Is there something you would love to do right now? Something that you can’t do? Something you desired so desperately that everything would make way for this? Yet that you can’t do. That remains a wish, a desire, an everlasting depiction of a possible future. A dream, of a brighter future. We all do. Right? But should we? Isn’t it a waste of time to wish you could do something? If you wish for something to happen. Is this wish ever gonna come true, and what if it does. Will we be satisfied? Finally content with our lives?
If only I could do…
If only I could do what I love and make money with it.
If only I could have a place for myself.
If only I could…
You can fill in the blank. I have had these thoughts cross my mind often. Too often maybe. A subtle wish for change. A small flash of desire for something else that I feel like I do not have. A wonder what this would be like, and a desire to obtain it. I wished to finish college and be able to pursue writing. I dreamed of it. I wished for it. I worked for it. And let a lot of myself break down to achieve it. Has anything changed though? Has my life changed?
In physical form it has. It has changed from attending college each day to writing each day. An incredible shift, a shift I’ve always desired. But what’s missing then? I feel that there is still a void within me that yearns to be filled. That shouts, and kicks and bites back as young kids do when they are in desperate need of attention. But I do not give it that attention, for it has scared me for years to look deep into the void that fills the place of my heart.
And I believe I am not the only one scared to stare into the darkness. The night sky filled with nothing. No moon, no stars, no blinking lights of planes. There’s nothing when you stare within when you truly dare to look inward. And thus I turn away my gaze, onto more objective matters. Like “if only I could do…” Then I would not have to deal with this void ever again. But the void never disappears. It grows more silent, it stopped kicking and crying, and it has pulled itself away. Knowing that it will never be appreciated for what it is. Until now.
Until now, where we dive in. Where I plunge in together with you and stare into the void, into its eyes. To see that “if only I could do…” is nothing but a wish for something that lies deeper within us. Which is? The desire to be alive. To experience every minute on this earth. This is a journey inward, for you and me. Consisting of three layers, or parts. The first part is to face your inner void and how to treat it. The second to start doing what you love. The third to dream without the desire to fill a void. Enjoy this deep dive into the void in our chests, that yearns to be attended to.
Part One: Don’t Be Scared
Within each one of us lies a void, a place we rather not want to touch, see, or hear. We cannot live without it, nor do we want to look at it. This puts us in a rough spot. Right in the middle, where I feel like we neither are fully alive nor completely unconscious of the fact that the void is there.
Weirdly enough, we all have this void at first, that it feels like something is lacking that we need to fill up. Why is it there? Why is there a void within us, or at least, why do we feel like there is? I haven’t faced my void for a long time. I think that just before writing this it has been the first time in months to dare to look inward again. I opened up to the void and discovered why it is there.
It’s here because we haven’t received all the love we needed in our youth. Which we can never receive I feel like. Our parents or caretakers aren’t to blame for it. That would only make the problem worse. They have done all they could.
I have lovely parents, and they are a blessing to the world. They have given me all the love they had to share. Still, there are moments in which I feel like that I haven’t received the love I needed. Which is normal, my parents are human. They couldn’t give me the love I wanted all the time. In fact, if they might have been able to give me exactly what I wanted it would have made me unable to take care of myself. For our parents to not love us each moment we desire, is a blessing. It puts us in a spot in which we can learn to love ourselves.
That’s why the void is there. It’s a mild or large trauma from our past. That feels like it needs something to fill it up. It could be that you were left alone in a crucial moment, or that one of your parents or caretakers got mad at you occasionally. It’s often attached to moments where we wanted love but didn’t receive it. That’s how the void was created. And that is the very reason why we fear it so much. It’s a place in which we feel like we aren’t enough or don’t deserve love.
For me that void is about not doing enough, feeling like whatever I do, it will never be enough. I was scared to face it because I didn’t know what would come up. Nor how to deal with it. I wasn’t sure if I could ever feel like I was enough, but after a few years of not facing it something about the void had changed. It matured in some way.
The void within us is like a kid, a young kid yearning for attention. Kicking. Screaming. Maybe even bitting you back. That kid scares us, but all it wants is for us to sit down and listen. It wants recognition, a bit of love, and attention.
I started seeing the void within me as a kid. A young version of myself. This was the image that came up when I sat down in silence. I saw my crying face and the anger in my eyes. That younger version of myself felt left alone. Not by my parents, but by myself. All it asked for was for me to sit down like my parents always did. The younger version of myself felt scared, and not enough. Therefore it was trying to get attention in every possible way. And that scared me, it pushed me away from listening to it.
Still, a few weeks ago I decided to sit down. Cross-legged. Right in front of my younger self. I wasn’t afraid anymore. I understood that this young version of me had taken on the image of a void within me, purely because it didn’t feel loved. Anything that doesn’t receive the love it needs to will wither away, will turn into darkness, emptiness, and eventually turns into a void. A plant not cared for will wither away, die, and eventually become a void in the forest.
Anything that doesn’t receive the love it needs to will wither away, will turn into darkness, emptiness, and eventually turns into a void. A plant not cared for will wither away, die, and eventually become a void in the forest.
That spot can be filled again, but only if we take the time to take care of it. To plant a new seed, and to water it often. And so did I. I sat down with my younger self. The one that wanted love. I didn’t do much. I simply listened to its cries and yearns at first. I listened to all its desperate attempts to get my attention when finally it realized that I was there. That I was giving it the attention it needed. And it stopped kicking, screaming, and hurting me. Instead, it started to show me what it was missing. It was missing someone that told him, he was enough. That all the work he did was enough. And so I did. In my mind, I wrapped my arm around my younger self. I remembered that this was all I craved in these kinds of moments.
I didn’t need advice, or someone to tell me what to do. I knew what to do, I still know what to do. We all know because we are born with a heart that tells us what to do and where to go. All we need is someone to love us when things don’t go the way we expected them to go. All we need is a loving embrace. A hug, a kiss, a silent moment, someone who listens to us, or an affirmation of love. My younger self, which had become the void within me wasn’t as scary anymore. It had become a friend of mine. The void within me didn’t disappear though. That remained, but my fear for the void did disappear.
I saw how vulnerable it was, and how all it needed was a little love and attention.
Part Two: ~~If Only~~ I Could Do What I Love
See that all this void wanted was a bit of love, I could now see that I could do what I loved. At first, I constantly felt like I wanted to do something else. The title of this article after is “if only I could do…” this is a phrase we often recite in our heads when we feel like life is never enough as it is. I feel like the only reason we think this is because we are not satisfied with whatever we are doing.
If only I could do… suggest that we cannot do it right now. That we, as we are, are not enough. That there is something that will fulfill us in the future. Whether that be work, a vacation, a dream, or something to be. “If only” is a suggestion that we desire it, that we long for it, and that right now we do not yet have it or can do it. I desired to make an income as a writer, I desired a specific lifestyle. Filled with writing, reading, and sharing wisdom hidden deep within all of us. But that inner void always made me feel like I wasn’t there yet.
At the end of college, all I longed for was getting my degree so that I could start focussing on writing. But now, as I have finished college and am writing each day, there is yet again another “if only” so to say. I now long to make a living with my writing. It wouldn’t be a surprise that I do not yet earn a living with it. That made me believe that I didn’t deserve it. That it would never happen. That I could never do what I love, purely because as of right now I do not make money yet. This is an insane thought if you think about it.
Millions of people would love to make a living with writing, and for me to think that only within weeks of continuous writing that I would do so, would be insane. That’s when I realized that inner void was doing its thing again. The yearning kid within me was feeling not enough, it was scared, in need of attention, and therefore it started telling me that I was never gonna make it. What if I did not have anyone reading my article as of right now, that I would never be able to. It made me believe that I could never do what I love.
Luckily I realized quickly that it was just this void within me that was making me feel this. That was trying to make me feel unworthy, I often felt like this if I didn’t get the right results I needed to. But this time things were different. I knew how to handle the void. I wasn’t afraid of it anymore. I knew that the void was just me, as a kid. Crying. In desperate need of attention. So like I did before I sat down, imagining myself wrapping an arm around my younger self. And slowly it quieted down. I stopped crying and I realized that I was scared to fail. Scared to fail because my parents would see me as a failure, and this is something I have feared my entire life.
Realizing this, and simply giving my younger self a mental hug changed that. Things changed, and instead of saying to myself “If only I could do what I Love” I started saying I can do what I love. I am doing what I love. I write every day. I read every day. I meditate. I am living the life that I desired to live, and that is enough. Yes, I am not yet making money with it. Yes, I do not yet have an income that allows me to live on my own, but I already live the life I wanted to live all along.
And that is what will happen with us if we see that our longing for something different, the “if only” question, is only there because our inner kid is scared. If you give it some loving attention it will stop crying, and it will instead be on the same page as you. You will start to see that you can indeed do what you love. Right now. You can start creating what you have longed for so long. You can as of right now start doing what you love. It might not be full-time, it might not yet earn you money, but the thing you want is not the outcome. It’s not the money, it’s not the result. It’s doing what you love to do and that you crave. For me, it’s writing, reading, and meditating that I long to do every day. These are just three things that make me love life. For you, these will be completely different, for each one of us have different things that make us come alive.
The way to love life is to enjoy the things we can do right now, instead of seeing the things we cannot do yet.
You can do what you love, by loving what you do right now, not feeling the need to do anything else than this. If that be creating music, enjoy every minute you can spend writing music. Not just that, but also love the moments you cannot write music. Use that time as inspiration. As something to feed what you want to do most. Hear the beats of the world around you. This changed everything for me. To not see what I was lacking anymore, but to see that what I was given each moment.
Part Three: There is Nothing to Fill
That realization, to see the abundance instead of the scarcity made me realize there is nothing to fill. No void to fill, no need for change. The void that I feared so much. That we all fear so much, it’s un-fillable. Why? Because if that void would be fillable it would mean that love had an ending. That one day our cups would be full and there is nothing else to experience and love anymore. That void within us is only a scary dark place because we fear it.
When we start to love the void, the emptiness deep within us, we see that it is not a void but space for all the love of the world to settle down. A place that we call home.
That sounds strange I know. Most of you, including myself have feared this feeling of emptiness most of our lives. But it is the emptiness that allows us to be filled with a never-ending amount of love. That’s what I’ve come to understand. You can see the emptiness like this:
We all have a cup to be filled, a cup to be filled with love. The emptiness we feel inside, the void, that’s the space within the cup. If that emptiness wouldn’t be there the cup would be solid, which meant that there wouldn’t enter any love. But because we have a feeling of emptiness that means our cups have space to be filled. The larger the emptiness within you, the more love can come in, and thus the more love you can share with the world.
That’s why I believe some people are handed worse cards. People that have to deal with major traumas and suffering. That have a large feeling of emptiness. But it is these people, that if they start to love their inner child again, that can hold the most amount of love in their cups. And therefore can share the most amount of love with the world.
To go even deeper on this is to recognize that the cup is in fact, for each one of us, unlimited. We just believe that the cup can be filled, that there is an end to it. But it can never be filled and that is a beautiful thing. That means it can never run empty too. Wait, what? Yes, that’s right. An unlimited cup has no bottom, nor a maximum capacity. It can never be completely filled. That means you can share an infinite amount of love with the world.
This is what we call unconditional love. This is what happens when we enlighten I believe when we see that there is no end to our love and that our cups can never run dry. Because believing that our cups can run dry is believing that the world is lacking in love. When in truth everything the world is, is love. Humans were born from love. Trees were born from love because the seeds needed to spread and be placed into fertile ground. The fish were born out of love. The monkeys, the lions, the eagles. Everything was born out of love because love is the connection between two entities that if combined create something new.
Everything was born out of love because love is the connection between two entities that if combined create something new.
And that is where I want to leave you. With a thought to think about. To think about how everything in our lives is love, and that we can never run dry of love if we recognize this. It is seeing that everything we experience each day can fill you up with love. For if we truly feel alive everything is wonderful to us. It’s a gift. And a gift is an expression of love. So remember, that Today You Live! Make the most of it.