A few weeks ago, someone suggested that I start dating.
“I can’t do that,” I insisted.
“Because,” I paused as the words made their way from my heart to my mouth, “I’m not looking to fill the hole inside me. I am broken and I have nothing to offer another person.”
Do you think that sounds pathetic? Like, I’m just choosing to be miserable? I think that’s how the communication was received.
My take on it is a little different. As I noted when I said I was going to withdraw, I realize that I’m not exactly stable at this time. The hysterical sobbing has subsided, but I’m still spinning quite a bit. My emotional spectrum is in full bloom and I can’t focus on serious long-term decisions. Yesterday, and again today, I opened a packet of oatmeal and poured the contents into my cup instead of my bowl (wtf?). The message is clear: I need to be still, and heal…
…Not long ago, I felt happy and fulfilled in my personal life. I had an amazing partner who was my best friend. He had children with whom I fostered loving connections. It took many years, but our family finally found a natural groove in which we operated rather comfortably. We laughed, we loved, we played Scattergories… And now? I’m typing from one of the two chairs that I own. I can hear the furnace humming and occasionally there’s some noise outside. There are no jokes to laugh at, no brotherly fights to break up, no snuggles, no hugs, no Scattergories (oh, how I miss that game!). No human greets me as I come and go… there aren’t even enough dirty dishes to warrant use of the dishwasher. Emptiness is everywhere.
Like I said, I don’t want to simply fill the hole. I’d prefer to, instead, heal the wound. And we all know that wounds heal best when kept clean and provided the proper mix of protection and fresh air. I’m striving to find that balance and I think I’m doing OK. I can sit in the quiet for hours without feeling lonely. I can delight in the sound of rain on the windows. I read (check out Love, Freedom and Aloneness: The Koan of Relationships, by Osho). I meditate. I ponder. I have a rockin’ support system (thank you: friends, family, therapist and coach!) that offers me a lifeline back to Normal when I start feeling crazy. Sometimes, I reach out. Sometimes, I go out. Mostly, I try to use this time to turn inward, ask questions and confront myself. How else can I grow from this experience? I know it doesn’t sound like fun. It’s not fun. Yet, I’ve considered other options, and “learning and growing” seems to be the most logical choice to make right now.
And so, I’m finding peace in the emptiness. I’m sitting with the uncertainty. Through self-reflection, I’m cleaning the wound. In silence and sobriety (for now, I refuse to dismiss genuine emotion by use of chemicals), I’m protecting what remains tender and raw. And, as I embrace the world, a fresh air exchange is taking place in the void. I think the only thing left to do is keep listening and wait for time to do it’s thing.
“We form clay into a pot, but it’s the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want”-Lao Tzu
Another word for “emptiness“ is “space“, and space is a great thing to explore. Within it, I hope to bridge the gap between “hole” and “whole” 😉