The Negative Space

I was in a conversation someone who works in design the other day and she was talking about the beauty of negative space. It made me think, that yes, there is beauty in not having to fit everything in, in order or right in line with the next. There is something very beautiful with space between things, not only aesthetically but in life as well.

Before walking this path I was constantly trying to control everything. What I didn’t realize until I was in recovery was that my need for control was a result of me feeling out of control of my life and the world around me, so, I would dig in and hold tight trying to do the impossible, control the uncontrollable. Negative space, any space or gaps, made me nervous, I always wanted everything to line up and to be perfect. Well, I don’t know about your life, but mine, no matter how much I tried to force it, never quite lined up that way, not for long anyway, and when it didn’t, I thought I had failed. The insanity for me was continuing time and time again, day in and day out, to line everything up, and each day finding it didn’t. I never left room for any negative space, or anything I couldn’t see or label. Learning to leave that negative space caused me anxiety at first. Things felt unfinished, or undone, two things I never let happen while I was living in the dark, I always had to see everything to it’s conclusion and have it neatly tied up at the end, even if it was harmful to me. I had to change my thinking and my perspective to focus on my own self-care, and that had to take precedent over trying to finish something or lining everything up neatly so it looked pretty but may have damaged my heart and soul. I challenged myself to leave some space, or not finish something if it didn’t feel right or wasn’t in line with my new way of life. It was difficult to walk away at first, but I found my power in it, if I had made that choice there was a good reason, and that reason was me. I had to put myself at the top of any list and make sure whatever it was I was engaging in was feeding me with positivity, or teaching me something I needed to know or experience. I began to look at that negative space as self-love, of giving myself space to breathe, to let go and to allow for the possibility of the unknown, and as I did, my anxiety started to dissipate and retreat. I know today that the only control I have in my life is my reaction to what is around me and my intentions, that is all, and when I feel the need to try to control I can change that need to being of service to others, to finding a way, or ways, to make someone else’s day brighter or let them know they are loved and appreciated, when I focus on that intention, my need to control goes away, and I am no longer stuck in my head trying to run the show. Today I can find peace in the negative space because it’s where I can exhale and find some room to move, to investigate and to be open to new things. I have made that space a positive space.

We all have the ability to give ourselves some space, to leave some room in between those people, places and things we deem important or essential in our lives, and when we do, we open the door for new thoughts, new experiences and new ways of life, letting go of the patterns we may have been in that no longer suit us, or perhaps, never did. Learning to enjoy the negative space in our lives allows us to be gentler to ourselves, it always us room to learn and make mistakes, it gives us permission to be human and flawed, and it allows us to laugh where we may have beat ourselves up in the past. Find the negative space in your life, and look for some that you can expand and give yourself more room to grow. SLAY on!

SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you allow for any negative space in your life or do you keep things tight and lined up? If you don’t allow for any negative space, why is that? How does that help you? How does that hurt you? Does it frighten you? Why is that? What if you tried SLAYER, to ease off the control of our life and let there be some room for some negative space in your life, some room to let go and breathe. The answers you seek may just be in that space you so desperately try to avoid.

S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you

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