empty-space

==========

 

“I have a full life. How can I be this empty? “

 

Gayle Foreman

 

==============

 

“The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of it’s scent nor the daisy of its simple charm.

 

If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.”

 

Thérèse de Lisieux

================

 

Ok.

 

I cannot think of one person I know who doesn’t think their day is full, their life is seemingly constantly stretched or feels like they do not have enough time to either <1> do what they want to do, or <2> do what they need to do.relax-empty-space-business-life

 

I cannot think of one person I know who doesn’t think, at least on occasion, about whether that “full” really equals ‘full’ or if it actually doesn’t feel a little less than full and maybe even a little empty.

 

This empty or full discussion is one I tend to believe we have over and over and over again … in our own minds.

 

And, yes, 99% of the time it is in our own heads. Why? Well. Because discussing it with someone else is fraught with peril.

 

Most of us have clearly faced up to the fact that no one will have any compassion for your full life nor your emptiness.

 

This is slightly weird because we all talk about being empathetic <I mean … who the hell wants to say they have no compassion or empathy?> and, yet, most everyone is fairly sure their own ‘full/empty’ version is ‘fuller & emptier’ than anyone who would be bitching about theirs. That said … this empty/full discussion is all ours — alone.

 

Why? The harsh truth is that, in general, compassion and empathy on this topic is fairy difficult in practice.

 

Especially when it comes into conflict with people’s feelings about hard work, work in general <because ‘hard work’ is in the eyes of the beholder>, doing <what constitutes real ‘doing’ varies by person>, earning things and what someone does or doesn’t deserve. That is a fucking long list of shit to have people in potential conflict over.

 

All that said … this actually means, whether we like it or not, this discussion is actually one about character & self.

 

Ok.

 

Maybe this is more a discussion of “the individual” and deciding who and what you want to be as a person <beyond simply ‘doing’>.

 

Ok.

 

Maybe it is more a discussion of “if every flower wanted to be a rose spring would lose its loveliness.”

okay type

Ok.

 

This discussion is difficult <I imagine if it was not then we would never feel full but empty>.

 

Measuring the individual against “the whole” is almost like breathing. We do it without even thinking.

 

This doesn’t mean we ignore all the ‘individual’ stuff like personal skills of perseverance, curiosity, optimism and self-control.

 

But more likely than not somewhere along the way we make a not-entirely-conscious decision to prioritize areas of life … both in personal and business and those in relation to each other. And this decision many times is less about us but rather driven by <a> the daily shit which fills up our days and <2> what society norms suggests ‘full’ looks like.

 

And as we do it we recognize <albeit painfully> that there is no ‘secret to success and work/life balance. The truth is that everyone just prioritizes how they see fit. And that is when we almost inevitably circle back to society <what a rose looks like> rather than simply just assess and do on our own.

 

Look.

 

Full but empty is a personal battle. I will not call this living in the inevitable rat race because I tend to lean toward the thought that everyone has an individual power to make a decision for the individual <and selectively ignoring societal norms and ‘cues’ just is not that difficult>.

 

And, yet, I recognize that we are constantly ‘trained’ to push for the sake of pushing <under the guise of attaining higher and higher outcomes>.  The problem with this ‘training’ is that it encourages us to “fill our lives” with what constitutes a fairly narrow view of success <which also quickly ‘fills’ your Life>.

 

I personally don’t think most people need to be trained to push themselves. I think most of us are hard-wired this way. In fact … I could argue that pushing yourself is not the problem.  I could argue the ‘empty’ is mostly driven by a sense of failure which starts lightly coating <and ultimately suffocating> everything you do … regardless of how objectively successful you are.

 

=

 

“Somebody once said we never know what is enough until we know what’s more than enough.”

 

Billie Holiday

 

=

 

 

Society demands a lot of things of us. It sets up some fairly absurd rules and a empty-pieces-left-behindshitload of damn stupid measurements.

 

 

Society is society and I am not smart enough to be able to offer to everyone how to not be full but empty.

 

But I can suggest a couple of things that could help.

 

Be consistent.

My gut tells me that at the core of being full but empty is that we chase shit. And by ‘chase shit’ I mean that with the intent to ‘fill up’ we start ‘checking off.’ That’s not really purpose driven nor living a life with a purpose … because it is simply chasing a moving list of things.

 

Maybe I could just suggest avoiding being ‘two/three/four/five faced’ as you attack filling up your Life and just focus on one good face. And maybe try and keep that face facing forward as often as you can.

 

Freedom not control.

This is hard. Really hard. We want to control everything in our lives … including people and their actions. But in trying to control we actually tend to limit the freedom we should give Life to expand to its best … for us and those around us.

 

Healthy productive people don’t like to be constrained by someone else. Why shouldn’t this pertain to ourselves and how we try and fill, or empty, our lives? <answer: it should pertain … and it is not different>.

 

 

So.

 

Just to finish up for today.

 

For some reason our ‘hallowed ground’ of happiness more often than not ends up in a dead end pursuit. And then we are stopped … and look at ‘full but empty’ footsteps behind us.

 

Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, life takes some real thinking with an open mind to nt end up at some dead end.

 

life-is-full-of-beautyBut maybe more importantly it takes the right attitude … if every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness

 

 

What I mean by that is because society and culture has encouraged us to think of ‘full’ as doing and tasks and outcomes … well … that means we all are, in some form or fashion, seeking to be a rose. And truth be told … we are a field of violets, sunflowers, lilies, astirs, and more … as well as roses .. and that is what makes Life look lovely.

 

And that, to me, is the key to this whole solving ‘full but empty’ thing. Ignore the roses … find out what flower you are and bloom.

 

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Written by Bruce