Have you ever heard the analogy, ‘fill your cup from the inside?’ or ‘fill your own cup’?
Sometimes it’s used in reference to weight loss. Often I’ve seen it used in the new age spiritual community.
There’s a Facebook page – “ComeFillYourCup“, a weightless book titled “Fill Your Cup“; the list could go on and on.
The general gist is that it is your own responsibility to take care of yourself; no one can do it for you.
I would love to say I agree, on it’s face it sounds wonderful… and while I don’t completely disagree, I think the analogy does more harm than good.
I have three very simple reasons why.
1. There is nothing on this planet that lives this way. I have to date not seen a single example, human, plant, animal, anything, that lives this way.
There is no thing on this planet that thrives, much less exists on it’s own, filling it’s own cup.
If you should have an example of this, I would love to hear about it; please let me know.
Let’s take the human race for example. How are we doing- the ones who are trying to fill our own cups?
Let’s take obesity for example.
“Obesity is usually determined by BMI (body mass index) measurements. Someone with a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), from 1960-2006 “the percentage of obese adults ages 20 years and older more than doubled, increasing from 13% to 35%. Between 1980 and 2008 the average body mass index (BMI) increased globally by 0.4 per decade for men and 0.5 per decade for women.
Currently, 21.8% of the total global population and 33.9% of the US population is obese.”
I use obesity as an example because it is often such a struggle for people, myself included. I have struggled for years with weight and I clearly attribute my success in overcoming the challenge to powerful connections with people who cared enough to inspired and supported me to change.
I didn’t do it by myself, I had some help.
And it’s not just me, you can see the same thing in a wonderful documentary by Joe Cross’s movie Sick Fat and Nearly Dead, where the same thing happened.
Someone caring enough for another to be their inspiration and support.
Here is just one example of people caring, striving, inspiring and supporting each other together.
2. More often than not this fill your own cup ‘philosophy’ is used as an excuse to abdicate our responsibility in our relationships with each other and everything we are connected to:
‘I can’t do if for you, you have to do it on your own.’
That phrase is all kinds of wrong. Sometimes someone can do ‘it’ for you, sometimes you can do ‘it’ for someone… and no, you don’t have to do it on your own.
If we follow the design of everything else on this planet, in this universe, we are all intricately connected, and if we acted that way… our world would be a much more pleasant place to be:
3. The analogy is flawed at it’s base, there is no cup. It is not a cup, it is a river.
You see, if we have the awareness that we are all connected, it’s quite clear that someone else’s thoughts, emotions, and actions have a profound impact on each other.
We all have a profound impact on each other.
If we flow together in the river of life’s experiences we can endure and overcome any obstacle that greets us.
While it may be prudent to follow the advice of the airline attendant and ‘put your mask on first’, let’s be full of care to remember that the ‘first’ part implies the ‘second’…
Help the person next to you put theirs on.
If you try to fill your own cup, expect to have a cup full of empty.
It’s not a cup, it’s a river, and we’re all in it together.
With all my love,