The Void

Have you ever been at a point in your life where something felt like it was missing? From the outside, everything looks and seems perfect but you just know it’s not. It doesn’t mean that you don’t appreciate everything you have but to be completely honest, there is a hole, a void that needs to be filled.

I know that I’m lucky. I have everything I could possible ask for and want. I have it easy on a lot of fronts. But there’s always been a part of me that needs more. It’s hard to say which area of my life needs to be filled.

This is something that we don’t talk about much. How many times have we gotten into a discussion with other people about feeling like something was missing? How many times have we talked about this feeling that something needs to change? We don’t. I know that when I have some adult time, I usually talk about the physical things happening in my life. It’s hard to express this void when everything I do have to say is already good. Maybe we talk about problems or issues we have with some part but again, it’s usually something that physically exists. This void is hard to explain. It’s hard to express in a way that others can understand. I hope I’m doing it some justice trying to explain it here.

In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert says that “Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don’t, you will leak away your innate contentment.”

I have felt that happiness and inner contentment. And somewhere, somehow, it leaked. I can’t be the only one in the world searching for something. I can’t be the only one who has this need to fill this void. It took me a while to realize that I was trying to fill it with things that would never satisfy it. It’s like I have to come to terms with myself and where my life is now and find joy in that. I can also actively work to add substance to my life to help. But the void can’t be filled with superficial distractions. It won’t work.

It’s hard to keep up this effort. But my only choices are either to keep doing it to find the contentment I seek or to give up. I refuse to give up.

Do You Want Something In Your Life To Change? Then, Change It!

Sometimes, when you aren’t looking, everything just seems to fall into place. All of a sudden, things seem to make sense again. How? Where? When? What happened when you weren’t paying attention?

Life works like that. Struggles happen and we wonder why is this happening to us. We don’t understand when everything will come together and we can look back and really understand why certain things happened the way they did. In the process, we sometimes have a hard time remembering who we are as well.

Everything is a step to something else. I find it easier to accept the things that are difficult if I can believe that it will help me move toward something better.

I also find it easier to deal with these times of struggle when I’m actively trying to do something to change my situation. It’s so easy to fall into the mode of “nothing is ever going to change” or “nothing is ever going to get better” and then sit around and hope something will make you feel better about your life. It doesn’t work that way. If you’re lucky, some opportunity will fall into your lap. But most of us have to work for it.

If you find yourself in a spot where you want things to get better or be different than what they are, find a way to change them. Step out of your box and towards something new. Be an active participant in the changed you want to see in your life. I know you’re thinking “well, easier said than done”. Actually, I’ve tried to change my life and I’ve seen plenty of people who also have made an effort to change theirs. And, all of a sudden, I find myself in a whole new place than I was before. Things look better than they did before. Opportunities arise that you would have never expected.

Give yourself a chance to really find what you’re looking for in life. Even if you don’t have a clear picture of what would make you happier, try to find something small that you know would make your day better than it was. Every time you take a step forward, you’re creating change in your life.

Eventually, you will look around and realize that everything is right where it’s supposed to be.

When Things are Good

I want to take a second to write about appreciation for the good things in life. When things are going well, it’s always good to stop, look around, and realize that this is happiness. Right now, I have nothing to complain about (although I’m sure I could find one if I tried). But overall, it feels like everything is where it should be.

Having gone through a lot in the last 3 years of my life, I’ve learned to appreciate the times where things are calm. Life making sense isn’t something that’s always present. It’s nice when it does.

Appreciation is something that collectively we don’t do often. We take things for granted when they are good and curse out the world when they are bad. I know I have been over the last week while I’ve had some neck and back pain. I still have it but it’s Friday and I feel a little better and I slept enough last night. These are a few things that I’m grateful for today. And I want to make sure that I acknowledge these things while I feel them. Life changes every moment and I want to make sure that if I’m keeping track, that I do so fairly with the positives in my life as well.

Various books and empowerment articles talk about keeping a gratitude list. It’s supposed to help us see the good things even within a rough day. It does work. The hardest part is committing to doing it especially when you have a bad day. It helps though to recognize the good things. It keeps us grounded while pointing out that even though our day has not been the best, there are a few things that we can smile about. I’ve even listed things like eating ice cream and reading a book as positives. Not everyone is lucky enough to even get the opportunity for those things so I want to make sure I fully appreciate them.

Today, I am grateful that everything is where it should be. =)