The value of emptiness 14



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Aristotle was the Greek philosopher who wrote the idiom, “Nature abhors a vacuum”. This means wherever there is emptiness or a void, it tends to become filled with something. This happens in the natural world – things move from greater concentration to lower concentration – to balance a system. This also applies to our lives.


Examples of Voids

Whenever we believe that we have a void or “missing something”, the tendency is to want to fill it with what it is we are lacking. There are many examples of this. If your bank account is empty, you seek to fill it with money. If you have hunger pangs and your stomach feels empty, you seek out food. If you lack a relationship, you look to find someone with whom you can develop a relationship. A little secret; there are no voids, we fill our space with something.

The feeling that we lack something is often a misperception in our mind. There is no absolutism when it comes to feeling an emptiness. A couple who have no children may be totally happy with their lives and don’t feel that they are missing anything. Another couple without children and the same amount of money may feel miserable; they perceive that there is a great void in their lives. If you have a million dollars in the bank, you may feel you don’t lack anything. Another person with a million dollars may have great anxiety because he feels anything less than 10 million dollars is a shortage. The only difference is the perception of the individuals.


Purpose of Voids

Voids serve a useful purpose. On a simple level, if you throw out half of the clothes in your closet, you are more likely to buy more clothes. When we have voids, we are often motivated to remedy the situation. In fact, it drives our purpose. I can recall in high school my parents taking me for a psychological evaluation when I failed year 12. The results of two days of tests were that I would never finish high school, and gaining acceptance into university was out of the question. I believe that perceived void drove me to achieve, and I went on to university and completed two degrees.


Many seniors have a sense of emptiness in their lives. It is often a good idea to write down what the perceived voids are and then to look at where in your life those things are not missing. Alternatively, you can turn the question around and determine how you can fill the void. Write down as many answers as you can. This will start your brain thinking how you can create a new purpose in your life with new goals.


Share your thoughts below.

Dr Ely Lazar and Dr Adele Thomas

  1. Mmmmm….I seem to be somewhat different. I know how it feels to suddenly feel as if there is an emptiness when a loved one exits my life. But it is only a millisecond ’til the void is filled with grief and all that entails.
    Being alone is good for me, always has been. I love my people, enjoy their company but get to a point where my own space is drawing me, I need to be alone.
    I just dont experience emptiness. I cant really imagine what that is like.

  2. Depends on independence, being happy and comfortable with your own company. I have a friend who hates being on their own. I’m very comfortable and enjoy doing my own thing and survived when my husband was away with work. I missed the children when they moved out, but enjoyed the new time with my husband. Which was interrupted by a 6 years of us living and caring with my father, we had a couple of years then a in law move in for two years and is moving out soon and for the first time in a while we’ll be on our own Woo Hoo can’t wait.

  3. Good on you, they are a godsend aren’t they? We are a perfect match, he was desperate for a mummy to adore and love him and I was desperate for a bub to need me again.

  4. Mine was a breeder at a puppy farm. She had been kept in a box and forced to breed three litters of pups a year for 4 to 5 years. I’ve had her for 7 years now. She’s around 12 years old.

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