Empty, emotionally drained, and not sure how to get full again? Not sure how to feel joy again? Have you ever looked inside your full refrigerator and thought I have nothing to eat? Have you sat with a tank full of gas and said, "I have nowhere to go"? A house full of electronics, toys, games and stated, "I have nothing to do." Saying to yourself, "I'm so bored. I wish there were something fun to do now". Inside, a room full of people said, "I am so lonely; no one loves me." How can you feel full if you will not eat? Sometimes the very thing we want is in front of us, but we reject it and then wonder we are still hungry. If you feel empty, it's likely related to an emotional need that is not being met—the need for love, affection, time, or attention.
It feels like feeling empty, you have what you need, but you can't connect with the solution in hand or inside of you. Therefore, you're always looking in some other direction and some other place to get the emotional need met. You might be emotionally numb because you are exhausted or going through a hard time. When you have dealt with some disappointment, you likely resist trusting relationships—mistrusting, tired because of what has happened to us. We become numb so that we don't get hurt any further. You sometimes mistake that feeling of being numb for feeling empty. We don't necessarily know what to do to feel whole again or hope again. Begin to change the sense of emptiness by getting connected to other people. Emptiness comes from a lost relationship, missing a sense of connection with everyone around you.
Connection comes from enjoying each other, feeling like someone else has your back. You feel like there's no one there for you and no one you can reach out to. Feeling a genuine sense of connection helps remove the feelings of emptiness inside.
When it comes to a relationship that needs to be repaired, we feel empty because of unforgiveness. By forgiving the person who hurt us and actively working on repairing that relationship, the feeling will change.
Learning to accept love as presented when someone is trying to love you will help remove the empty feeling that we have inside. We resist the love others are trying to express to us. We are stopping ourselves from accepting it because refuse to believe it. We are refusing to believe that someone else can love us because we're thinking about all the things we did wrong and rehearsing the ways not measuring up, things that we want to make right.
In the meantime, the other person is attempting to love you and loving you as is while you refuse to believe or accept it because of your flaws. Stop making an inventory of your mistakes, errors, and setbacks. Rather accept love as it's presented to you. There are times that we stop ourselves from getting the very thing that we need. We are in the way of getting the love, attention, affection, kindness, and acceptance needed.
I want to ask yourself how you can feel full if you refuse to eat? Sometimes the very thing that we need is in front of us. We reject it and then wonder why we're still hungry. Although it was being given to us, we are still hungry for love, placed in front of us by the people who care. Allowing ourselves to feel empty inside because we're asking for something already given. We complain, dismiss it and reject the affection or kindness being offered. For example, if you're asking someone to spend time with you, and they spend time. Then the whole time, you're complaining, "this is not enough," "why don't we do this often? I feel rejected you don't spend more time with me". The problem in this scenario is that they're trying to spend time with you, but you're using that time to complain. Allowing feelings of frustration and hurt to take over. You are making that time being spent not pleasant and losing the opportunity to connect. Making it difficult for them to spend the time, they gave you exactly what you requested, and you dismissed the effort.
Another example is if you ask someone, "do you love me" and then they tell you "yes I do I love you very much". Your response is "well I'm not sure, I don't believe that" or you say "why, how can you love me". You start to bring up "I've done this and I've done that", you go about trying to disprove their love you.
You asked a genuine question and they gave you a genuine answer. You don't want to believe that you could be loved just as you are. Therefore, you remaining feeling empty, because you're rejecting the very thing that they're trying to offer you. We can also keep feeling empty when we lack boundaries when we are rigid, allowing anger to consume the very thing that we're trying to get from other people.
When someone is presenting you with kindness and the affection but you're letting anger take it all. The refusal to be flexible, compromise and work with them. You are preventing joy, and feeling connected, doing things that keep us in the same state of mind. Feeling full is about acceptance, love and small acts of taking in the good stuff. If you take small bites of a good meal, you will feel full. With small bites you savor the flavor and become content.
Good emotions such as love, compassion, acceptance, and empathy are like good meals. They leave you feeling full and help create more joy in your life. When you feel those positive emotions, your life fills up. The space that once felt empty inside, now giving to others the very thing that you need, you get that back and return. It's like a boomerang, we give love and it comes back to us. We give compassion and kindness and it comes back. We smile, laugh, showed joy and it comes back to us. Kindness will cause other people to be kind. Give the very thing that you need and you will see it come back to you.
Acknowledging what you have can also help you feel full. Look around you and take inventory, acknowledge what is there and what is useful. Remember the refrigerator example, if you open up the refrigerator, look inside and acknowledge; "I have a meal, fruits, vegetables. I have juice, all these good things to eat". All of a sudden, you're not focused on what is missing. Seeing what you have, acknowledging you're grateful for it and now you start getting excited.
No longer fixating on the emptiness, and starving. Realizing if you acknowledge and connect you have more than enough. Appreciation builds excitement and then follows engagement. Feeling emotionally connected to the people in your life. All the things that are valuable to you, make life enjoyable, fun, engaging and leave you expecting good things. Choosing to love, connect, believe someone when they tell you they love you. Resist discounting the emotions, positive feelings of affection that others have towards you. I hope you live full of joy and peace. Full of compassion, instead of emptiness, start repairing and you start accepting yourself and others.
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I’m Gessy Martinez, LPC, LCDC and I’m here to help you start healing today. Healing from your past is possible.