When I looked up the word void, I had an idea of what the word meant but for clarity’s sake I looked it up anyway. Void can be described as the following:
An empty space
A gap or opening
Something experienced a loss
With that being said what are we talking about in this chapter? We are taking about voids. People often times medicate themselves with a variety of things some people call them vices. I remember when I first moved to Atlanta years ago I went to a party that some of my co-workers were having. At this party I quickly noticed that there were a lot things going on at this party that I was not used to and that I did not normally participate in. There was smoking going on, and not just cigarettes. There was an excessive amount of alcohol being consumed. A young lady came up to me and asked me if I wanted any thing to drink; I declined her offer. She then asked if I wanted to smoke anything; I also declined that offer as well. Her next statement to me was “ Than what’s your vice?” I looked at her and said I didn’t have one or maybe I did but I just didn’t know what my vice was at the time.
Vice used a preposition would be defined as “Instead of” or “In the place of.” People have vices that they are addicted to but don’t even realize that these things are addictions. They have things that they do to medicate themselves from the problems of the world. They want to detached themselves and void themselves of any feeling or emotion. Rather than dealing and addressing the issue that is at hand they attached themselves to a vice. They feel that the vice now helps them cope but the challenge or issues are still there. All the vice does is exchange one problem for another. “Instead of” dealing with the issue, they are now entangled in a relationship with a vice that will not help them nor will it make things any better. Some common vices are drugs, alcohol, working, shopping, eating, the list could go on and on. But one vice people often overlook is the vice of other people. Replacing on person for another. When relationships end sometimes we have a tendency to try to want to find a replacement a little to quickly. This is found more often in the males. Now don’t get me wrong, females do it too and I will address that in a second but let me talk to the males for a second. Males have a tendency to have a “warm body syndrome.” The warm body syndrome is when you try to replace someone for someone else however you are not really interested in the replacement you’re really just trying to get over the hurt of the last person. This type of situation rarely ends well. Most people just end up getting hurt, used and abused; and its usually the replacement, aka “the rebound” The reason is because the male was just trying to fill a void. He may have been used to having someone around and doesn’t want to be alone with his thoughts or feelings so instead of dealing with them he will find someone to use and distract him from his feelings. We have become a society where our feelings have taken over what we say and do. Feelings are not facts; feelings are indicators not dictators. However we have allowed our feelings to dictate to us what we say and do, rather than dealing with the real issue that is at hand. When are relationship ends there may be feelings of hurt, betrayal, abandonment, lost, failure etc. These feelings may be real however these feelings don’t give us a reason to act out a certain way that is not beneficial and may end up hurting someone else in the process. If you’re hurt that gives you no excuse to hurt someone else. If you have been betrayed you shouldn’t do things that will betray others. If you feel abandoned, lost or failure; finding someone new too quickly just to masks those feelings and is not helping. You have just added more to your life to handle and more unresolved issues to deal with later on down the line.
Ladies you are not let off the hook. It has become more popular for women to have the warm body syndrome. However with women it plays out a little different. The female species can be a very emotional creature. Most decisions come from an emotional place. After a break up they may have a tendency to blame themselves and questioning their self worth resulting in being very critical of themselves. After a break up you may ask yourself the question, “Well what’s wrong with me?” There is no need to question who you are, it’s just that particular relationship didn’t work out. Just because there is an attraction between two people, it does not make it an automatic love connection. Just because you guys had common interest, it doesn’t mean you guys were meant to be life partners. Relationships can end for a number of reasons. Just remember to learn from your experiences and find ways to be better and not bitter. If you dated someone and there was something they didn’t appreciate about you, don’t be so quick to seek out someone that finds that one thing about you more alluring. You have now started trying to fill the void of validation with accommodation. Validation comes from within. No man can validate who and what you are. You are creating a vice for yourself and trying to fill a void with something that doesn’t belong there.
When I was in kindergarten we would have this activity. The activity was where you would take a peg shaped object and place it in a the hole that matched the object. If it were a square peg than it would belong in the square hole. If it were the round peg than it would belong in the round hole. If you were the star peg it would belong in the star hole, and so on; you get the idea…. There were many sets for all the children and many times the sets would get mixed up. That meant that the pegs and holes were all different sizes and we would have a variety of options for our pegs to fit in. We have small, medium and large pegs and holes. The objective was to get the perfect match but it was hard sometimes because things got so mixed up. So what would end have happening, was you would have square pegs in round holes and round pegs in square holes and the children thought they did a good job because the fit. In reality they fit but they didn’t belong there. They fit because maybe the square peg was smaller so it could squeeze in, but it didn’t really belong there. It wasn’t the right size but it filled the space. That’s what we do sometimes when we enter a relationship prematurely with someone just to fill a void. They fill the space or void but they weren’t designed for that spot or really don’t belong. They are just taking up space in our lives and time is precious gift that we should not waste. So the question becomes; what do I do after a break up to make sure I've dealt with my feelings and I’m not just trying to fill a void. I call it the 4G system. You can begin to apply these 4G’s in an effort to assist you in making sure you’re not just trying to fell a void.
Grieve - The grieving process can be a funny process. It will look different for each individual however here are some stages of the grief process
Reflection of the entire relationship
Admittance to your part in why the relationship may have failed. What part if any did you play in the demise of the relationship?
Give – Give yourself time to heal
Grow – What did you learn from the situation, take account of things that took place in the relationship. What worked? What didn’t work?
Groom – Take honest inventory of yourself. Are you ready for a relationship? Are you in a good place. Are groomed to be with someone?