Have you ever tried to drive a car that is running on empty? Our cars have a gauge that tells us how much we have in our tank, and when we start to run low, we stop at the gas station and get filled up. What would happen if we filled our gas tank with water or orange juice or something other than gas? I am not sure, I’ve never tried it, but I am guessing it would not be very effective.
So, why is it that we think we can do this in our life?
In my life, I am becoming more aware of just how full my cup is on a day-to-day basis. I am becoming curious about how I show up when I am running on empty vs. how I show up when I am filled up. I am becoming aware of where I go to get my cup filled and the results of that in my life. I am becoming more aware of the different possible resources and tools that I have available to me. Some tools that leave me full and healthy, while others leave me empty, guilty, or regretful. I am becoming aware of how those tools have different effects on my life, my relationships, my energy, my joy, my serenity, and my effectiveness.
Until recently, I wasn’t even consciously aware of this. Ok, so I was aware of how full or depleted I felt (emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually). However, I wasn’t paying attention to where I was getting filled up, nor the fact that some of the resources, (which I believed at the time were good,) were detrimental, not only to myself but those in my life who I love most.
Let me explain, when I go to my son, my 3 year old, empty, and needing his love to feel whole or happy. I am allowing his behavior, or his affection towards me to fill my cup. This not only puts unrealistic, un-communicated, expectations on him, which are subconsciously felt by both of us. But, I am also putting my livelihood in the hands of a 3 year old. How ridiculous, like filling up my gas tank with orange juice.
When I am expecting my husband to fill my cup, I show up as needy, insecure, and it is exhausting for both of us (again all subconscious), but it is something we both feel. It is not my husband’s role, nor is it his job or responsibility, nor is he capable to make me feel whole. This leaves him feeling like he failed me. And I am left feeling unworthy. None of this is the truth, nor is it healthy. But, that is what happens in my life, when I am showing up empty and looking to my marriage and my husband to fill my cup.
When I go to food, which I also tend to do quite a bit, I am left feeling regretful and guilty. When I go to shopping, I am left feeling happy because I have a cute new outfit, lol, jk. It might bring me immediate joy, but it is unsustainable. When I would go to my work, it would leave me striving, stressing, and consumed. All of this was happening subconsciously. I wasn’t aware that I was using these sources and people to fill up my cup. I was just doing it and wondering why things weren’t working. Why I was so stressed or anxious or depleted or overly emotional.
Now that I have become aware, I have identified several tools, which fill up my cup, leaving me energized, empowered, and effective. I have become more intentional to show up filled up, to show up so filled up with love, generosity, peace, and joy that I am pouring it out on those around me. My desire is that I show up in my life and in my relationships, over-flowing wholeness vs. putting this subconscious pressure on things and people in my life to fill me and make me feel a certain way.
Do I do this perfectly? Absolutely not. Not even close. In fact, I mess up every single day. However, I am learning, and I am improving, and I am a work in progress. And I am much better today that I was yesterday, or last week, or 1 year ago, and for that I am grateful.
In future blogs, I will share with you some of the specific tools and resources that I now utilize to fill up my cup. Until then, I want to hear from you. How full is your cup? Is this something you are intentional and aware of? What are some healthy tools and resources that you use that help you get filled up in a way that allows you overflow goodness and love?