Why do I feel an emptiness in my life? Why do I feel empty? These are questions I’ve definitely asked myself before. Of course, there’s no one size fits all answer, but maybe the things written here may be enlightening for someone. With so much confusion as to what we need to be doing with our lives, we find ourselves limited to looking at what’s in front of us when searching for answers. This generally means looking at our work, looking at our families, looking at the fact that we’re not travelling enough, looking at the activities we keep ourselves occupied with, and we attempt to use these observations to make sense of the emptiness we may feel. At times, we may even find ourselves blaming these areas of our lives for our lack of fulfillment. My job just isn’t doing it for me anymore, I’m so bored of it, or my spouse is really getting on my nerves lately they haven’t been able to understand me, or, I wish I was travelling more, etc, are some of the questions that may fill our minds. Could it be that we are lacking in some areas of our life, such as our work or our relationships, or could it be that our mind, body, and soul are ready for some more growth and challenges? Maybe we need to be searching for fulfillment elsewhere? Also, just a heads up, this isn’t a post talking directly about depression, however much of the work I’m involved in revolves around Mental Health, which you can keep up to date on through my Instagram or Youtube.
Moving on, so I’m here to say that the needs of our soul are not simply confined to the work we do or our relationships with our families. There usually will come a time where we will need to push ourselves for growth, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Like a new phase in your life or a level up, if you will. That inclination that you feel for something else, that need for fulfillment, the need for something more but we’re just not sure what it is, and it’s this exact knowledge (or lack thereof), that causes us to feel distressed, and/or empty if you will. Many times we’ll try to run away from that unsettling feeling by diving deeper into what we’re already busy with; our work, our family, go on a getaway or we may end up falling into a pattern of excess leisure where we try to do anything in our power in order to not truly experience what we’re feeling. This could be watching movies or shows for hours, playing games excessively, listening to music for hours on end, spending time with friends a lot more than you need, scrolling on Tik Tok for 3 hours straight (yes, we’ve all been there) or overworking yourself needlessly. None of the activities I mentioned are wrong in any way, but used excessively and they hold us back from truly feeling what we’re meant to be feeling. We’re hiding, essentially, from ourselves.
So, why do I feel empty? The truth is, that emptiness is just a means for growth. It’s time for the next phase of your life. Your mind, body, and soul need some more. We need to feed our souls with spiritual nourishment. We need to protect our hearts from toxicity. And, the thing I find most interesting (and often most forgotten), is our need to give back to others (whether this be our community, family, the needy and poor, etc). Your body is speaking with you and all we’re doing is shoving a sock down its throat because it makes us uncomfortable. Let’s ask ourselves this though; when on earth did growth come from comfort? It might be time to lean into that awkward and uncomfortable feeling, it might be time to see what needs your own body has, what is your soul trying to say to you, what activities do you need to engage in to feed your mind, body, and soul?
I’m not going to dive too deep into each of the following. I want this to be a reminder, rather than an article. But here are my simple recommendations;
- Spiritual nourishment is a need of our soul. ‘A’ need, not the only need. But it’s a start. Whatever spirituality means to you, try to feed it to your soul. For me, that’s praying and spending time in remembrance of God. See what happens, what have you got to lose? Our soul is in constant yearning for that soul food and maybe the emptiness you feel is due to your lack of feeding this important part of your life. Don’t get me wrong, I love myself some leisurely activities also, but I try to feed my soul whenever I can. Maybe I do it because I care about my soul, maybe I do it because I sincerely don’t like the feeling I get when I don’t, but I do it and thank God I’ve slightly figured this part out about myself.
- Our heart is vulnerable. It’s pure. I probably didn’t need to add this to this blog post, but I think it’s a huge part of the process. Protecting your heart from toxicity and negativity, safeguarding your heart from the ills of negative environments and people will propel you to generally feeling good about yourself. You know that saying, you are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with (by Jim Rohn)? Other than myself most likely butchering that quote, it honestly rings true. But it’s not only people, it’s anything that can have a negative influence on your heart. What are you exposing yourself to on social media, in music, in games, in movies, etc? All of these things have an impact on us and it’s super important to assess what we expose ourselves to, to see if it may be bringing us down rather than helping us in any way.
- Many times, the need for fulfillment can be met by giving back to others. Getting involved in community work, giving back to those that are needy or poor, donating to organisations who are involved in community work, giving back to those around you (your family, relatives), becoming a mentor etc. We overlook the value of giving back and I don’t just mean the value we can bring to others, but even the value that we bring to ourselves. I’m a big believer that giving back to others is a huge source of soul food. One thing that always use to baffle me was seeing people that aren’t so religious giving so generously to those that need it. Hear me out here, I have nothing against them, it’s an absolutely amazing deed, but I mean, what are they getting out of it? For me, I know the religious merit and reward that exists with giving back to the community, but what if you don’t have a reward system for it? Why are you giving then? That’s when I realised that people give back, whether time or money, because it makes them feel good. It’s soul food! You don’t need to be religious to enjoy the benefit of giving back, you’re still feeding your soul. SubhanAllah.
As always, here’s an ‘on the spot’ blog post. It would probably be better to properly plan these out and then proofread them a day or two later, but, what’s that saying again? Yolo!
If you were looking for some more practical steps, I have an older blog post around this topic called ‘4 questions to ask when you wake up feeling flat‘. It’s one of my older blog posts, so I ask for your forgiveness from now.
If you would like to watch something instead, here’s my latest YouTube video; https://youtu.be/quOoD0lSri4. Subscribe, while you’re there?