Friday, April 12, 2024

Stop Pouring from an Empty Cup.

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( “Stop pouring from an empty cup.” These were the words that Dr. Stephanie Young Moss posted on social media recently.  How many times, do we pour so much into other people and we are left empty on the inside because we have nothing left to pour into ourselves?  Don’t worry, you ran out of fingers to count, I know.  This happens so much in our lives because we have been trained in our minds, to go above and beyond to help others and feel selfish when or told that we’re being arrogant when we cater to our own wants and needs.

You shouldn’t give to others what you don’t have to give to yourself when you need it (pouring from an empty cup).  Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it will be given unto you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  It didn’t say, “Give your last or give all of you” but we do this over and over again and then we face burnout or we get frustrated with the person or people that we are giving our all to because it becomes so overwhelming to us.

My favorite part of that scripture is when it says, “For with the measure you use….”  To me, this is telling us to pay attention to (measure) how much we give of ourselves.  I’ll never get tired of using the stewardess on an airplane analogy when it comes to deciding how much or when to help someone else in need, to avoid pouring from an empty cup.

Whenever the airplane is heading towards the runway to take off, the stewardess goes over briefly the rules and regulations of the airline, air cabin and the laws of flying any aircraft.  The stewardess says, if the aircraft (plane) loses air inside the cabin, oxygen masks will be released from over your head.  She then precedes to instruct you to put the mask on yourself FIRST before you attempt to help someone else nearby who may be in need.  Why is that so important to know?

Again, because it’s a force of habit, our instincts tell us to immediately help the passenger next to us and then worry about ourselves and become the next hero that saved that person’s life during an emergency.  But unfortunately here’s where common sense doesn’t always appear to be common.  How can you help someone else if you’re cut off from oxygen?  You can’t!  It’s the same as pouring from an empty cup which is metaphorically for helping others when you have nothing of help to give them.

If there’s no emergency such as losing oxygen while on an airplane and pouring from an empty cup can simply involve you overextending yourself to please an ungrateful boss, or going over and beyond for your spouse and children but never take some time to pour into yourself, stop it!  You need to spend some time pouring into you before you can give to others. Pouring into you is more than trips to the spa.  Fill your cup of life back up by reading books, studying the bible, practice meditation, take up a new craft, talk to a therapist, do something outdoors, do something alone, just do anything that fills you back up and helps you stay full to be of service to anyone else.

It is not selfish to take care of you first.  You will forever be stressed and frustrated or running on empty if you continue to pour into others from your empty cup in life.

Staff Writer; Felicia T. Simpson

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