The gifts of the abyss

I remember once, trying to explain to a friend what it felt like in my body, wanting the comfort that comes knowing you are not alone in something.

"It's like I have an abyss in my torso. You know?" I said, thinking this was something all people experienced from time to time.

My friend tilted her head and squinted her eyes, her scrunched forehead communicating what she was gracious enough not to put into words—she definitely did. not. know.

I took note in this moment (and many other moments that ended in quizzical looks or blank stares) that my state of being was not something to share with just anyone. It made me weird. It colored me intense. It was not safe to show to the world.

In the years since, I've learned to embrace the abyss that cohabitates with my organs.

This vast, deep, emptiness that sometimes aches and sometimes yells.

Some days, it's just a low hum in the background.

But other days, it takes over—driving me into either desperate distraction or ambitious action to bring the intensity down.

Here's what I know now. My abyss is not negative. It's not something to hide. It's just part of me.

Though the challenges of living with an abyss in your torso are many (haha!),

the gifts of the abyss are also plentiful...

It fuels my insatiable drive to learn, to grow, and to contribute. It's the source of my almost maniacal search for meaning. It whispers "why?" and demands evolution. This ache inside of me is the reason I poured 110% of my life force into my classroom as a teacher. It's the same reason my work as a life coach makes my soul happy, where there's learning, growth, and meaning-making in every session.

I also know now that I am not alone. There are other people who live with their own versions of an abyss in their bodies.

We are deep thinkers. We are deep feelers. We crave change and growth. We seek meaning. And more than anything, we want to make a difference.

If this is you, I totally know what it feels like. I get it.

I know it's not always comfortable, but it's truly magnificent to be who we are.

There's a reason we have an abyss.

It's a call for something more.

It's a call to step into the potential we dream about

and sometimes punish ourselves for not embodying.

Answering the call of my abyss has become what my life and work is about. To learn more, love better, and make a difference.

P.S. This podcast by John Greene describes it in words that gave me that comfort I wanted from my friend—solace in knowing I'm not alone. I highly recommend it for my fellow deep thinkers.

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