You Can’t Pour From an Empty Cup

This phrase seems to be really popular right now. It makes sense. Take care of yourself, so you can take care of others. Taking care of yourself is great advice we should all try to follow.

As I thought about it, I wondered if it really was something that applied to life. Something about it didn’t makes sense to me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Eventually it came to me, I didn’t like the empty cup part. Having an empty cup implies you have nothing to give. For most people I think that is rarely the case. Let me explain how I think this phrase can be modified and then applied.

I think of our cup as full of milk. If you are doing a good job taking care of yourself then you have fresh milk in your cup. You can share that fresh milk with others. You are in a great position to positively impact those around you. You are able to give your very best to your spouse, kids, friends and everyone else you come in contact with.

What if we don’t take care of ourselves? This is where the empty cup idea doesn’t work for me. No, I think the better metaphor is we end up with a cup of spoiled milk. That spoiled milk makes you sick and can contaminate others too.

I say we have a cup of spoiled milk, instead of an empty cup because most of us try and continue to give regardless of how we feel. This is certainly true for me. There isn’t much that can negatively impact the volume of what I am capable of giving to my family, work, etc.

The change from fresh milk to spoiled milk is something we have to see and own. What does it look like and what does it feel like when we don’t take care of ourselves?

When our milk is spoiled it generally shows itself as irritability, lack of patience, lack of quality effort, not being fully present, and a million other ways. All ways that have a negative impact on you and those around you.

Don’t get me wrong, I think you can have an empty cup. That is a very serious situation though and doesn’t apply to what I’m trying to get at here.

I think we’ve all experienced spoiled milk at some point. That general irritation you feel about everything going on around you. The desperate need for a break, a vacation, a nap, a couple minutes of peace and quiet. I call this the reset.

It’s important to be self-aware and also listen to those around you. Reacting quickly when your cup is spoiled or turning is vital as it allows you to quickly course correct.

Many, including me, think we are great at hiding how we feel and continue on with our daily responsibilities. Believe me, those around you see it. They see you. You aren’t hiding. Put away the ego.

When you have spoiled milk it’s time to take a break. You need a reset. Resetting is a personal thing and different for everyone. Find what grounds you, what gives you that chance to connect with yourself again. This is the time to truly focus on you. It could take minutes, hours, or days. Regardless of how long it may take it’s worthwhile effort as it positively benefits you and those around you.

Take care of you, then take care of those around you!

#ivegot2more #accountability #endure #grind #7kids #fetalalcoholsyndrome #blendedfamily #noexcuses

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