Filling the Void

Filling the Void

For many individuals, certain habits or patterns serve to fill a void in their lives. This void can be a means of attaining comfort or avoiding discomfort, such as pain, overwhelm, or urges. The word “void” itself is defined as a completely empty space. However, it is important to question whether it is truly empty or not. While it may seem empty on the surface, the reality is that the void may contain traumas, experiences, identities, or beliefs that have been suppressed because they are too uncomfortable or painful to confront, feel, and release.

When we cover up the pain and replace it with emptiness, we fail to address the underlying energy of the pain or discomfort. We may try to sweep it under the rug, hide it, escape from it, or pretend that everything is fine. However, the pain and discomfort still linger, festering beneath the surface. In fact, by filling the void with distractions, we inadvertently teach ourselves that filling the void is necessary to feel better and prevent the resurfacing of pain.

The void is typically filled through various behaviors or addictions. Some common examples include:

  • Overeating or consuming foods that do not benefit our bodies
  • Excessive drinking
  • Drug use
  • Engaging in excessive sexual activities
  • Compulsive shopping
  • Overthinking or obsessing
  • Excessive use of technology, such as TV, phones, tablets, or gaming
  • Perfectionism
  • Creating drama
  • Deflecting blame
  • Being overly needy
  • Avoidance or procrastination
  • Self-harm
  • Playing the victim
  • Overdoing anything, such as exercising, seeking validation, learning, socializing, isolating, or self-care

In essence, any behavior or activity that serves as a distraction can be used to avoid feeling the emotions and experiences that reside within the void.

It is important to recognize that this tendency to fill the void is completely human. However, in many cases, constantly filling the void only compounds the underlying issues and creates more problems. For instance, it can lead to weight gain, poor health, financial debt, increased stress, and strained relationships. Moreover, it can also prolong the healing process that is necessary for personal growth and moving forward in life. This makes it more difficult to understand the root cause that initially created the void.

Filling the void means avoiding the root cause that created it.

If you feel stuck, blocked, or find yourself repeating the same patterns over and over again, it is essential to recognize that you may be consciously or unconsciously choosing these behaviors to fill the void and avoid addressing the root cause. The problem lies not in the behavior itself, but rather in what is driving the behavior.

For example, if you find yourself overeating or overdrinking, leading to weight gain and harm to your health, it is crucial to understand that food or alcohol is not the primary issue. These substances are merely present. The key lies in understanding why you are using food or alcohol to fill the void.

It is important to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What void am I trying to fill with this behavior? It is not necessary to relive past traumas unless guided by a professional. However, it is crucial to be aware that you may be compensating for something in your past, regardless of the size or recency of the trauma.
  • Am I willing to see, feel, and release this story, pattern, pain, or discomfort? If you are not willing, the pain-body energy will persist in your body and energy field, festering and distorting, regardless of how much you deflect and distract yourself by filling the void with other things, including dieting or constantly seeking validation.
  • Can I trust that I am capable of moving through these painful or uncomfortable feelings? The answer is yes. Seeking help from professionals is always an option, but it is important to realize that your feelings cannot harm you. They are merely sensations in the body. Although they may not be pleasant, they are not dangerous. You can navigate through them by practicing deep breathing, journaling, stillness, physical movement, or seeking support from friends, coaches, or therapists.
  • Will I be vigilant of the thoughts and subconscious patterns that arise as I commit to this inner work of feeling the void? These patterns and thoughts have likely become second nature to you. Your brain has developed strong neural pathways and internal justifications that generate instantaneous urges to fill the void when negative emotions arise. Shifting these mindless and misaligned patterns may initially seem impossible and hopeless, but it is crucial to remember that they are changeable as long as you remain committed to working through your feelings, even if you are not always perfect in doing so.

The bottom line is that it is essential to acknowledge and feel what lies beneath the void that you are attempting to fill with other things or ways of being. The void does not hold power over you because it is created by you. You possess the capability to work through the painful and uncomfortable feelings that are longing to be acknowledged, loved, and transformed. By doing so, you can truly embody your authentic self and live a more fulfilling life.