This week, I was reading my friend Vicky’s blog and a couple words jumped out at me.
“Emptying to fill,” I read. And I nodded my head.
While I don’t think this is a concept exclusive to introverts, my guess is that emptying to fill is something that introverts are more apt to be in tuned to than extroverts.
Speaking from personal experience, my whole life is about emptying to fill. Taking in the world, then seeking refuge — a quite place in which to empty…in order to fill.
As a writer, my life revolves around going out to listen, pulling in to absorb, and emptying to fill.
If I can’t empty my bucket of rising water, it threatens to overflow and overtake me. You fellow introverts likely know what I mean. It’s why some writers have described the feeling of having no choice but to write — to empty…in order to fill.
Here are my raw thoughts on why introverts are more driven by the emptying to fill reality. Because we tend to internalize what we take in, we expend large volumes of mental energy throughout the course of the day. We don’t have the same level of propensity toward expending this outward, thereby releasing it that way, so it happens as an internal process.
And it becomes…heavy, with no place to go. Like a bucket of water that keeps filling up and, before long, needs emptying again in order to function well.
In another post in this series, I talked about the rich interior world of the introvert — and it’s true. But that rich interior world comes at a price. It comes with the necessity to purge, at some point, all that has been taken in, all that is roiling around.
Emptying means clearing out the gunk. Emptying means making way for the good stuff, for creating the necessary space to function efficiently and be on top of our game. Emptying means creating “white spaces” that, once available, can be filled with things like beauty, love, truth.
Emptying to fill means survival. Only when there’s space can we make room for the next thing. It’s as simple as that.
What does emptying to fill mean to you?