Do you ever feel like you’ve given until you can’t give anymore? Are you exhausted being there for everyone?
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We have been told that it is good karma to give without thinking of ourselves first. If we always stop and give support to others eventually we become depleted. And I believe we cannot continue to give high quality support when we ourselves are empty.
We have been told it is selfish to think of ourselves first. This ideology, in fact, leads to neglect of ourselves. Neglect of the very vessel from which we offer support.
Now here is the question. Would you A) Prefer to operate half-filled (or less!) while supporting others, or B) Live full and support people from a more abundant overflow?
Think of it this way. You have a cup full of water. Friends and family need your support. You pour into them. What is the result? Your cup (your self) is depleted. If you keep this up soon your cup will be empty. Can you continue to pour support into others with a half-filled cup? Can you pour support from an empty cup? Well, no. There is nothing left to give. Not only that, but you are empty as well.
Now think of it this way. You fill your cup through taking care of yourself. Your efforts create overflow. As you continue to care for your self, there is more overflow. Now you can care for your self AND support others – keeping you full and the overflow coming for others.
This is why we must take care of our self first. We need to make sure we are not only filled, but that we continue to care for our self. This will create an overflow. It is from this overflow that we give. Not only can we give, we can continue to give strong support – as long as we continue to stay filled.
How can you make sure your cup stays filled?
- Feed your brain – read books, blogs and articles to continue learning.
- Meditate – managing your stress will keep you on an even keel so you can handle requests for support without straining your body.
- Exercise – keep your body conditioned to sustain efforts to support others.
- Sleep – rejuvenate your physical body and maintain balance for your brain.
As you hear on planes – in the case of an emergency, put your oxygen mask on first and then you are better equipped to assist others.
Learn to care for you so you are in a better position to share your overflow. It is not selfish – it is necessary to be a constant source of support for those you care about. And may your cup always overflow!
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