Cup Photo compliments of K. Farwell

I  recently started reading a wonderful book (Joyce Rupp’s “The Cup of Our Life”) that has started me looking at cups very reflectively. Perhaps that is why at a Centering Prayer Workshop this weekend one of the phrases used by the speaker stuck with  me: “You have to form a reservoir before you can be a channel.” You see, for many years my waking prayer has often been, “God, let me be a channel for your love and your wisdom.” This comment about the reservoir made me step back and look at myself a bit differently. I have often told students during my many lectures given through the years that you must love yourself before you can love someone else—-that loving others as you love yourself starts, naturally, with how you love yourself. So this reservoir snippet really caught my attention. Almost exactly a week ago I had a “bad day” full of pain, grief, tiredness, depression, and the need to isolate. I realize now that in addition to having a tooth/jaw ache after a trip to the dentist I had actually let my reservoir “run dry.” I had been so busy going to meetings, leading meetings, running errands, etc. that I hadn’t taken time to nurture and love my spiritual essence. I hadn’t been getting enough rest; I had been forgetting to take some of my prescribed medications; I wasn’t drinking enough water; and, yes, after almost five months, I was still grieving the loss of my father.  I stopped writing. I stopped all the things that were good for my spirit but my “crocheting” which is very good for my soul, but by itself is not enough.  And yes, I still went to church and I still went to centering prayer meetings, but I don’t think my consent was really there. What did I learn from this? Sometimes, you just need to stop and take care of yourself. You don’t have to be around people or “doing for people” all the time. Sometimes you just need to rest; sometimes you just need to cry. The wonderful thing is that during those times God is there too. Creator is patient and understanding and still loves me even though I don’t particularly love myself at times like that. So I am drinking water now—both physically and spiritually. I am filling my reservoir, and judging from the reactions of others around me, I think I am functioning as a much better channel now that I am not running on empty. God bless and keep you.

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