The recent passing of my beloved dog, Sammy, left a hole in my heart. While that’s mostly metaphorical, I genuinely feel like something is missing from my life as a result of Sammy being gone. Sammy was a source of love that I no longer have. I speculate that there’s some kind of numerical amount of love that a specific human being requires in order to ‘feel whole’. I am unsure what units love would be measured in; however, I speculate that part of the pain of loss may come from having an uncharacteristically low number of these units. There are many ways to fill the resulting void like drugs, carnal pleasure, money, etc.; however, I speculate that authentic love may be the only way to sustainably do so. I look forward to further research into the neurological basis of pleasure and general happiness that may shed light onto love, loss, and void filling.
What does it take for someone to feel whole? What does it even mean to feel whole? Is there a difference between feeling whole and being whole? These are difficult questions. A good place to start might be to define wholeness as satisfaction or fulfillment; being without void. When one experiences void, the unpleasant sensation that something is missing from their lives, they will generally take steps to feel wholeness. Void can be remedied in countless ways ranging from seeking out an authentic human relationship to doing drugs. Either method will temporarily ease void; however, an authentic relationship is more likely to sustainably relieve void because it may offer a more permanent, sustainable solution. Additionally, unless one seeks to implement drugs as a permanent void filling solution, drugs will generally only provide “feeling” whole, not truly “being” whole. I’d argue that being whole entails feeling whole, but that feeling whole does not entail being whole. When one has implemented enough permanent void filling mechanisms into their lives and as a result no longer experience void, they could be said to be whole. The amount of void that one experiences varies greatly by person and changes over time. As a result, it is far easier for some to experience wholeness than others. Anyone can technically become whole but for those who, for whatever reason, have a great deal of void, more numerous or powerful void-filling mechanisms will be necessary to implement.
I’ve been thinking more about the concept of ‘the void’ lately. The void is what prevents us from contentedness, the state towards which we gravitate. Everyone has some degree of void. If the void is sufficiently large, contentedness is a very difficult thing to come by. There are many ways to momentarily fill the void; however, using these instantly gratifying void-filling mechanisms will only grow the void in the long term. For those with an unbearably large void, reliance on instantly gratifying void fillers may come about. The void is elastic; its size is always changing. I am convinced that limiting the consumption of these unhealthy instantly gratifying void fillers is necessary in keeping the void to a healthy size. It is important to note that there are healthy ways to fill the void that are not instantly gratifying. Rather they are fulfilling and will lead us into the wholeness of self-actualization.
Other people play a large role in the size of our voids. Friends and relationships can fill the void very powerfully; however, it is important not to rely too much on others for void-filling. Reliance on people to fill voids make one dependent. If something happens to the person that one is dependent upon, the resulting void can be too much to bear. Rather, void filling should be sought out through a combination of personal fulfillment and other people.
*Important to note that this theory might be some psycho-psychological neuro-babble
Further discussion regarding void has led me to the hypothesis that void cannot be effectively remedied externally. Internal satisfaction is the only true way to sustainably fill one’s void. This is largely due to the fact that nothing external is guaranteed to last. Something external can be stripped away at any point. For this reason, one should seek to fill their void internally.
Now, there is a fine line between what can be considered external versus internal satisfaction. Obviously, material objects, money, and success are external. However, one could argue that items I’ve previously deemed to be sustainable void fillers like health, relationships, and personal accomplishments are external as well. So what are the internal sources of satisfaction that we should rely upon to sustainably fill the void? My current best answer is having a good attitude. However, I will continue to consider further void fillers that one can sustainably rely upon in order to be perpetually content.