Sometime last year I wrote a blog about learning to love the empty space: https://thedailysisterhood.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/learning-to-love-the-empty-space/ It was an exploration into an old truth, but one that was beginning to speak to me more, one that was helping me make breakthroughs and have realizations on my journey.
I wrote about the empty space that always exists, and how we try to fill it all the time, with addictions, with people, with career, with facebook…anything even meditation and spiritual endeavor….
The empty space for me is not a comfortable place. I feel a lack, a pang deep in my heart and soul. I become restless. I want distraction, solace and comfort, and I want it ‘now’. I am returning to this topic as I realized last night, I am still very much trying to own this empty space. I still seek to run from it and to avoid and deny it. Indeed I had reverted to the old wine supping last year. Wine is my addiction. It has long stopped serving me or enhancing my life. My spiritual journey and awakening has given me irrefutable evidence that wine does not serve me. If we are talking in terms of raising our vibrations, alcohol pulls mine back down to the dregs of experience. One glass of sumptuous red by the fire with nice food. Sure. How romantic. Except it doesn’t, rarely ever works that way for me. One glass is never enough. And neither is two. So the unavoidable reality I come to again is, I am drinking to fill the empty space.
I don’t just drink to avoid it. I spend inordinate amounts of time on Facebook too – although as a highly social person who likes to choose her company carefully and enjoys home comforts in cozy sloppy clothes, this social stimulation suits me and I have many productive networks there too…..again, it’s a matter of knowing when it’s avoidance behavior or not. I also wrote a blog post about this not so long ago. https://thedailysisterhood.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/facebake/
So, having returned to, or maybe for the first time ever really really accepted, acknowledged and realized that alcohol doesn’t serve me, and drinking in moderation bores me and frustrates me, I have decided to just rule it out. Completely. Don’t want it don’t need it, thank you.
Last night, a Saturday night. I am sitting alone in my kitchen. The empty space starts to kick in. My default thoughts, which I am consciously re-programming at present, say…ok, what! what now ellen? what? what shall you do huh? Facebook is boring. I want a glass of wine…oooh that silky seductive glass of red always helps everything, makes it all smooth and sexy……no though, no my programming begins to say, yeah, but when you neck the whole bottle darling and maybe even open another it ain’t so hot is it? Good, the inner dialogue is working.
I get a little frustrated with my fiance. Where is he when I need him! If he was on facebook chat, or available for skype my Saturday night would pass very nicely. But he isn’t. I don’t want to read. I’m not ready for bed. I switch on the TV. Hmm, nope, nothing, nada, crapola.
Then I started to think. This is the empty space babe. This is it. There is nothing that can fill this. Nothing. It is what it is and it will pass. This is your Saturday night and it’s fine, it’s better than fine, it’s good. Nothing is wrong. So I pottered about for another little while. Channel hopped. Surfed the net. Brief chat with my guy. And not so much later, felt sleepy and hungry. Made a nice little supper, and went to bed. Read my detective novel for a while and snuggled up.
The empty space didn’t go away, but I just rolled with it, and maybe even loved it a little. This morning I woke fresh as a daisy. No red wine mouth or head or body. No guilt at the second bottle. And I felt refreshed. And happy. Yes happy.
This is all to say, I am learning to love the empty space. Finally. Learning to sit with my discomfort and let it pass. No one, nothing, not even God can fill it. So. I will simply let it be.
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Dr. Ellen Anne Burns is an actress, writer, mother, teacher, and student, not necessarily in that order. She was brought up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is a Doctor of Applied Theatre. She believes in a holistic spiritual practice, involving meditation, self love and discovery, learning and practicing forgiveness, gratitude and love every day. Ellen wishes to support and guide others on their own journey of self and love. She is a mentor on Gabrielle Bernstein’s-HerFuture.com and is thrilled to be one of the founding members of The Daily Sisterhood Blog. If you wish to contact Ellen please message her here, and she will respond as soon as she can.