Happy New Year, beloveds! We're now officially in 2020, auguring in both a new year and a new decade. Exciting! Many of us will feel this month as a call to commit to letting go of what didn't serve us before, whether from last year, the last decade, or some longer-held pattern. In my case, I am tasked with letting go of the 6 or 7 pounds that happily attached themselves as a result of my holiday overdoing, as well as the Christmas decorations that still adorn our apartment because my 22 year-old son isn't ready for them to come down (the life-sized light-up penguins on our dining table are definitely a festive addition to mealtime).
On a deeper level, I have chosen to say goodbye to a relationship that had moved from being primarily a source of joy and fulfillment to one of strained tolerance and anxious efforts to "fix" the many things that overwhelmed the good in the connection. Despite being pretty sure weeks ago that the relationship was no longer serving either of us, I held on to it with hope and desire, wanting it to work in order to avoid the void. The void. That space between what was that brought us yummy, enjoyable or at least safe and familiar feelings and... what comes next.
It's quiet in the in-between place (if we allow it to be). If we don't, we fill it with noise or busyness or drama or substances, something that helps us not feel the void and what's in there with us. Often, especially if we're letting go of something or someone important to us, there's pain in the void with us. We are hurting emotionally, perhaps even physically. Definitely not desirable or fun, but a perfect call to self-care. The void is a great opportunity to listen inward and pay attention to what we need. In fact, this can be one of the greatest gifts of the no-zone--if we allow it, we get to know ourselves better, to practice loving ourselves, and to heal what's not serving us so we can call in a new and improved experience (job, relationship, wardrobe, etc) in the future. The void is powerfully on purpose.
There's a well-known story about a lab test with monkeys where the monkey reaches into a jar with a narrow opening in order to claim a treat at the bottom of the jar. Committed to extricating the goodie from the jar, the monkey repeatedly tries to yank its hand out while holding on to the treat, but to no avail. Have you ever tried to bring in something new while holding on to the old? Usually it requires that we release what came before so we can make room--in our heart, our mind, our closet, wherever. But it can be scary to move into the emptiness. We ask ourselves, What (or who) will come next? Will it (they) come at all? Will it (they) be as good as what came before? Will I be okay? The answer is yes. The universe has your back and is always creating with you for your good. So be brave and embrace the healing energy of the void. Something better awaits.