I have pondered and self-analysed my need for emotional nourishment and lack of it for many years. Yet it was a long time before I thought of spiritual connection as a need that would trigger Filling behaviours, and I hadn't recognised creative expression as such a deep soul need until recently.
Without one of these, or without full voice to each, we are left with emptiness. For some people, the emptiness is small gaps, for others, cavernous voids.
And my other belief is that the soul must be fed - more so than the way our bodies must breathe. It isn't a choice - it's a driving need.
However, to put it more accurately, and according to my new perspective - we are left with the feeling of emptiness.
And emptiness scares us and so we fill it as quickly or as easily as possible. And yes, even degrees can be easy Fillers, in that feeding the truer hunger takes deeper understanding and work, vulnerability, readiness, and a willingness to confront our emotions.
So I'm going to call the three needs I mentioned above Hungers.
Philip Burne-Jones, The Vampire (1897)
I believe that every single one of our Fillers can be reduced to its core Hunger.
So to get anywhere we need to fully recognise which hunger we are attempting to fulfill. I think it's possible to work top-down or down-up.
I'm going to be vulnerable and share with you my exercise in reduction in the chance that it might help someone else. I'll start with the one I know oh so well.
I need to feel loved deeply/unconditionally/passionately. Emotional nourishment
I never knew whether my father truly loved me.
My mother's love was initially conditional.
My mother's love was later withheld.
I was desparate for their love.
But I wanted it with acceptance of who I was.
I chose romantic partners that showered me with attention initially but were ultimately distant/withholding in love.
I had a cavernous hole in my centre.
I needed reassurance, acceptance, loving comfort.
Food is immediate, comforting, filling, loyal, never distant.
I need emotional nourishment but give myself mostly bodily nourishment.
phew! This isn't supposed to be public!!
As you can see, this was a top-down-top approach. You could also start with 'I eat to fill emptiness'.... and continue to work out what that emptiness is exactly.
Eating, I think, is almost always an issue of emotional nourishment. It is so deeply associated with being nourished from our infant days. And if our mother's fed us for comfort, rather than stomach hunger, then the association is deeper still.
I'm giving my intuition space to ponder the possibility that all filling-type Fillers, and very earthy basic ones (best description I can think of), are associated specifically with emotional nourishment - food, drugs, alcohol, sex, collecting friends, shopping, research, hoarding...
I seem to be making a distinction between these filling-Fillers and producing-Fillers, such as study, teaching, blogging, knitting, projects, etc.
Also blogging at Crooked Hooks & chewing on a leaf