We all love to feel full inside, which is one of the reasons why eating too much is such a challenge for a lot of people. Yet, as soon as the food digests, many people go back to feeling empty, searching around for more food or something else to fill them up again. Feeling empty feels so awful and alone that most people find numerous addictions to fill that empty aloneness. They scramble around to find substances, processes, or people to fill the empty and alone place within.
Yet no matter how much food you eat, or alcohol you drink, or things you buy, or sex you have, or attention and approval you get from others, the emptiness and aloneness keep returning. You need more food, more alcohol, more things, or more sex, more attention and approval in the never-ending cycle of addiction. This is what life is like when you believe that you need to fill your emptiness externally.
The underlying problem is the belief that you will get filled from GETTING something. While you can feel momentarily filled through getting something, you will never feel the full feeling of love and joy that comes from GIVING something.
There is a wonderful thing that happens when your desire is to give something, whether it is time, caring, support, kindness, attention, approval, or money. The desire to give opens the heart, which allows LOVE to fill your being. Love is not something that is generated from within. Love is the energy field in which we live. It is always there to fill and sustain us, but it cannot enter a closed heart. When you open your heart through your desire to give both to yourself and to others love naturally flows into your heart and fills you up.
For example, Tommy often felt empty and alone inside. As a result, he drank too much and was overweight. In addition, he would attempt to fill his emptiness through porno and Internet sex. He was always hoping some attractive woman would give him the attention he believed he needed to feel okay.
Tommy consulted with me because nothing was working to fill his emptiness, and he was tired of feeling this way. As we worked together, it became apparent that Tommy was raised to believe that getting something money, sex, attention, approval would make him feel lovable and worthy. Yet no matter how much he got, he never felt worthy or lovable enough. In addition, Tommy had no spiritual belief system, no sense of anything greater than himself. He did not experience the energy of love that he lived in. He made people, things and substances his Source because he did not believe in a spiritual Source of love.
I asked Tommy to start to notice what made him feel good inside. He reported to me that he felt good when he played with his nieces and nephews, and when he was supportive of his employees at work. Tommy then made the connection between giving something and his good, full feeling. I asked Tommy to begin to focus on giving kindness, time, and attention to himself and to others.
As Tommy practiced focusing on giving instead of getting, he discovered that his addictions to food, alcohol and porno were diminishing. He noticed that whenever he reverted to his old devotion to getting, he would find himself right back in his addictions, but when he focused on giving, he would feel fulfilled. He realized that whenever he focused on getting something externally, he was abandoning himself and he felt empty and alone inside. He saw that when he attended to giving to himself and others, he no longer felt alone and empty inside. Tommy experienced that there is a spiritual Source of love here for him when he opens his heart to himself and others.
Next time you feel empty and alone inside, focus on what you can give to yourself and to others and notice how quickly the empty place within becomes filled with the peace, love and joy that is always here for us.