FILLING OUR OWN VESSELS
“When you take time to replenish your your spirit
it allows you to serve others from the overflow.
You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
For the past several years, I have always chosen a Quote of the Week like the one above at this time of year. While a quote about generosity, compassion and brotherly love may seem a more obvious choice during the Holiday Season, I would rather bring to attention
Generosity — of spirit, of time, of energy and more — already abounds in our little community. So do compassion and caring; I see it every day. But I’ve also noticed that some of the most giving people, when it comes to others, can be amazingly stingy when it comes to themselves. Not only do they not realize how deserving they are of some self-compassion, they often make themselves less effective at doing the good work to which they aspire.
In the fire service, we are taught that our own health and safety — on the fire ground and off — are singularly important. A person can’t help others if they themselves are in trouble. It’s the same reason we’re told, if our airplane cabin ever decompresses, we have to put the oxygen mask that drops from the ceiling on our selves first, our loved ones second. The pursuit of martial arts is a commitment to helping others. It’s mentioned twice in the four sentences of our Student Creed. But the Creed also says we make ourselves able to help others by first taking care of ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually.
So as we find ourselves in the thick of this Glorious But Sometimes Silly Season, let’s think of self-compassion as well. It’s a wonderful thing to want to make the holidays special for your loved ones. But please find the time to take care of your selves as well. It will make you a fuller vessel from which to serve those around you. And, I promise you, you deserve it.