I’ve been reflecting about cups. Psalms 23 speaks of our cup running over. I gained a new perspective regarding this scripture when I heard someone say, “what’s in the cup is for you; the overflow is for others.” Or you may have heard the proverb, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”
I believe this is what happens in our lives. We are givers. We feel bad when we can’t give. We place expectations on ourselves which leave us void of physical and emotional energy. The premise of the cup is this: you can only give what you have in supply. If you give it all away, what do you have left?
When you’re on a plane ready for take-off, the flight attendant gives you the “safety speech. This is what the attendant says: “In the case you need a mask, put yours on first then help your neighbor.”
What’s in your cup?
You need peace? Joy? Hope? Endurance? Love? Faith? I submit to you that it will be easier to give these things to others when your cup is filled with them. The scriptures say, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Do you see the prerequisite here? You pour from your personal reservoir. I’m going to tell you this: It is your job to make sure your cup is full.
Yes, I said it. It is your job to make sure your cup is full. I don’t want you to hear me say you should do it by yourself or you can’t give. No, the point is to take care of you with the same fervor you use to take care of other. Use every available, viable resource to keep your cup full. For example, my cup is filled by going to the park talking to the ducks (weird right?). I also enjoy reading, listening to music, talking to a friend and writing. The best thing for me is silence. I sit with a journal, or not, and enjoy stillness. How refreshing!
What can you do to keep your cup full? I want to challenge you to do those things. You can also call this a self-care routine. I promise, everyone and everything will be fine without you for the time you need to regroup and recharge. Have a family? A demanding job? Steal ten minutes here and there. When it comes to your job? If you get sick or hurt yourself and must be off, they will figure it out.
I enjoy encouraging people. When I say enjoy, I mean I become totally giddy when I have an empowering thought and I share it with others. Every week I send out thirty or more texts. Sometimes, they are saying, “Hey! I pray you’re having a grand week. I love you!” The texts are often accompanied by an emoji. When I couldn’t get a positive thought to come to mind, I knew my cup was running low. It’s my job to get my cup full and overflowing again. I have a remedy for that, this weekend, I am going out to a beautiful place, sit by some water, in silence, and reflect.
How do you know your cup is running low? I’m glad you asked! For me it’s agitation, frustration, withdrawing. This week, the weight of suicide prevention month, along with 911 knocked me off balance. I was scrolling Instagram, and found out a pastor had committed suicide. Though I get emotional like the normal person, I couldn’t shake the heaviness. The emotional pain I felt was almost too much. At first, I got angry because I was being so emotional. After a few moments, I realized I had every right to be emotional and sad! There are people dying from suicide. Many people died on 911.
Giving myself permission to mourn is a form of self-care. Stuffing our feelings and pretending we’re okay when we are not is counterproductive.
Please be kind to yourself.
Take care of your cup.
Keep it full.
Allow it to overflow.
When you feel your supply running low, take the necessary time to refuel.