What’s missing?

by Kristin on April 23, 2013

in Culture, ideas & paradigms

Photo by krossbow

I’ll never forget when, as a child, I first really heard a prayer of confession that included the concept of asking forgiveness not just for hurtful things said and done, but also for the things left un-said and un-done.

“What isn’t can be just as important as what is,” I thought, astonished by this revelation.

As a culture, we’re hyper-focused on what is—on what’s real and right in front of us, those objects and moments that can be pointed to and documented. It’s almost as if what’s missing isn’t real, and therefore can’t affect us.

The irony (because there often is one, where humans are involved) is that all those things we buy and make and do are motivated by the holes in our lives—by what’s missing. As people of action and quick gratification, we tend to focus right away on filling the hole, rather than looking around in it to identify what’s missing.

Sometimes the empty space gets filled unintentionally by the busyness of life, precluding any real reflection on what isn’t there. What’s missing quickly becomes buried under the ever-growing pile of what’s there.

My life, these past several weeks, has been all about what’s there, right in front of me. In fact, I’m gradually becoming buried under all that’s in my life, piling up and filling the holes in awkward, unsuitable ways. My life feels anything but empty, with two houses to clean and lots of stuff to pack in one and unpack in the other (we’re in the process of moving), client deadlines and work travel, and parenting responsibilities and challenges.

And yet today, suddenly, I’m painfully aware of what’s missing.

What’s missing, right now, are huge pieces of my identity: open spaces in my days to think, reflect, and be inspired; moments to connect with Jason and truly share life; opportunities to start and sustain meaningful conversations with the people in my life; the freedom to set aside my work to take a long walk and pray; time to devote to my own writing and other creative acts that make me feel whole—connected to my community and world.

Considering the current state of my life, I may not be able to simply reclaim what’s missing, in an instant. But I can definitely work to create small spaces in each day for more of what I need and love. And just recognizing what’s missing helps me connect with those things, in an abstract way that proclaims, “This is who I am and what I need.” That, alone, makes me feel more grounded.

What’s missing in your life right now? What’s filling the holes and keeping you from recognizing what you need?

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  • Brock Webster

    Beautiful and well said/writen. Glad you are back to blogging and I hope you stay back. You offer a view quit like no other. Hope you and your family are enjoying your new home.

    • kt_writes

      Thanks, Brock. It feels good to be moving back into the blogging space, even if it’s happening slowly (just like the move into our home is!).

  • http://twitter.com/erinblueburke Erin

    I hope you are able to find some time for what you need soon!

    • kt_writes

      Me too! Thanks for stopping by, Erin.

  • BrennaDA

    This. Everyone talks about the idea of margin, and I get that on an intellectual level, although I’ve never been able to really make that happen for myself. But when I think of it as what is missing – time to myself to think and process and time to be myself, then I can see that.

    • kt_writes

      Isn’t it interesting how just changing a word or two, or looking at a concept from another direction, can suddenly make that light bulb go on? That’s what happened here for me, too.

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