Do You Dance With Your Unfillable Hole?

What does it actually mean to dance with your unfillable hole?
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A Seth Godin blog post a while back asked: "how big is your unfillable hole?"

Of course, the size doesn't matter--it can't be filled.

His point:

"The first step to living with it is to acknowledge it.

You can’t make it go away.

But you can learn to dance with it."


Now, I am going to be honest: I understand learning to ignore, dismiss, work around, or even accept the presence of negative thoughts and experiences. What I don't understand, however, is what people mean when they say things like "learn to dance with it."

Dancing with something is playful. It's fun. Perhaps most importantly, it involves prolonged, ongoing contact with your dance partner. You laugh together. You chat. You try a new step and are exhilerated when you get it right. Or perhaps, you both look awkwardly off to the side with wide eyes and sewn-shut mouths, going through the motions until the song is over.

Either way, if you are dancing with someone you are voluntarily spending time with them, accepting things that they offer and then making your own contribution to the exchange.

I'm not going to lie: I don't want to spend extra time hanging out with the dark voices in my head, let alone accepting what they have to offer as a contribution to our dance.

The closest I have gotten to being playful with my unfillable holes is when I have gotten to a point of being able to curiously examine them.

Since curiosity has a bit of a detached amusement to it, it allows me to poke at and even gain an appreciation for them as I learn where they came from and what makes them tick. Then that curiosity is what leads me to be able to effectively work around them later.

It lets me say, "Okay, I get you, you can just hang out there and shout whatever you want, but I'm going to be over here doing other things because you are actually full of lies." Or even, "You're saying that I'm useless and dumb, but underneath that you're afraid no one loves me, so I am going to spend time with some people who do love me and hopefully you'll let some of that love in."

Is that dancing with them?

If it is, I am not being a very good dance partner. I spend just enough time with them to figure them out, and then sidestep, deflect, ignore, placate, and avoid.

What about you? Do you dance with your unfillable hole? What does that mean to you?


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