This is from Margaret Paul’s column in The Huffington Post. Good analysis, I’d say. Good advice.
The Cause of Inner Emptiness
(And What to Do About It)
by Margaret Paul, PhD.
Posted: 06/ 2/11 08:16 AM ET
Click here to view the original article
Do you often feel empty inside? Do you believe that others should be filling you up? Discover the real cause of inner emptiness and what to do about it.
If you feel empty, you are not alone in feeling this way. Many people feel empty inside, and most people who feel empty have some deep, false beliefs regarding why they feel empty. Below are some of these false beliefs. I feel empty because:
- My partner is not giving me enough love and attention.
- I don’t have a partner.
- I’m bored because my partner doesn’t provide me with enough stimulation.
- My work is unsatisfying.
- I’m not successful enough.
- I don’t have enough money.
- I have no one to play with on weekends.
- Nothing excites me. Life is boring.
- I don’t get enough love, attention and approval from friends and relatives.
- I don’t get enough sex.
None of these situations is a real cause of inner emptiness.
What do you usually do to try to fill the inner emptiness? Do you try to fill up with:
- Substances, such as food, sugar, alcohol, drugs or cigarettes?
- Processes and activities, such as TV, Internet, sex, computer games, work, shopping, spending, gambling, telephone or email?
- Attempting to get others’ attention or approval with niceness, caretaking, over-talking, story-telling, anger or blame?
There are many substances, processes, behaviors and activities that people use addictively to try to fill the emptiness. These may work for the moment, but not for long. Soon, the emptiness is back and you are looking for someone or something to temporarily fill up the black hole.
The problem with all these behaviors is that they only address the symptom of inner emptiness – not the cause.
The Cause Of Inner Emptiness
There is only one thing that truly fills the emptiness. Love. There is only one cause of inner emptiness: a lack of love.
But it is not a lack of someone else’s love that causes your emptiness. Inner emptiness is caused by self-abandonment – by not loving yourself.
Inner emptiness comes from a lack of connection with your spiritual source of love – from not opening to the love-that-is-God and bringing that love to yourself through true thought and loving action in your own behalf.
When you abandon yourself by judging yourself, ignoring your feelings by staying in your head, numbing your feelings through substance and process addictions and making others responsible for your feelings and for loving you, you will feel empty. You are causing your own emptiness by your self-abandonment.
Your ego-wounded self is filled with false beliefs regarding who you are. Your wounded self may see you as inadequate, unlovable, not good enough, not important, selfish, bad, wrong. Your wounded self operates from core shame – that you are intrinsically flawed.
These are programmed beliefs that have no basis in truth, but they may be running your life. When you believe that you are not good enough, then you turn to others and to addictions to try to feel okay – to fill the emptiness that you are causing with your self-judgment/self-abandonment.
Filling Your Inner Emptiness: Learning To Love Yourself
The truth of who you are comes only from your personal source of spiritual guidance – whatever that is for you. When you open to learning with a source of higher guidance about the truth of who you are, and about what is loving action toward yourself and others, you open to the love-that-is-God coming into your heart and filling your inner emptiness.
This occurs when you shift your attention – from protecting against pain and avoiding responsibility for your feelings through your addictive and controlling behaviors – to learning, with your higher guidance, about what is loving to yourself and others.
Today, choose the intent to learn with your higher guidance about truth and about loving yourself – even if you don’t believe that anything is there to answer you – and see what happens. You might start to feel full of love inside!