I used to tell people that it felt as if I had a hole in my soul. Even as a young child, there was always this deep sense that things were not okay with me, that I was one of the walking wounded. I turned to alcohol because it seemed to offer a way to fill this hole, but ultimately it only made things much worse for me. I could have turned to more healthier pursuits for easing that sense of not-being-okay – like throwing myself into a career or finding religion – but I can see now that every path would have ended with suffering. My seeking to find wholeness was a fool’s journey because there was no hole to fill.
The Myth of the Hole in the Soul
When I talked about the hole in my soul, I was really saying that I did not believe that my reactions to life were normal. I didn’t like the ebb and flow of my emotions, and I didn’t like how I felt around other people. I developed the idea that there was a right way for me to be experiencing life, and the fact that this wasn’t happening meant that I was broken and that I needed something to fix me. Of course, the things that I was experiencing was called life, and the only thing that was abnormal was my ideas about how life should be. This basic misunderstanding sent me off on a painful quest to find a remedy for a disability that I never had.
Filling the Hole in My Soul
The key to filling the hole in my soul turned out to be surprisingly simple – I gave up on the idea that the hole existed. I stopped trying to fill this non-existing hole, and the sense of it existing completely disappeared. I no longer feel like the walking wounded, and there is this sense of complete wholeness where that hole used to be. I’ve stopped all the seeking because I know there is nothing out there that will make me feel whole – it is not possible for me to be anything less than whole.