Overwhelmed with a feeling of emptiness, I watched as family and friends enjoyed happy times this past Thanksgiving Day. I had my game face on – participating in all holiday festivities on que without anyone knowing the bottomless, empty hole I carried inside.
It was here in this abyss of emptiness I recognized I had a choice…to be engulfed by the empty hole I carried or to accept and explore it, and notice if anything was there.
I chose the latter. Breathing in deeply and letting emotions come as they may, I summoned the strength to explore and experience the emptiness I felt within every fiber of my being. Exploration revealed my emptiness to be a symptom of grief – grief for loved ones who have passed and grief for the loss of what used to be.
With full force, grief pummeled me with its presence. “Why did my loved ones leave me in such a lonely place?” I asked myself with childlike apprehension as I continued to explore. After a long period of searching and experiencing with hopelessness and uncertainty, my tear-filled eyes opened with a new awareness, seeing in this emptiness what I had not seen before….and I remembered.
I remembered all the times I watch my favorite TV comedy, The Big Bang Theory, knowing in part I like the show because it reminds me of my brother’s love for Star Trek. Perhaps I can choose to see each episode as my brother’s way of giving me a humorous hello.
I remembered my grandfather’s overprotectiveness as I anxiously walk to my car in a dark underground parking lot, and I am comforted by the thought of him at my side protecting me at all times. Perhaps I can choose to see this comfort as my grandfather’s loving embrace.
I remember my grandmother breaking off the ends of freshly grown green beans as she prepared them for cooking, and smile as I realize I’ve adopted the exact same posture and technique she used to break them. Perhaps I can choose to see this adoption of her behavior as a way of carrying the essence of my grandmother in me.
As I continue to notice things in my life connect and flow, perhaps I can choose to see these synchronicities as the energy of all my loved ones living and who have passed, coming together as one to guide me on my way forward.
In choosing these perspectives, I recognize and feel I am truly not alone and can sense a peace, comfort and love carrying me through.
If you find yourself feeling empty or alone, explore the feeling and notice what you find. Look within your heart and search for opportunities to choose perspectives that can bring peace, comfort and love as you journey through and beyond the abyss of emptiness.