Emptiness



I have always found it useful in my life to contemplate the underlying reasons we do the things we do as humans. I suppose I could have easily slid into a psychology type of career for this reason. On this journey of minimalism it is no different. I know that when people exhibit unhealthy attachment to things that usually there is a trigger, a time or circumstance that you can pinpoint exactly when you started to need to hold onto things.

My childhood was minimalist. Either because we couldn't afford otherwise, or for my mother's sanity, or maybe a little of both. We didn't have a ton of unnecessary things lying around. In fact, when I was about 6 I remember my parents were convinced that we were going to move and so they sold off like all of our stuff. This is ironic because I'm kind of in the same mindset in wanting to move and selling off all our stuff. But I lived with a mattress on the floor and no dresser, my clothes were in rubbermaid bins, for years. I didn't care. I mean, it was inconvenient and I longed for a space that looked put together but it didn't adversely affect me. I had the ability to go outside whenever I wanted to, barring my school work was finished, so therefore my needs for toys and other things were very small. Even into my teenage years our home was very minimal. I don't recall having pretty much anything for hobbies. There were no game closets, there was no arts & crafts area, no bins of toys, etc. We had the outdoors and that's where I wanted to be most of all anyway, what kid doesn't?

Flash forward to age 16 when my parents moved themselves and me from Hawaii to Missouri, the need to acquire hit them. We left our entire community behind us and weren't able to fill it here, not in any fulfilling/satisfying way at least. I lost all my friends and the circle of family I'd always been surrounded by, but so did they. We had no family here and no friends. We were isolated and therefore found ourselves in the middle of an emptiness that eventually needed filling.

If we hadn't moved from Hawaii I don't think we would have ever gotten to where we're at now.

The place you live has a great deal with how you live your life. Now I'm a great advocate for making lemonade out of lemons, but some of us are predisposed to needing a certain environment and community. And without those two things we end up flailing about. Like a worm taken out of the dirt and put in water, completely out of it's element.

I know I felt the emptiness pretty heavily considering I was still a child and had no control over my situation. I left several friendships behind that I'd had for over 8 years and I would eventually understand that there was no replacing it, I'd never find friendships like that again.

How do we learn to embrace the emptiness instead of trying to fill it? It's like jumping into the ocean and trying to avoid the water from enveloping your body. Or maybe we just need to learn to adapt, learn to swim. And how do we stop seeing emptiness negatively? Maybe the only difference between emptiness and a vast open world is the fact that we're trying to hold onto something, so our arms are closed and in our human emotional state we feel nothing because what we're grasping means nothing. Emptiness can be glorious. Have you ever hiked to the top of a large mountain or hill and looked out and noticed how much space there is? That can be emptiness when your arms are open wide. We seek to fill when God wants our arms open so he can fill them? When we're full, where's the room for Him? Where's the room for the plans He has made for you? If you're busy mapping out your entire life, where's the room for deviation? And when the time comes will we even notice the pathway He's already clearing for us to change routes?

Emptiness is a good thing, yet somewhere in our self controlled environments we have decided that it's bad. It's negative. Emptiness, loneliness, & sadness are all there for a purpose in our life if we are seeking the one who designed them all with us in mind.

We sought community and failed to see we had it, just not in the form we were used to. I wonder how much we might have accomplished if we had simply stood together as a family of 3 and put our minds and hands to work usefully?

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