Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Filling Up

I have tears hovering at the tips of my eyelashes. They seem to want me to know that they are there for a reason, but they won't come out without a bit of coaxing - like my eight-year-old when he hides behind my favorite chair and lets out a tiny squeak to alert me that he wants me to retrieve him.

I feel like I did after my baby died and I was without a little one, when I felt the ache of empty arms. Those were the days when I longed to nurse a breathing child at my breast, to hear its gulps and coos, when I wanted to hold and to cuddle and to care for a teeny babe - my babe - and the wanting and longing burrowed its way deep inside and created a chasm within. A chasm that could only be filled with full arms, pink cheeks and a diapered bottom. 

One day the chasm was filled.

Today I feel the same gaping hole, though this one didn't form from the same longing. This hunger has been birthed during my time in The Alone - in the internal terrain where every soul must travel in search of home. It seems the hours spent here have been chipping away at a stony core, like each drop of pain (whether it be from piercing or healing or both) has been carving away a deep, wide, open, ever-growing, empty space. And unlike the chasm that was carved in my unquenchable thirst for another child, I haven't been sure what or who to fill this one with.

I thought at first that what was forming was space for other, for lover, for a man. I wondered if the only way for it to be full was for the liquid essence - the inner waters - of another to be poured into it over time, through love, tenderness, intimacy and relationship.

But as I stood along the chasm's edges, peering over it and taking in the vastness and beauty of the space, I knew that the Sacred Empty was there for me - and me alone - to fill.

So I asked myself, "Is there enough of me to fill this part of myself? And if there is, how?"  

I remembered back to times long gone by and times so recent that the dust is still on my feet, when I have quickly and easily and eagerly given myself away. I recalled my impulse to spread my treasures, my hard-earned polished bits, out on the table not because someone asked, but simply because I had them and I needed another to see them.

I realized that just as quickly as I have laid myself out, I can gather myself back, scoop those pieces toward me, and tuck them away into the Sacred Empty, to delight in, to celebrate, to revel over, and to fill me. I can stand next to what I have gathered and speak the words that only satisfy when they come from deep within. I can open my mouth and use my own voice to praise the good I see. I can do for myself what I have wanted for too long from another.

It isn't that I will tuck away my treasures and hoard them forever, never to share. For I know that just as surely as I need to be filled up, there will be a time to empty out. There will also be a time when the waters of another will pour into other parts of me, and I will be and feel filled. But even then, the Sacred Empty will remain. And even then, it will be mine to fill.

Already, it's a little less empty than when I found it.  


  1. I remember in one of your pieces from quite awhile back, about ebb and flow... the tide coming in and going out... and your story today reminded me of that. Now you're filling back up, loving you... giving yourself the treasure of you. And that is beautiful. Do you still get to go to the ocean and just float?

    1. The tides are inextricably part of my process. I haven't floated in quite some time, Susan, but something tells me I'm due. Thank you for your continued support and loving words. I treasure it all.

  2. woman, i hear your roar and, as the song goes, it's too gloriously big to ignore. i'm so proud of you for recognizing your "sacred empty" and not turning away from it but, rather, accepting it as part and parcel of who your are and, whether the bits be polished or dulled from unuse, they make you the vibrant lioness that you are.

    1. Your words are salve. Thank you. A million times, thank you. xo