I have always been enamoured of the space between objects in artworks and what its purpose is.
You may have seen diagrams of two side head portraits facing each other and the space in-between looks like a vase. Also illustrations by Escher where his objects start one way and merge into different objects across the page. Scientists have long said there was nothing in-between the atoms until quantum physics was discovered and now they realised there was much more going on in the supposed black empty void than in what we could see. This brings us to the inner world within ourselves which we cannot fully see except when our unconscious thoughts bubble up to the surface. There are also our perceptions which are limited by this unconscious world so we do not fully see all there is to experience.
As you have already experienced in your life, when you take courage to step thru challenges and come out the other side with more confidence to continue your life journey, the darkness or unknown self slowly emerges to lighter times. So in negative space painting, you begin with a conscious but unclear background and slowly utilise darker and darker layers to bring out shapes and objects hidden within. Then when the setting is right, you slowly begin to add light by adding lighter hues to brighten and bring the whole composition alive. Isn't that like life? Slowly we are like an artwork, transforming from darkness into the light; from the unconscious to the conscious into Awareness.