You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Whenever I talk about self-care someone brings up that line. And it rankles me. Cups aren’t created to pour from, but to drink from. Self-care is not about being better mothers, wives, partners, daughters, sisters, or friends. It is about taking care of ourselves because we are whole human beings who deserve care and love.
You can’t DRINK from an empty cup.
You need care. So do I. We all do. We need food, water, shelter, community, compassion, and love. We need exercise, fresh air, boundaries, stimulation, and rest. We need so many things! Self-care is about literally caring for ourselves.
Pour from your overflow.
What if you took care of your body? What would happen if you fed yourself well and kept yourself hydrated and made sure that you had ample exercise and rest? How would your life change if you saw your doctor regularly and followed their advice?
If you went to therapy, could you lead a more fulfilled life? If you learned more about how your brain worked and what it needs could you change the way you process things and deal with challenges? If you had a coach to help you learn to set and hold boundaries in your life, what could you accomplish?
How would it feel if your own comfort and ease were a priority in your life? What would change if you gave yourself the grace and forgiveness you extend to others? If you put ‘make myself smile’ on your to-do list each day how would you accomplish that? Can you hold space for the hard emotions in your life? Where do you turn for comfort and reassurance when the pain comes and the tears flow?
Do you know what you believe? Does your faith feed you? Do you have a relationship with something that is greater than yourself? Do you make time to reconnect with the things that fill your soul?
Feed them the cream.
When you take the time and create the space in your life and in the life of your family to fill yourself so many things change. The transition can be uncomfortable for everyone. Growth often is. But what you are left with in the end is a practice that continually fills you and an overflow that nourishes those around you. It is the cream, after all, that rises to the top. It will be the best of you that you are able to share. And that is a wonderful thing. I love being able to give with depth, sweetness, and richness to my family, friends, and clients.
But I don’t do it to pour, I do it to drink. I fill myself because I am a human being who needs care and love. I need me, so I show up for me. How are you showing up for yourself?
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