Who Are We Running Away From?


Who Are We Running Away From?
Many people attempt to fill their emptiness through some external means which leads them nowhere.

What makes this fear of emptiness even more real is that the entire society we live in supports the belief that emptiness is something that no one wants and is something that we need to be forever trying to overcome, even if it is only for brief periods. We constantly seek out anyone who seems to profess that they have an answer for this negative dilemma, such as religions, gurus. or those who promise great wealth. While drugs and many addictions are looked on by others as dysfunctional solutions, there are many answers that our world advocates that are no less addictive. Earn more money, get a better job, buy a bigger house, find a better-looking mate, strive for greater sexual performance, not to mention owning the lastest and greatest gadget. The list is endless. It is very hard to stand up to this quest to erase emptiness as a key to happiness when everyone around agrees this is the solution.

Exploring these mythical answers to our emptiness


One might think that given our different backgrounds and education that there would be a variety of ways to resolve our emptiness. However, the one and only method I see mankind following is to seek something external to fill our empty hole. No matter how we pretty-up or wrap our external solutions, it all comes down to the one trap most everyone gets caught in. We fail to recognize that the empty hole in us can never be filled from the outside since it is bottomless and insatiable. So it could be the person who eats an enormous dinner, filled to the brim, and then hits the fast-food drive-thru on the way home. Another whose wife is open to sex once a day, yet he is unhappy that it’s not three times a day. Or in a third instance, someone who spent six hours a day watching porn and trying to convince me that he needed that. Lastly, I hear women chasing after men to love them more and yet whatever he gives it is never enough. For those who at least realize that they can never fill their emptiness from the outside, they are way ahead of most people.

The keys to emptiness and real fullness.

For those who want to end the endless trip to nowhere that plagues our society and merely creates temporary fullness at best, there are several things to keep in mind.

1. Emptiness is part of our nature and is not a problem to be fixed. It is part of our living process in that everything starts with emptiness and ends with emptiness. Life begins in an empty uterus and then we become someone and in the end we turn to dust and back to nothing. This needs to be accepted as our natural process in everything we do whether we eat, drink, sleep, or make love. All reflect a continuous cycle from emptiness to fullness and back to emptiness. It is not a problem; it is the way we are.

2. Life involves a relationship of space and form. The space reflects the emptiness in which all forms emerge. Only through the emptiness can we appreciate that form even exists. Without emptiness we would have no idea that there is a form. In order to make intimate contact with another person we need to allow there to be a space before we immediately answer. Yet frequently we violate this and talk on top of each other as we continue to value forms over emptiness. The goal is to appreciate both in harmony with each other.

This article was originally published at The Relationship Doctor Bruce Derman. Reprinted with permission.
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Doctor Bruce Derman


Bruce Derman, Ph.D.


The great thing about my books is they provide you with a core understanding of relationship based on my 43 years of being a psychotherapist. They teach you how to move through your impasses without spending countless hours in therapy with the wrong therapist.                         

Location: Woodland Hills, CA
Credentials: PhD
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