I’ve found the subject of “voids” tends to evoke a certain amount of discomfiture in the general populace when contemplated or discussed. Sometimes the response is one of fear, other times outright loathing, as many equate the word “void” with a loss. While that’s certainly true to a degree when you boil it all down, I think it’s a far more rich & complex issue worth exploring. Such a simplistic viewpoint seems rather shortsighted to me, as it fails to take into account the deeper layers of what’s really at work when we’re dealing with this kind of negative space, which is – essentially – just an energetic vacuum of sorts.
A void is like a giant energetic “VACANCY” sign flashing out into the ethers. It has a way of attracting people/things into its orbit in order to fill that empty space, much along the vein of Aristotle’s postulation that “nature abhors a vacuum”. Whether a void forms by chance or by design, it’s natural that we initially focus on what’s *not* there any longer as we process what this loss means to us. Metaphorically speaking, loss psychologically correlates to an experience of “death” on some level, and as we pass through this dark tunnel in preparation for our arrival at The Other Side we may experience feelings in line with the Kubler-Ross five stages of grieving: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The more experience we have with this subject matter, I find, the quicker we seem to move through these stages. Repeated exposure to loss can show us just how intrinsically it is linked to life; ergo the acceptance portion of the equation can enter more readily. As an anecdote, we might consider a scene from the movie “Forrest Gump” in which Forrest’s mama has been stricken with cancer. When explaining her terminal illness to her son in uncomplicated terms, she said that death was just a part of life; that it’s something we’re all destined to do. Such simple acceptance can be a profound and beautiful thing, as it allows us to undergo major life transitions with strength and grace.
Now when we do find a void opening up somewhere in our life, I don’t think we’re meant to grow accustomed to this sense of loss to the extent that we become numb and completely desensitized to it. Rather, I believe that if we seek to understand the reasons for the totality of our life experiences (good, bad, or indifferent) on a spiritual level, it seems that finding a way of depersonalizing this experience to a certain degree can help us successfully pass through the empty space created & out the other side so that we’re not quite so raw inside. This very natural process represents a kind of decomposition, where we go through a process of breaking down and then eventually rebuilding our internal worlds so this empty space inside can become a rich fertilizer for the seeds we choose to plant with conscious intention. We may not be the same as we once were before this vacancy opened up, but like a volcanic eruption that’s spewed a cloud of nutrient-rich ash into the air, a void can leave an indelible mark on the surrounding landscape that – with time – can support new life that not only survives, but thrives. If one digs below the surface, evidence of this seemingly cataclysmic geological event can still be found, however what has grown above the soil line flourishes with new vitality gained from the rich complexity of this experience.
Similarly, when we find ourselves with the recognition that a void has opened up and swallowed whatever once stood in its place, it need not be an empty, gaping hole for all of eternity. Whether formed by forces greater than us or by our own hand, having that invisible “VACANCY” sign beaming out into the energetic plane does allow us an opportunity to contemplate very carefully what we want to grow and cultivate in that space going forward. What do we want to fill that void with on a physical, energetic, and emotional level? How are will we prepare the soil and lay the groundwork to attract the things, people, and circumstances we want to enter this space?
I think the answer to how we acclimate ourselves to this new nothingness lies in simply holding space to process the emotions dredged up during this procedure. I also believe there’s value in holding that void until the time is right, because doing so can help us reject the things, relationships, and/or circumstances we *DON’T* want filling this space in order to keep an energetic “Reserved Parking” sign up for what we *DO* wish to invite. Rather than yielding to a compulsive hunger to fill this uncomfortable vacancy with something, *anything*, we might learn to sit with this emptiness until we’re ready to move on and begin planting our seeds of conscious intention in this consecrated place. A void need not be our enemy; it can actually be our ally if we allow it to consume things that have lingered past their expiration dates and trust that it will magnetically pull the *right* things into our orbit instead in due course. It’s all about our point of view, and eventually when we come into the bright, white light at the end of this experience we may even embrace the depth of character such an encounter can bestow upon us.