Emptiness…maybe not to be feared?
In The Void, AH Amass speaks of emptiness, of the loss of Being as the greater existential wound… “Deficient Emptiness” is the fear! What if you could perceive emptiness as a space, and could fill it with presence. That is the felt sense of Being.
Most people keep trying to fill an empty space with doing to avoid anxiety. Yet to sit with this empty space and relax (which is the key!) is what allows one’s Being to be felt. Slowing down and sitting with these sensations allows you to investigate this space. It is when a felt sense of presence can appear. This is a perception of presence.
Unthinkable Anxiety has only a few varieties, each being a clue to normal growth (The Void, pg 133, (winnicott, op cit. p.58).
- Going to pieces
- Falling forever
- Having no relationship to the body
- Having no orientation
Emptiness is seen as depletion, a listless, non-interested in life, “what’s the point,” flatness. This can indicate your being is longing for you! Relaxing to find the space within can be key.
Emptiness as Space
Space is not to be feared but rather to be felt. Developing a relationship with space builds confidence from the bottom up. Try this:
- Notice the anxiety. See if it is one of the above bullets.
- Locate it’s sensation. Butterflies, a knot? Where is it in the body?
- Relax. Add breath to the sensation. Watch the breath, gaze at a candle, or into an open sky.
- “listen/feel” and see what you notice.
- Rest into the presence…
Early Attachment wounds, or loss of a loved one, can derail the ability to rest into space
A hypervigilant or neglected infant doesn’t feel space as relaxing. They are needing the adult presence to help them to orient. If this was not so nourishing in your life, your brain may resist emptiness. The good news is that you can repair and prune those early neural pathways.
Years of clinical work with children, families, and adults has shown me that when the felt-sense perceptions”i.e., the embodied cellular story”of early experience is integrated and put to rest, space is no longer threatening. The bodymind and soul seem to line up again.
Learn how to do this in our upcoming study group using Birth’s Hidden Legacy. Join our mailing list for more info about upcoming retreats and webinars.