and thus leave us lost. We lose the ability to comprehend what exactly we want, or why we feel so, and we grow to hate ourselves for being stuck in a vicious cycle of emotion. And so on empty days we try to ask the people whose company or conversation we enjoy, only to find that it doesn’t stimulate our interest the same way. We become our biggest critics, and wonder how it is we have been broken, torn apart and left like this. We vow to bring ourselves out of situations that bring us pain, but when you can’t feel pain anymore, is it a sign that we’ve had too much? Is it a reflex reaction we attribute to our mind’s defence against pain? Or is it merely our body being exhausted emotionally?
I feel, with a heart that knows too well what will happen, but I feel anyway. I feel deeply, and I toss myself into a deep ocean of love, hate, passion, anger, sadness, whatever I may be feeling then.
And when I’m tossed from one to another in constant succession, the emptiness that follows almost seems like a relief. Its devoid of the very emotions that may or may not hurt us.
When I feel what people call “positive” feelings, I fear the come down, and I fear the lack of it. Thats when the emptiness is upsetting. But when my days are plagued with confusion, sadness, pain, anger and hatred, the emptiness is a calm after a storm.
I don’t like to avoid feeling empty, no matter how much instinct tells me it is bad for me, and how many people I hurt, when they approach with caring hands ready to alter a mood that is too far anchored in the depths of an empty well. They try to lift me out but forget that somedays, most days, I stubbornly want to stay.
Our escape route is our own, and no one can save us from ourselves. It is a painful descent, and uplifting calm, and yet, I fear it.
I fear that one day, I may be stuck in it, and that I would never be able to feel again. But, thats bullshit. We all claim to harden ourselves and welcome emptiness in favour of emotion, but thats a coward’s excuse in the name of self defence.
Tell me, when was the last time you danced? When did we last tread the raging traffic of our minds and lightly graze each of them, having no intention to dwell on any passing truck? When did we stop accepting that we are complex beings, and our emotions are not categories to fix, to alter with intoxication and medication?
We are whole beings with a beautiful spectrum of emotions in constant variation. The emptiness isn’t something unfamiliar and dark, scary or frightening, it is a part of who we are. Accepting emptiness isn’t easy, it comes with the fear we may be too comfortable with it, but if we tread on it on the tips of our toes, and linger for as long as we want to, we can in a sense, live with it.
For you may be a heart thats longing for a home,
Or a voice looking for an ear,
Or a child wanting to be held,
Or a slave to the cruel world that bears down upon you, taking everything you own,
You own that emptiness. You own that heart. You own arms to hold yourselves in the times when no one is sufficient enough.
We aren’t empty, ever, we are full of thoughts, dreams, promises, regrets, worries and passions. Our empty days aren’t like an empty glass bearing no water within, but a looking glass, reflecting ourselves in a serene observation of the entirety of our beings.
Or you may just say this was a load of crappy, self-love, new age bullshit that we shouldn’t subscribe to and instead ignore all of the necessities of addressing ourselves. You may then choose to ignore these days, and find yourselves lost in the very purpose beyond ourselves. But if we don’t care for the beings we are, not just physical, how do we then want to change the world we live in, for the better?
In all honesty, I just wanted to keep writing posts, and this seemed like a good bandwagon to jump on.