Monday, September 14

the hungers

I see our souls as having three fundamental needs.

Spiritual connection
Emotional nourishment
Creative expression

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


  1. wow,thank you for that beautiful and brave gift of sharing.

  2. An amazing gift indeed. Thank you.

    I"m still ruminating on the filler post -- hoping to have come back to it and had something meaningful to share....other than - I get it. But that's enough,right?

    I think many of us can relate to eating as a way of filling an emptiness. It's an easy tool to reach for because, as adults, it's something we finally have control over, most of us not having had control over it as children. Perhaps that's another facet to it -- control we have wrested from authority...a victory, of sorts.

    Much more to ponder here....I'm currently trying to pin down my 'fillers'....


  3. hi,
    Similar interests, mutual respect and strong attachment with each other are what friends share between each other. These are just the general traits of a friendship.To experience what is friendship, one must have true friends, who are indeed rare treasure.

    I have added you to my blogger roll, hope you can do the same thing for me so that we can have constant communication.

  4. Oh I loved this post. So honest and brave- thank you so much!
    Such an insightful way to look at our lives and needs honestly. I find my Tarot readings often give me a nice, upfront outlook and force me to take a more realistic look at my life. Strange since it's from Tarot, but there you go :)

    Blessings and thank you again!

  5. This is so insightful. Thank you for sharing this part of you. There are many other people out there that could benefit from this wisdom. I know that I am one of those people.

  6. This is soo great Mon! Acknowledgeing all these things. Getting your list out there will be truly liberating, is it? And such universal themes, not to remove our personal inner battles or significance of them of course... but I think the mythological implications on ourselves is helpful and useful for acknowledging and moving on and sharing and helpful to others like you say.

    Spiritual connection
    Emotional nourishment
    Creative expression

    Yes, indeed. I think it can be tricky to get all these needs met, especially in this day and age, espceially when it's so easy to get caught up and sucked back into the vacuum of 'modern day living' that I think can preclude these things... of course it's about finding how to meet these needs and find the meaning within it all, isn't it!

    (^_^) thank you for sharing.

  7. I don't even know where to begin on this one. I think my problem with managing my blogging time is that it truly feeds my need for creativity. But there are other writing/communication projects I want to work on, too. Books I've been writing for years and one sits, unfinished. But I honestly can't face it. I will put it at the top of my to-do list several times a week, and I still couldn't tell you the last time I opened the manuscript file on my computer. I don't know what to write next, or where the story goes, and I just don't want to deal with it.

    And food - I think you nailed that one right on the head. That is, at least for me, why I turn to food!

  8. Wow, I think this post might actually help me. I will have to try that exercise.

    I have always been aware of the importance of emotional and spiritual nourishment, and I knew creativity was important for me, but didn't think of it as being as important as the other ones. Well, recently I've been gaining awareness of that. But what about physical health? Spiritual and emotional affect the physical and vice versa. They are all connected. Can we ignore our physical health and still be whole emotionally or spiritually? I haven't figured out how physical health and creativity interact, as I never really thought about that one before. I do believe, however, that creativity can be an emotional/spiritual healer.

    I feel like I'm rambling...did I go off topic? I'll have to think about this more.

    And thank you for being vulnerable. I have a habit of letting myself be vulnerable because I think it helps others. I'd share even more personal things on my blog if I weren't afraid of hurting some of the people who read it (like my mom).

  9. ps, I hadn't really thought about breastfeeding and it being more than just satiating hunger and that relevance to food addiction etc, even though I'm pro breastfeed on demand regardless of it being about hunger - DOH! I never made the connection about food habits starting with the mother's breast! Of course! (I wonder what happens with bottle fed babies who maybe aren't fed for comfort like breastfeed humans?)
    Also, when we eat food (esp. good, sweeet sweeet food) dopamine is released so of course we humans like to engage with things that give us that happy chemical release and of course food is so instantaneous for that as opposed to ... I find the activity of 'doing' creativity, or even meditation, or anything else more holistically useful requires quite a bit more motivation and sometimes I just can't be arsed, but of course it's soo worth it. Likewise with climbing up mountains. I despise the climbing uphill part but when I get to the top, I love it and don't even think about how ard the process was! All the things like eating food, drinking, smoking whatever, sex, internet, anything in the instant gratification basket etc, seems to require so much less effort but of course perhaps not meeting or not sustainably meeting all those needs like you have outlined.
    Am so riddled with baby brain, I don't even know if I've made sense here... (^_^)

  10. Mon,thanks so much for sharing so much of yourself and your process. I hope you are going to continue where you left off here, as your distinction between filling-fillers and producing-fillers really intrigued me. Although I have both, I think I am more producing-filler oriented...
    I also realized reading this that I do tend to work in the other direction, top-down, which I hadn't thought much about, but even that really ties into my nature - to work top-down has a more problem-solving feeling to it, you start with the perceived 'problem'. I'm realizing that tendency in itself might be one of my fillers!!
    This post also made me think a lot about Buddhism, and why I was/am attracted to it as an approach to the human psyche and life in general. The Buddha starts with 'there is suffering' and works through it from there. He sees that all our desires, needs, etc. all generate from our essential fear of the ultimate emptiness/groundlessness of our own awareness and the universe, and we fight it by holding on to our own individual existence with all our might, fearful of releasing into something own wording, of course:-)

  11. wow! great post. thank you so much for sharing. it really helped me understand many things that i've been struggling with for quite some time now. i know that i have a strange relationship with food, but i can't figure out why. i want to know why so i can fix it? where and how did it begin? it's laways seemed unfixable.
    thanks for sharing this.

  12. Calling them by their name seems to diminish the weight they burden us down with. I will have to work out my own fillers. And, I do search for peace/perspective in many of the producing fillers you mentioned.

    So good to read you again, Mon...

    I've been a bit, ahh, under the weather lately.

    Much peace to you...

  13. Yes, thank you for sharing. Very insightful. All your points seemed very 'like duh', but sometimes you just need to read it to be able to apply it.


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