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the void

We’re all trying to fill a void - one that was left in us long ago by the actions of our parents or a friend or an authority figure or a romantic partner. And if you’re really lucky, all of the above.


It becomes larger as you grow older and meet more people, making (and also losing) more connections along the way; pretty soon it becomes so large that you feel nothing at all.


You start to lose faith that love can ever work out for you. You lose trust in others while simultaneously resolving that it must be you that is unlovable because something must be wrong with you.


As a result you close yourself off; you protect yourself with whatever means necessary. Be it quick biting wit, anger, control, substances, or unfulfilling surface level relationships with people who could never hurt you simply because you don’t care enough in the first place (or at least you pretend you don’t) - whatever combination of vice that you believe will get you by unscathed.


Or, the opposite - you’re so desperate for connection that you try to force one with everyone you meet. You convince yourself, even when all the signs are letting off a resounding “no”, that this time it’ll work out. You attach yourself to whoever makes you feel good. You bounce around from one relationship to the next. You find yourself surrounded by people who you don’t even resonate with yet you’re doing whatever you can to fit in. Romantic relationships, familial, or friends, a combo. Whatever your flavor is.


And trust me, that all works. For a time.


Once the dust settles you realize that all it has truly done is leave you feeling more empty than you ever did before.


But, do you even know what the void you’re trying to fill is?


Is it a feeling of abandonment?

Neglect?

Betrayal?

Distrust?

Rejection?

Guilt?

Unworthiness?


I used to blame love for all my pain. Had I been heartless, had I been smarter, had I been more cautious, had I been more reserved, had I been better - I wouldn’t be hurt, I wouldn’t be heartbroken, and I wouldn’t feel so fucking stupid.


Until I realized that love never hurt me, the absence of love did.


Love is honest, generous, and kind. Love is laughing with your best friends, making dinner with your family, gazing into your partner’s eyes. Love is confidence and compassion. Protection, trust, intimacy, connection. Safety, security, happiness. Gratitude, patience, peace.


So, how could love possibly be responsible for all this hurt?


It is far too easy to let pain harden your heart. It is far too easy to place the blame on love for your heartache and furthermore your actions in an effort to run away from it.


But, love isn’t responsible for that. You are.


You are responsible for the emotions you project onto others through your behavior and how you treat them - despite your agony, despite your trauma, and despite your past.


You are responsible for acknowledging and healing these parts of yourself.


You are responsible for filling the void in a constructive way that uplifts you and doesn’t bring down others.


Accept accountability where it’s due, spread more love regardless.


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