What happens when you realize a situation has reached its natural ending place?
The energy is gone and all the juice has dried up. You’re at a dead-end and it’s time to change course. Easier said than done, right?
Maybe it’s a relationship that has lost its joy, a job that has become mundane or a pattern that is not yielding the results you want.
How many times do we hold on, grasping for dear life at something that is no longer ours, instead of letting go? That limbo in between is scary—that empty space. We are constantly looking for something, anything, to fill that dark hole of the unknown.
For me, I’m constantly retraining myself.
Logically I know that it’s OK to be in limbo and it’s OK to have empty space where something once was. I am enough all on my own, therefore I don’t need anything or anyone to fill that space in order to be OK. It’s one thing to be open to what’s right at the right time, but that desperate needing and searching is not necessary.
I know this.
And I believe that many times we get into situations that are not good for us simply because we are afraid of the emptiness.
“If I don’t take this crappy job, if I don’t date this person I don’t see a future with, then I’ll have nothing”.
Even though I logically know a lot of things, it’s another step to apply that knowing to reality and to my emotions. Because the thing is, I still sometimes feel lost and stuck in that space—that emptiness.
But you know what? That emptiness is an opportunity, an opening to learn and grow. It’s a time to focus on self. That, truthfully, is part of the fear.
“Say what?! I have to look inward and learn about myself on a deeper level? Eeeek!”
I think we can all feel when a situation has lost its spark, even if we don’t admit it to ourselves. The fear wants to hold on. Change can be scary. Deep investigation of self can be scary. But if you can take that step regardless, sit in that empty space and come through to something transformational, that’s where the sweetness lies; the breath-taking view that you would have never seen if you had not noticed that dead-end sign and made that u-turn.
There’s another, more spectacular sight down another road, if we can only allow ourselves to travel along the unknown. Think of the unknown as a pathway to possibility and opportunity.
That’s the thing about dead-ends. It’s the end of one thing, and inevitably, the beginning of something else. But we tend to want that something else immediately.
Sometimes we need a little space between endings and beginnings; space to grow and nurture ourselves so that we are truly ready for the something else when it comes.
Society is obsessed with instant gratification and ‘busy-ness,’ so the thought of that in-between time is uncomfortable, to say the least. We are taught to always be doing something or have something going on. No wonder our inner development and spiritual journey is so often neglected. We are too busy distracting ourselves by reaching for that next thing.
The lesson for me is to keep re-learning, keep reminding myself that quiet, space and emptiness is OK and even necessary for me to be ready when that next things comes along.
I invite you to join me in this practice of gentle self-reminding. Remember that uncomfortable does not equal bad, and that empty space may just be the key for that next amazing chapter of life to open.
“Essence is emptiness.
Everything else, accidental.
Emptiness brings peace to loving.
Everything else, disease.
In this world of trickery emptiness is what your soul wants.”
Tria Aronow is a Youth Counselor, Job Skills Instructor and Certified Life Coach living in Tucson, Arizona. She loves helping others in uncovering passion and achieving life balance! In her free time she enjoys hiking, bicycling, hula hooping, dancing, being in the desert and a daily dose of sunshine! You can like her Facebook page or check out her web page for more information.
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Asst. Ed: Amy Cushing/Ed: Kate Bartolotta