I was disappointed as the pasta and the soup did not come out well last night. I followed the recipe as always but still the taste was not up to the mark. I was exhausted, as past few days had been very busy—the usual never ending chores of laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, guests and family time seem to have finally taken a toll. It was time for me to step back and deliberate!
I recalled the phrase that I had recently read- ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’, which means that I cannot give goodness to others if my cup is empty. I smiled to myself as I had solved the mystery of the crappy tasting dinner.I had put myself at the end of the giving chain, and after days of giving, giving and no receiving, I felt spiteful and irritated. In my not so happy state of mind, I am pretty sure that I did not spread the goodness that I intended to do.
I cannot teach kids to be ‘kind and gracious’ when I am like a bomb ready to explode! And I cannot make great food, when I am hungry and bitter!
So, it was time for me to refill my empty cup. In order to do so, I needed to devote time for activities that feed my passion and interest. It meant for me to read and write, go for my fitness schedule, and to get a good night sleep. If I do these I am a happy camper, and ready to spread the sunshine.
Investing in self care does not come easy to me, as I often succumb to the pressures of what a woman ought to do to nurture the family. The roots of putting my needs at the bottom go deep into my formative years. I remember being taught in school and beyond to always respect others. The following phrases are ingrained in my mind-
“Say Thank You.”
“Selfish is bad.”
These phrases define good character values that I was taught and expected to imbibe to become a fine lady (which I suppose I am now). All these values were focused on ‘respect for others’, but none that taught me to respect my own needs.
These good values indeed helped me to get socially accepted, but at this stage of my life I realize the importance of ‘filling my own cup’ too. If this is being selfish, then selfish is not all that bad! My soul gets charged and I feel ready to give the goodness back, after some ‘me time’.
With this newly found knowledge, I inspire to become more conscious and not feel guilty to say “I am ready for a refill!”.
One thing I am still struggling with though is the means to pass on this wisdom to my kids. I do not want them to be self obsessed and be selfishly selfish, but at the same time I want them to recognize the importance to keep themselves in priority, and not feel guilty about it. I hope that they would learn this, like any other skill, by the power of observation.
So, do you believe in the concept of filling your cups, or not? I am interested to know the activities that keep you positive and charged.