Under usual circumstances, people are full of what we call “holes,” which refer to any parts of ourselves that have been lost, meaning any aspects of ourselves that we have lost consciousness of. However, a hole in your soul can lead to a sense of emptiness and void. When we have lost awareness of our essence, who we truly are, we feel a sense of deficiency. So, a hole is nothing but the absence of a certain part of our essence. It could be a loss of love, loss of value, loss of capacity for contact, or loss of strength. However, to say we have a “hole,” does not mean it’s gone forever. We are simply cut off from conscious awareness of those parts of ourselves.
Let’s take, for example, the quality of value or self-esteem. When we are cut off from our value, the actual experience is a sense that there is a hole inside that feels empty. We feel a sense of deficiency, a sense of inferiority, and we want to fill this hole with value from the outside. We may try to use approval, praise, whatever. We try to fill the hole with acquired value.
We walk around with lots of holes, but we usually aren’t aware of them. We’re usually aware of desires: “I want praise. I want to be successful. I want this person to love me. I want this or that experience.” The presence of desires and needs indicate the presence of holes.
These holes often originate during childhood, perhaps as a result of traumatic experiences or conflicts with the environment. Perhaps our parents did not value us. They didn’t treat us as if our wishes or presence were important, or act in ways that let us know that we mattered. They ignored our essential value. Because our value was not seen or acknowledged, we were cut off from that part of ourselves; what was left was a hole.
When we relate to someone in a deep way, we fill our holes with the other person. Some of our holes get filled with what we believe we’re getting from the other person. For example, we may feel valued because a person appreciates us. We don’t know consciously that we’re filling the hole with their appreciation. But when we are with that person, we feel valuable, and unconsciously we feel the other person is responsible for our value. Whatever this person is giving us feels like a part of who we are; it is a part of the fullness that we experience. Except that the value we now feel is dependent on the presence of the other person.
It is rare that another person will fill all our holes. We have many people and activities in our life, and still, they may not fill all our holes. There will be some holes left, and this keeps the dissatisfaction going.
Our society is set up to teach us that we should get the outside to fill our holes; we should get value, love, strength, and so on from outside. We talk about how wonderful it is to do things for other people, or to fall in love, or have a meaningful profession, as if these activities are what give life meaning.
There are both inner and outer signs of a hole in our soul. The inner sense is a vague feeling of something missing or not being quite right, or a deeper feeling of emptiness or loss. Sometimes there's no apparent reason for this feeling while for others it links to a definite experience in our history. The outer signs of soul loss can be some form of lack, loss or an absence in life. Some examples are: being out of employment for long periods, being in financial debt, a business not doing well, a practice attracting very few clients, difficulty being heard or understood by a spouse, a marriage lived as separate lives, the lack of a loving partner, inability to be creative or being stuck in an unhappy situation. To deal with these problems, we find the hole in our soul, face the opening, go into it and keep doing this until the hole begins to fill and our symptoms and circumstance begin to change. We can go through this process by ourselves or with an experienced person to guide and support us.
Any hole in our soul will be protected by our body, which will contract around the hole to block it off as much as possible. So, to locate our soul wound, we can check out any area of tension, tightness or blockage in our body. Go to a safe place to relax for as long as possible, and pay attention to that hurting place. Be aware of sensations, memories, trains of thought and allow them to unfold and inform. The key to release is feeling - physically and emotionally. We let our body move as it needs to and allow the tears, laughter, or whatever else is stuck in there, to flow freely. When the tension has been reduced and the emptiness now feels like spaciousness and freedom, we will find a sense of peace and warmth, a reconnection with ourself and the divine power that makes all things.
Love includes caring - for ourselves and for others - and is the ultimate way to fill and mend these holes in our soul.