Fill your own cup…or maybe don’t.

[community & happy]

Fill your own cup.

I think that’s my wish for you. and me…
But then again, I’m not completely sure about that entirely.

Let’s explore…because at this point, we both know that writing might help me figure out what i mean. Thanks in advance for sticking with me while I do some figuring out.

Okay, so there was this article (that I can’t seem to find for the life of me). But basically, it talked about how we need to fill our own cups (in the self-worth sense of the metaphor). Basically basically, don’t rely on others to provide you with something that should be achieved within you (like self-worth, self-confidence, positive sense of self, et cetera).

I think the points made made sense when I read them. The author mentioned things that you/i/others might read in self-help books. positive fluffy stuff that tells you to look in the mirror and affirm your self-worth, your body image, You in all of your wonder and glory. They made sense. They make sense. I’m all about self-affirmation. Stop looking for things outside of yourself to make you happy. Seems about right, no? Look inside yourself to affirm your worth. Simple enough, right? Don’t rely on others to fill your cup because what will happen when the external thing/person/provider goes away and all you’re left with is you? Again, makes sense.

But then, at a certain point it doesn’t. make sense, that is. Or rather, it just isn’t enough.

Clouds, what are you talking about?

Well, friend, since you asked:
I guess what I’m getting at is that I no longer believe we are meant to do things alone, to fill our own cups. not entirely anyway.

mas exploration por favor.

Alright, here we go.

So recently (like last-post recently), I shared my experience of swimming against the current, a post that sat in my drafts folder for longer than it should have and was mentioned in countless posts before and after being written because it was a type of self-disclosure I had not been ready to experience. and then, suddenly, i was. and so i did. You can read about it here. I shared the metaphor of heaviness/sadness/depression/whateveryouwannacallit as a feeling similar to having to constantly swim against the current, treading water at all times, exhausting yourself And I also shared what helps me in particular get some relief from that at times, sort of like temporary floaties provided to me by kind souls. ((momentary pause: take yourself back to your childhood or your experience with a niece or nephew or grandchild or random kid at a pool..actually, scratch that last one, it could take a creeper-ish turn if not prompted correctly. Aaanyway, remember the floaties? Try not to smile at that memory, feeling a bit safer, whether it was yourself or a cute kid in the water learning to swim. …unless you had a terrifying experience with floaties, in which case you probably aren’t smiling and are instead upset at me for having brought up a bad memory. My bad, homie. my bad. let’s get back to the point…which was not drowning))

So yes, not drowning. and relief from treading water. Recognizing that different things work for different people, I do believe that some of us need external things (like floaties) to provide relief from treading water (or dealing with anxiety or a traumatic experience or whatever it is you struggle with because if life and people has taught me anything, it’s that we all have our “thing”). Filling of our proverbial cups doesn’t come as easy at times so we need help from others to accomplish this.

There’s this song by Tenth Avenue North that says:

I wish you never thought you had to go
Wish you never thought you had to leave
Together we can lift each other up
We can build a shelter for the weak

Through trouble, rain, or fire
Let’s reach out to something higher
Ain’t no life outside each other…

No Man is an Island

While there is the overt Christian message to the song (given that it is a Christian band), I think the general idea is important: we don’t have to do things alone. Whether that “something higher” is God, god, Jesus, Buddha, Mother Nature, the Universe, Love, or something else entirely, we can rely on something/someone else to help us.

I was recently called stubborn (which I will explore in a post to follow but for the purpose of this whole filling-your-cup thing, this interchange is related too so stick with me). so yes, stubborn. me! …after a bit of defensiveness…and denying defensiveness…and reflection post-defensiveness, I think I agree. I won’t go into details here but basically (tying it together), I need to give myself permission to accept when others are offering support and (…wait for it) actually ask for it when I need it. crazy, i know. but i think if enough of us do it, we might actually start a trend.

Again, I know I can’t do it alone all the time. I can stand in front of a mirror and affirm the hell out of myself. I can read a list of my accomplishments. I can look into recent and not-so-recent history and think of evidence in favor of my awesomeness. I can I can I can…but some days, it isn’t enough. I need help filling my cup. And. that’s. o.kay. I’ve found external things that help when I’m not able to do it alone. Music is definitely one of them. And then there are the kind souls. Kind souls have entered my life over the past few year that encourage me, believe in me, tell me they’re proud of me. They tell me they love me without using words. Kind souls tell me I’m beautiful and biutiful and that I sing like an angel. They tell me that they wish I could see myself they way they do. It fills my heart with so much love…for them…and for myself. And that‘s my point. It fills my heart (or cup). When I (or you) can’t do it alone, I don’t think I (or you) should have to. Balance, yes. After all, we can’t rely on the external to define who we are. But we’re not meant to do it alone. So yes, fill your own cup…but maybe really don’t entirely; leave a little room for others to add to it.

*as a flip side to this, which I won’t expand upon too much, this reflection made me think that part of our responsibility as interconnected human beings is to also be there for others when we can and how important that is, to help with simple acts of providing hope and love and acceptance. having been on the receiving end, knowing that we are not alone can truly save someone.

music behind these thoughts (happy listening):



2 thoughts on “Fill your own cup…or maybe don’t.

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