To join the conversation and see other questions, check out our Aristotle’s Café Facebook Page here.
The feeling of emptiness is a state that weighs heavy on the minds of many.
To feel like you are missing purpose, meaning or something to your existence can create tormenting emotional states like depression.
Feeling empty is like experiencing a colorless life, where love hides and light dies, only darkness surfaces to suck dry the meaning and fulfilling enjoyments of life.
At Aristotle’s Cafe’, we spoke about what it is like to feel empty, why we do and how to alleviate ourselves from its tightly squeezed grasp.
How Do We Define Empty?
The definition of what it is to feel empty varies from person to person. Some undergo feelings of despair and numbness, losing touch with the pleasing embrace that happiness provides.
Others feel depressed and suicidal, filled with mentally unhealthy emotions and at the same time vacant from life.
However, what is common amongst most people, is feeling weightless, worthless, like nothing at all matters, regardless of the supposed significance of a situation, action or event. Like a black hole ragingly absorbing their reason for existing, they feel void, living life without satisfaction.
On the most intense level, even their words they speak are without meaning, definitions and implications are of no use.
Why Do We Feel Empty?
“There is always something that we’re reaching out for.” One of our members said that during our discussion, and it is true. There seems to be a deep-rooted urge to want something or someone, and when we do not have the thing or person we feel somewhat empty.
Curiously, however, so often when we do obtain what is causing our feeling of hollowness, we move on and desire more. It consequently ends up being a vicious cycle of false fulfillment and further emptiness.
Why it is in the first place that we wish to have what we presently do not, may be the cause of our society and culture. In the West, there is a fascination in acquiring things, a materialistic fixation.
Therefore, as we have noticed, no real value is ever found within the accumulation of things, so as a result, people feel that they are lacking.
Is Emptiness a Good or Bad Thing?
There is the philosophical yin and yang principle, as implied by someone in the group during our discussion, that states we need to know what it is like to feel empty so that we can be aware and understand when it is that we feel satisfied.
If you never feel empty, how do you know when you feel fulfilled? That is a core philosophical understanding that applies to life in general.
To understand what happiness is, one must experience misery, and so forth. Therefore, there is somewhat of an upside to feeling void.
"You cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain" - Alan Watts
What Should You Do When You Feel Empty?
The first advice mentioned by a member of Aristotle’s Cafe’ was to meditate. Meditation is a form of practice that supplies a being with energy that they can find within by act of concentration. One form of meditation to achieve this is when you quiet the mind and return yourself to the present moment.
As a result, you get back into touch with the environment where you currently reside, causing you to reconnect to the ever-present, magnificently tranquil experience of being here and now.
The essential of practicing the meditative art of quieting the mind is simply to be alert, attentive to what is happening in the felt moment, and the easiest way to achieve this for beginners is just to listen. Listen to the birds’ chirp outside your window, the wind howls underneath your feet, the vehicles of motorist pass by from one ear to the other.
By doing so, you engage in the felt moment of immediate experience, and that alone can be a source to provide you with the fulfillment you need.
Another way to satisfy yourself of feeling whole and complete is to redirect your focus towards where you find value in life. To no longer desire expensive cars that are way outside of your paycheck, but to find happiness within the vehicles that you can purchase.
Also, to find things of value about yourself, such as your intelligence, humor, knowledge, abilities and so forth.
The most significant action that you should take, however, is to seek help by speaking to someone you love and trust. Converse with them, clear your mind by voicing your thoughts, for when you do so, you extract your mind by use of verbalization. (For a list of topics to talk about, check out our 15 Expert Tips)
That will allow you to present yourself with a platform to understand better and dissect why it is that you are feeling empty. If you do not have anyone for you live a lonely life, then communicate with yourself, get to know who you are by becoming aware of your thoughts.
Where to Find Fulfillment?
Fulfillment is personal. If you find purpose and meaning to your existence by watching cartoons, then so be it, that is where you discover your satisfaction.
We spoke about this, and we agreed that so long as you are happy, and are not impeding the completion of anyone else, then what society says about where you spend your existence should not matter.
That gave rise to another thought that was put forth in our discussion which proposed the question; “Is it, therefore, our society that causes our feeling of emptiness in the first place?” For collectively, we lay the social foundations that accept where it is that one should find satisfaction, and where it is not.
So, if you are someone in whom follows strictly what your society collectively agrees upon in regards to where you should feel complete and find your satisfaction and fulfillment, then you will most likely, ultimately be misguided and never achieve that but rather acquire emptiness.
Moreover, that will cause you to continue the vicious cycle of never being satisfied regardless of what you achieve, acquire and obtain. For where your real fulfillment will be found, is in what society deems as wasteful, such as watching cartoons.
Feeling empty can arise within many of us. Its purpose can be useful, such as using it as a voice to inform you that what you are doing is not what you love to do. However, its existence can be hurtful and unhealthy, such as giving birth to depression because of it.
Therefore, how we go about emptiness is essential for your well-being. Use it as a guide to direct you back to where you will feel complete and satisfied, so that you no longer feel void but rather alive.