Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup”? It’s a pretty good motto to live by in my personal opinion. In essence, it’s telling you how important it is to take care of yourself. In this metaphor, you’re the cup. And on the inside of the cup is the liquid. The liquid is all of your energy and all of the things that you need to properly care for yourself. When it’s full, you have a lot of liveliness inside of you. You’re able to go about your day to day life and have the energy that you need to make it through. You can keep it to yourself if you want, but you can also give that energy to other people. You can spend time with the people you care about, help out others when they need it, work, and still have time to exercise, do your errands, and all of the other things that you want to do. It’s good to give of yourself, but there is a time when you need to stop. Sometimes you keep on giving and giving until you find out that you have nothing left for yourself. You’re completely drained and tired, and when that happens, you don’t end up doing any good for anyone (especially yourself). If you’re too tired, you can’t help your friends out. If you’re sick from always being on the go then you can’t give your all at work.
I have come across many people who seem to keep trying to pour from an empty cup. A lot of the older women in my life are like this. Last year I participated in this natural hair fashion show. No one who was involved with it was getting paid. We were either just doing it for fun or because somebody that we knew asked for our help. It was a really long day, and we didn’t even have time to stop and eat and drink anything. For those of us who were younger this was okay. It was a little bit inconvenient to go that long without nourishing our bodies, but we survived. For the older women there this wasn’t necessarily the case. There was one woman who was helping the models get dressed in their various outfits, and a one point during the day she passed out. It was hot back stage, and she was diabetic, but she hadn’t been eating the way that she was supposed to. She was so concerned and focused on the rest of us that she didn’t take the time to care for herself the way that she needed to. She ended up being fine once she got some sugar in her system, but the point is that she should have never let it get that far. Some of the ladies that I go to church with are like this too. They spend all of their time giving back to the community and trying to help other parishioners. They think that it’s what God wants them to do so they do it. And this may be true, but I doubt that the Big Guy upstairs would want them to work themselves to the point of being sick. I have literally seen these women also forgo food and sometimes medical treatment just so that they can keep on giving back to others.
It’s definitely great to give to others. Look out for them. We should take the time to care for important people in our lives and people who need our help, but make sure to look out for yourself too. Everyone deserves to experience happiness, but you shouldn’t have to have yours taken away from you just because you’re too busy trying to make everyone else’s happiness a priority. Remember, it is possible for you to give up to much of yourself. Chances are that when you find yourself too tired and too lifeless to accomplish the things that you have to do in your life then you need to stop and take some time for yourself. Slow down your pace, and make sure that you start looking out for yourself. Give of yourself positive thinker, but don’t forget that you need to work towards your own happiness as well.