Day 8 - Swiss Cheese and the Empty Spaces Within

Tonight, I’m going to be a bit cheesy. Specifically, I’m going to talk Swiss cheese. Apparently, that is the type that has the holes in it. Now, you’ll know I’m vegan, so I’m excused for having to Google it. Why am I talking about Swiss cheese you may ask? Because today, this was given to me by a dear soul who used it as an analogy to describe a feeling. There is a fullness of body that we can experience, she said, and yet, there are spaces within that are empty, a little like the cheese with holes in it.

So today in the healing rooms and in the conversations in general, the theme was... well, it was Swiss cheese, and how do we fill those empty spaces we feel; those holes in us that leave us wondering about the meaning of life; about our purpose for being here; the spaces, that if we dwell on them too often for too long, can drag us into their black-hole-ness (yes, I just made that word up).

One of things I thought lovely about this analogy was the observation and awareness that the feelings of the empty space belonged to self; they weren’t projected onto something or someone external.

While factors outside of our self may sometimes contribute to those spaces within, it will be our relationship with our self in the context of those situations that causes the inner longing, discord, despair or sense of emptiness.

So, what about these spaces? Do you know what I’m talking about? They won’t be physical of course – they are felt experiences. They often present as a ‘something is missing’ feeling or a ‘is this really all there is’ type of thinking.

I know those spaces well. Heck, I think I’ve been well holey in my life. Ha, holy holey… more likely. I can recognise that it was that unfulfilled space, that sense of emptiness that spurred me on from place to place, job to job, relationship to relationship. I was well and truly Swiss cheese.

I don’t think I’ve ever tasted the holy cheese, but I suspect that it’s probably nice and flavoursome, if you like cheese. The holes likely add a certain something to the joy of eating the cheese; a kind of absent tease that tempts you with a nibble of taste only to disappear on your tongue as the hole emerges, and then to reappear. You dip in and out of texture and flavour. Actually, it strikes me now as a little masochistic eating this cheese… why would anyone want a partial body when they could have full body of consistent cheese?

But I digress…

The point I was trying to make is that I don’t think the emptiness, the spaces we feel are necessary negative or detrimental to us, though I appreciate that if left unattended and unsupported, they could lead to emotional distress, and more. I guess I’m looking at them as signposts, signifiers that make themselves known in the way that pain sensors do. The spaces in us cry out… I want answers! I want more or better! This is not enough… dissatisfying… meaningless… The spaces, once we notice them, help us to ask questions, learn more about our self, consider other possibilities.

And we may not always be able to act on filling our spaces immediately. It may be that we simply acknowledge them, befriend and whisper ‘soon, my love, soon’ or ‘yes, I see you, let us find a way to fill you’.

The spaces offer us opportunity to know our self better. And while it may appear that external change you make nurtures and closes the spaces – it will likely be the inner change in you, which enabled you to make the outer change that has allowed for the space to be filled.   

And there are degrees of spaces too. Many of mine were filled and sated when I moved to Scotland, began deepening my healing path and working more with my own spirit and the Spirit world – so living more authentically. Over these past months a large space that I didn’t even know was so huge, related to my heart centre, has been beautifully healed and filled. But there are spaces more. I’m still leaning toward Swiss cheese rather than the more full-bodied cheeses.

The difference between the spaces now and the spaces of my younger years, and even a few months ago, is that I’m lovingly and committedly working towards nurturing and filling them. In the past, I just felt an ache or a need to move away from; not realising that the ache was within. Now, I know the spaces as signals, and for me these days as motivators to know myself better and deeper and to listen to where my spirit is leading me in my service and work in the world. My spaces now are less related to existential angst or unconscious sacred wound or child hurting, and more signposts that help me towards greater soul-self alignment.

So… first step… checking out your holy self, and noticing whether there are sacred holes in your beautiful being. Those spaces are there to help you, and your very own spirit will guide you on how to tend to and fill them. And likely, it’ll start with some loving self-kindness…

And if you have any Swiss cheese stories that you’d like to share, please do. I always like to receive your understandings and experiences of these writings.

Meantime, (I was trying to come up with a funny holey joke, but cannae think… fill in the blank for me – and I’ll see you tomorrow!)

Love to you.