Growing up hearing the eternal optimism of the glass being half full vs. half empty, it was a given I would belly up to the bar of life, choose the half full glass and take a shot at whatever was waiting behind door number 3. It was only after reaching adulthood, motherhood, and living in the hood, that I discovered there was nothing behind door number 3! That knowledge did however open up a door even scarier, one no one likes to answer, and most keep locked for their sanity. Why do we remain in a relationship that is empty, for no other reason than it is there. Why can’t we move ahead to the solid something just waiting to be had – that unknown, which we are unable to see or feel?
Insecurity is such an all encompassing force, if the military could find a way to harness it we would never need to worry about war again. Just as the special cloth a child carries for security and warmth, blanketing them like a force field against the world, the insecurity that blankets us when we know we are alone inside, forces us to field everything else in our lives away. The result is such isolation, depression, pain and loneliness we forget how to live.
When we hold something, it becomes real and so do we (yo Mr. Rabbit), and face it, we all love to open presents right. The weight or value, warmth or life something has validates us. Sadly, even after it has died or becomes no longer useful, we still find a need to hold it near for the memories and an internal need. Yearbooks that held our friends and youth forever stay on shelves and in the attic, bringing us into life when they are opened, a piece of clothing or perfumed smell brings a long lost loved one back into our heart, reminding us of a better time. Empty somethings like these are fleeting, and can serve a purpose if we see where life has since put us, where we need to go, and yes, validating a part of our soul. However, when it is an empty relationship, there is never a validation; there is instead a slow lingering death of body and soul, that like quicksand eventually chokes life away, from who we were and who we might have been.
No one starts out in a relationship with a lover, spouse, family member or child expecting to be left holding an empty shell of hope. But because it is hope, and hope is the traveling cousin to love on our journey, we believe things will eventually work out, in time the other person will come around, see our point of view, see how much we love them, see what we know could be. Basically we just want them to see us the way we see ourselves, and are prepared to wait until they do. However, life is a game of free will and in any game there are two players, and with both wanting their hearts desire, more times than not it will have nothing to do with the person left holding the bag – empty as it can become.
Standing back personally and looking at the shattered aftermath of the empties in my life, I realized there was no deposit on them, but some did have recycle value. Seeing the mistakes, the unadmitted personal fault and dreams that were more mine than anyone else’s, I find myself looking for the first time into the abyss of something. I know even though I have two free hands to grasp it, it may not be there the first, second or even the tenth time I reach, and I will fall. Nevertheless, picking yourself back up is a something we all take for granted, like breathing. There is nothing empty in self reliance, enjoyment in life around us or our ability to make others happy. Holding those abilities will validate us. Even if they are not emotional highs or physical thrills, they shouldn’t be written off.
When I visualize the concept of holding onto an empty nothing, just because of the fear of letting go, taking a chance on that unknown something, I see a corn field heading into fall. The stalks are gone, random dried corn cobs and leaves scatter in the dirt, waiting for frost and alone in the center is a faded scarecrow. Looking across the nothing he is guarding what is no longer there, and still smiling as if nothing has changed.
Being scared is nothing we ever crow about, but it is for the birds in a world with so much to offer and so many opportunities for growth, friendship and self improvement. There is a reason frost comes before snow, it is the warning to get everything in order and prepare to be warm. The same can be said for the little voice that calls to us, as we struggle to live in loveless, abusive, painful and empty situations – the warm is out there for a bountiful harvest, we just need to take a chance, and let the seeds fall from our hands into the unknown with faith they will grow.
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