Do you have an emotional void? How do you fill that void? Many of us have a void in life that we attempt to fill with either positive or negative people or activities. In my practice, I work with highly successful, driven people who channel their energy into their careers. On the outside these individuals appear to be have it all, beautiful house, fancy car, name brand clothes, but on the inside is a gaping hole that they are attempting to fill. Some people grew up in homes where love was conditional based on performance, achievement, and productivity. Others grew up in abusive homes and never received approval or acceptance from their parents. Some had very little guidance/direction from their parents whereas others were micro managed during every step of their development. These are some ways in which an emotional void evolves and as children we find whatever way possible to cope. In fact many people use the same coping mechanisms they did as children throughout their adult lives. For example, if as a child you used avoidance, withdrawal, and detachment to deal with verbal abuse you may find you’re still employing the same approach even though as an adult you have many more resources. Ask yourself, how did I cope with conflict as a child and do I use the same method today? Back to the original question, how do you fill your void? We may fill the void with food, alcohol, drugs, material possessions, sex, pornography, video games, etc. Sometimes the obsessions are more subtle or appear positive like work, wealth, physical attractiveness, exercise, popularity, status, power, and control. Over the next couple of weeks I will discuss the impact of these unhealthy emotional fillers and share positive alternatives. For now, identify your void and emotional filler.