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I don’t know if this is true for you or not, but my life seems to sometimes have themes enter and play a central role. It happens on and off in different seasons, sometimes quickly and sometimes lengthy. The themes often bring with them transformational truths, rich life lessons, new revelation, and sometimes pain.

A theme that entered my season just last week and has come with a vengeance is Emptiness. It seems to be a very strong character with very wordy dialogues and enjoys stealing the scene. I want to see this character as negative and not like it, but I am strangely drawn to its mysterious appearance and subtle movement.

I read a quote this week that resonated in a new and powerful way by Ruth Barton,

Emptiness is the prerequisite for receiving.

Whether it is our empty stomachs in the morning, our empty bank accounts waiting for payday, or our empty souls in need if filling, we all experience some version of emptiness regularly. It is when we are too full, of various things good and bad, that we are unable to receive. This truth has found feet in my life’s journey and I am trying to surrender to it with joy.


It is through the door of emptiness that we must walk to receive nourishment, love, provision, peace, wisdom, and life. Too often we spend our lives seeking fullness rather than emptiness. Our days are consumed by seeking, finding, gathering, and acquiring the things that leave us constantly full.

My deepest lesson in emptiness was lived out this morning as I lived out my morning ritual and found myself at my pond. We had a tragic error in pond management this weekend that left us with an empty pond. The koi filled pond I have so fondly enjoyed every morning for the last few months is now empty.

I have wanted to cry about it to release and relieve the empty feeling and yet, the tears just wont come. I’m left with a very obvious feeling and presence of emptiness that I am just inviting to stay as long as it needs to. If it is a prerequisite for receiving, then I’m going to allow it to stay for a while and see what it has to bring.

How do you respond to the presence of emptiness? What areas are you too full to receive? What does surrender look like for you today?

One thought on “Emptiness

  1. Pingback: Wonderful sage Lisa G. O’Brien: “Musings of a simple girl trying to leave the world a better place than she found it” | Curtis Narimatsu

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