Symbolism: Pouring Your Cup of Liquid Into Others

So the title of this post may have you scratching your head or maybe you said ‘huh’ after reading the title? This idea is something I learned from a friend of mine whose is the son of the pastor at my church. This analogy is something he learned from someone else, then he told me about it, and now, with his permission, I’m sharing it with you.

This pic is a measuring cup filled with liquid. Now here is where the symbolism comes in. The measuring cup represents you. The liquid inside represents your energy. As you do various things (work, exercise, homework, cooking, cleaning, cheering someone, etc) your using up energy and the analogy is your pouring your liquid into other things and other people’s cups.

A friend needs your help with something; so you pour your liquid (use energy) into their cup. Your mother needs helping fixing something in the house; you pour liquid into her cup. Your best friend just had a bad day, so you help them feel better and more of your liquid goes into their cup.

At this point your cup may look like this. You have a very little amount of energy to use or none at all. Now you feel burned out and may not want to do anything.


So how do you refill your cup?

  • Take a day or more to rest up
  • Eat some healthy meals
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Watch your favorite movie or TV show
  • Listen to your favorite music
  • Spend time with friends and family who fill you with joy

There are many more things you can do to refill your cup. Only you truly know what will do that. Having a true passion for something can be refilling. You may be doing something and it can look like your using energy, but that passion, to you, is not any kind of work; it’s something that recharges you and makes you happy.

Repeated Cycle

Now this is where things can work against you. Once your cup is refilled, you start pouring into other people’s cups again. When that happens, your once again fatigued, burned out, and the cycle repeats itself.

Now some people live like this day in and day out. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as their recharging themselves often, but some people can get tired of living like that.

A Different Way

Helping and supporting others is something we all should try to do and you can do that in various forms. Going back to the cup analogy, what my friend told me is that you not only let your cup get full, but let the liquid flow out if yours and into other people’s cups. That way your cup stays full, you don’t get burned out, and you can still help other people.

For those of you who are spiritual or religious, my friend says that he let’s God constantly refill his cup (renergize and recharge him). Those of you who aren’t religious or spiritual, whatever it is that recharges your batteries and refills your cup, that is where you want to divulge your time and energy to. This is where having that true passion comes into play.

Wrap Up

Now this idea is something that can take time to get the hang of. It can be a marathon which shouldn’t be rushed. Also it can be easy to be hard on yourself for making mistakes along the way.

Now I understand with Covid being a thing and all the other things that have happened this year around the world, not everyone’s cup will be all the way full and may not get refilled often. We are operating these days not at 100%; we are at 70, 50, 35, maybe 15% but that’s ok. We all have had a tough and challenging year dealing with the virus and things that we never thought would happen or things we never had to do or dealt with before. We just do the best we can with what we got, that’s all we can do. We shouldn’t compare ourselves with other people; that can just bring our morale down.

If your cup can get full, that’s great. If you are doing what my friend is, that’s great too. If your struggling to fill your cup and keep it full, that’s ok. I guarantee you that in either scenario, your not alone. I’ve struggled to refill my cup numerous times and keeping it full takes time and work.

Take care, stay safe, and remember your not alone and you have worth in this world.

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  1. This is such a beautiful message! It reminds me of Psalms 23:5 which says, “You prepare a table for me before my enemies.You refresh my head with oil; My cup is well-filled.” May Jehovah God continue to keep your cup filled both literally and figuratively during these hard times.

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