There is an idea that suggests if we have money or if we are successful, or if we are beautiful, or if we simply had better luck that all things would be well. Everything would be fine and that our questions and concerns would all be solved if we just had a different set of talents. However, in the case of emptiness, nothing could be more further from the truth.
When there is something missing, there is something missing, which means there is an emptiness inside. This means there is an unfillable hole within our core. This is our primal source.
This is where our energy comes from. This is where our dreams are born and where our desire lives. This is our truest wealth unless we believe otherwise. Because otherwise, then we are poor.
If we believe we are poor; if we believe we are always wanting, or if we believe that something about us is never enough, then the truth is no matter how much we acquire, no matter how we try to disguise ourselves or stuff the emptiness with temporary products and instant gratification, no matter what, the emptiness is still empty until we learn to fill this permanently.
If this were not so then why would it be that billionaires suffer from depression? If this were not true then why would people that appear to be commercially successful commit suicide?
If the void within us were not so huge then why would people that have everything drink their lives away?
Why would some of Hollywood’s greatest talent find themselves sprawled out, a needle is faced-down in their vein, and unless someone reverses them with a dose of Narcan, they will overdose and die and be nothing else but another statistic on the list of famous tragedies?
I’ll tell you the answer to all the above.
There are times when the void is too deep. There are times when all the accolades and all the cheers and all the wealth and attention do nothing more than touch the raw edges of an unsatisfied life.
There are times when too much isn’t enough and nothing satiates the need to “Feel” or “Be’ as we wish we could.
I used to believe that beauty was the answer to happiness; and if I am not beautiful and when I say this I mean truly beautiful, then how could I ever possibly be happy?
I used to think that popularity meant everything. It wasn’t who you were; it was who your friends are.
I used to heartily believe that looks, wealth, influence, and power were the keys to the kingdom. And me, I believed I was powerless. I believed that I was always meant to be on the outside looking in. I believed that if I had more money or a better job and stood in a better position that I would truly be happy.
I found out that all of this was a lie.
When I was at my emptiest, I learned that I placed myself beneath people. I learned that my self-deprecating ideas led me to act, believe, and behave on the behalf of a self-propelled defeat.
I won awards. And this wasn’t enough. I ended up on the news for some of my work. And this wasn’t enough. I had attention. And no, this wasn’t enough either.
I realized that inside my spirit was an unfillable emptiness. I tried to fill my internal dilemmas with external influences but nothing ever satisfied me.
See, there are certain things people will not tell you. No one talks about the tortuous ideas that create a voice within our heads.
No one talks openly about their fears or what it feels like for them to be afraid of being alone, unwanted, unworthy, or worse is their fear of believing they are unwelcome.
No one talks about the inaccurate image they see when they look in the mirror. And we look and we try; we look for reassurance, we struggle, we worry, we wonder, and we panic.
We struggle in silence and we act as if; we put on a brave face and we smile to fit in because if the world is a stage, then here we are, places everybody, places please. Ready set, action!
But what f you can’t act anymore?
Something that goes misunderstood is the difference between paranoia and depression. There is the idea that the two are the same.
Paranoia is the projection of personal conflicts that lead us to believe there are people against us and draw us toward a mission of self-defense. Depression is similar, but not altogether the same. The idea is there is an impending doom about to befall.
The idea of “People are out to get me,” is not from an angle of paranoia but instead, there is a belief system that suggests no one really cares, everyone eventually turns, and all we do is wait for the other shoe to drop.
I never thought anyone else thought this way. I never thought anyone else felt similarly. I certainly never believed there was anything relatable about me or my beliefs. Instead, I thought there was something wrong with me. I believed I was absolutely flawed and God for bid anyone else knew about this.
Again, this was far from the truth but in fairness, when we are empty, we are empty, and all we notice is the hollowness of the void we feel inside.
Towards the end of my nods and perhaps during one of my last social outings on heroin; I found myself sleeping on a park bench. I was behind one of the chess tables in a playground one night.
This was at one of my town’s parks. I was hiding away from people and slumped down. I am sure I was thinking about my life or the lack thereof.
I thought about me and if I were only different; if I were just better looking, or stronger, or cooler, or if I had more money or some kind of talent then my life would be better and more people would like me.
Out of nowhere, one of the popular girls from the neighborhood walked into the playground. She sat at the other side of the playground.
I noticed she was crying. I remember thinking I should leave before someone came over and saw me as the reason she was crying.
I wanted to leave before anyone else came because the last thing I wanted was trouble and more accurately, the last thing I could have done was defend myself if trouble arrived.
I crawled out from where I was and went to leave, I apologized to the girl. She was usually unkind towards me, but of course she was.
She was a “Prom Queen” type and I was the polar opposite. She had looks and friends and all she wanted. And me, I was currently being sought by the local authorities for a string of break-ins and if found, I would have certainly been brought in for questioning.
As I apologized, she responded kindly.
“You were here first.” she said.
I’m not sure why but I suppose a moment of decency urged me to be a gentleman and ask, “Are you okay?”
She responded harshly but then asked me a question I never thought anyone like her would ask me.
“What’s that stuff like?”
“That stuff you do. What’s it like?”
I’m sure she didn’t know that it was heroin. I’m sure she knew I was on various things. I’m sure she knew I was destroying myself.
I mean, I looked awful. My eyes were half-shut and my mouth dropped open like a mindless person so chemically detached.
“Why would you want to know about this?” I asked her.
And for the moment, we spoke like two people. We spoke honestly. In a million years, I would have never expected someone like her to understand the crazy thoughts I had in my head.
She felt the same as me. Could you imagine this? She had all the things I said my life needed in order to be happy. She had them and yet, she wasn’t happy either.
Her cheerleader friends came by shortly after. And her old attitude came back because of course, she had a reputation to protect.
I walked away and I never told anyone about our little talk. It was amazing to me how someone so beautiful and so rich could feel as if they had absolutely nothing.
The point is nothing external could ever fill an internal void. I learned this. I learned this a long time ago.
I learned that my wealth has to come from within. Otherwise, I will always be poor and feel as if I am unworthy, unwanted, or worse, unwelcomed.
But that’s not me.