In quiet and through reflection, when I really want to get to the bottom of things, make sense, improve who I am, I peer into the Void.
The Void is the place where other people developed things that I never did. What you read here is years of self-discovery; things I never had the quiet to look at, or at times, the bravery. I papered over the Void, filled it with other things, like some people cut out magazine photographs and put them on vision boards to craft the ‘vision’ of life as they wish to live it. It is difficult to face the fact that in the card catalog of your life, there are entire sections missing; hell, sometimes there isn’t even a box FOR the section there. That means that I have to first build that long, slender wooden box, before I can even start filling in the section. How do I know what is missing, if I don’t even know what it is?
The first section I have turned to recently is the section “Trust”. Trust is related to safety. I have never known safety, until here at last, on my own. I looked up the definition of these two words, to see if the external interpretation matches my own:
Safety: The condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk or injury.
Trust: Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something
It is my belief that one must live in safety in order to properly develop intuitive trust. Since I never had safety as a child, my sense of trust is unformed, uncertain; but it is still like that of a child, easily given. I desperately want to know that there are others that I can trust.
Trust has a visual in my mind that goes like this
My trust is a brightly colored beach ball; light, airy, easily passed to another and filled with the essence of me. For many years of my life, I tossed that beach ball very rarely. When I did, my aim was terribly flawed. Oh, people caught it. Because I have no firm vision of safe places to send my trust, I put it in the hands of the wrong people, time, time, and time again. Surprisingly, it keeps intact, never showing the wear, tear and mishandling. Each untrustworthy person still has the ability to surprise and stun me, just like the very first time. I’ve even had that beach ball deflated, carefully folded into a very small thing, and stuffed down my throat to suffocate me, choking on my own trust. Yet, even after clawing it out of my throat so that I can breathe again, I am able to gently and lovingly press it back to the shape it needs to be in order to be inflated and hold my essence, ready to be tossed again.
Through this, I learn that my Trust is partnered with Hope. I refuse to let my life experiences overwrite the actual truth that there is goodness abounding in this world. I do spend a lot of time in the natural world, for there I find absolutes, not shaded with deception. I mean, a leaf is a leaf is a leaf. It doesn’t suddenly transform in your hand into say, a snake. It may hide a snake, but it is never a snake in and of itself. It is always a leaf. How I wish people were more like that!
The Void contains a lot of information in the blank spaces though, like dark matter. The absence is revelation itself. Lacking a true definition of safety, even the experience of such, I have to bumble around a bit to create that definition box. You can’t really Google it either, the construct of safety.
Currently I find it by limiting my interaction with others, except those who toss that trust ball back and forth consistently over time. I have four people like that in my life, two for years and years now, one going on a couple of years, and one that is pretty freshly allowed into that zone. Three are female, one is male. That male is a big deal, as that is where my trust issues really are flawed. These are all friendships – hard-won things for me. The Void prevented formation of friendships when I was young. You can’t have friendships when your home is a house of cards, a living charade, and the family is all about appearances. I had acquaintances, true. I knew lots of people, but they did not know me. I floated in and out of all of the groups, as shape-shifting is a natural art form for us, honed by years of experience. In my combined twenty-seven years of marriage, I had no close friendships until the last ten years. I still lived in houses of cards then too, trading one scenario for another. As such, I sometimes overwhelm people, as I am making up years of having no safety and no real friendships. I never allowed myself really close to anyone, as there was never anyone I could depend on, that didn’t take what I gave of me and turn around and use it as a weapon against me. So I worry a lot over my friendships. Am I being a friend back? What do friends really do? Do I give as much as I take? Do I help them as they help me? Most people learn this by osmosis, growing up. Their parents have friends, they themselves develop friends. I didn’t. Sometimes it feels really clumsy and awkward, trying to learn something most people know by young adulthood, along with trying to hold back years of wanting to be close to others.
So I’m currently building boxes in my card catalog of self – Trust. Safety. Boundaries. My friendships are a huge help in that. Trust is finished, just needing sanding and a final protective coating; it even has some card references inside. Safety is still just the wooden pieces laid out and I am studying the diagram. Boundaries is a new thing I discovered I am missing, and I recently ordered the wood for that one 🙂
Exploring the Void is a good thing. It takes time. For the first time in my life, I can explore it without hindrance, with only helpers involved. My friendships, they shine light in. Sometimes they point out by example things that I didn’t even know were missing. Sometimes they gently nudge me away from areas I shouldn’t be in. Sometimes they hold my hand when I’m leaning wayyyyy into the Void, like spelunking partners; they are my emotional pitons, holding me steady as I descend.
I often wonder how many others are out here that struggle with such basic things that make up wholeness. If you or someone you are close to has experienced this, please drop a comment. I’d like to hear from both sides of the story, because, well; it’s really awkward asking your friends if indeed, you are being a good friend 🙂
My quote of resonance today
“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
~C. Joybell C.