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  • Gemma McCabe Kelly

Trying To Fill The Emptiness


Our society is based on taking things from outside of ourselves and using those things to make ourselves feel better. We reach for things and people to try to make ourselves feel better. We learn from a young age, from our parents and caregivers, and from our culture, to distract ourselves, to fill ourselves, to run, to avoid.


Who amongst us hasn't reached for food to cheer ourselves up. Or gone shopping to buy something that will make us feel more beautiful or higher up in the social status game. We go on our phones to scroll for something to do. We reach out to a friend to chat, out of some boredom. We think of all the things we need to buy, need to get, in order to feel better. We plan a holiday to make ourselves feel better. This is all very normal and very socially acceptable stuff right?


The thing is, no amount of anything can ever make us happy. The fleeting moment of getting something, or the passing of hours in front of a screen, just distracts from the 'something' inside of us that... well, we just don't feel too happy. I find it hard to think of anything in our culture that isn't about 'getting' and 'distracting'. Drinking, eating in excess, affairs, creating dramas, gossiping about others constantly, planning for the next thing the next thing, keeping up with the Jones', comparing yourself to Instagramers and Youtubers, gambling, shopping.....


Let me give you an alternative way. What about Being. What about Serving. What about Compassion. Instead of focusing on stuff, to focus on experiences. Instead of spending money on things, what about putting that money into allowing you to spend more time doing the things you love, with the people you love. What about getting off your phone, totally. Or really limiting the amount of time you spend on it. What about making a list of all the things that truly make you happy. That list light include..


1. Reading to learn a new skill, language, or to improve yourself

2. Writing to express yourself, or to write a book

3. Spending time outdoors

4. Sitting in a comfy chair. That's it. Sitting. See what happens

5. Yoga

6. Mindfully meditate.

7. Declutter your house/space

8. Dig out your dreams and make a plan for them

9. Plan your ideal lifestyle

10. Plan your ideal work day

11. Save money for those dreams

12. Sell stuff you don't need

13. Get involved in Volunteering

14. Take up a class to challenge yourself

15. Reconnect with old friends

16. Make a list of all the things you have done wrong or regret, and see can you make amends.

17. Travel





Life is meant to be an adventure. We are supposed to be free. If we can begin to spend time with ourselves, we can take charge of our lives. We can stop the mindlessness and the keeping up with everyone, and the consumerism, and begin to be. To live our lives the way we want to. Our version of Happy.



©2018 by Phoenix Counselling & Psychotherapy.