Self-love – it’s a fad, right?

I was recently explaining this self-love analogy to a client and I thought it is such a beautiful way to describe the assessment of whether we have enough in us to give to others. So, I decided to share the self-love analogy here with you. I wish I could reference the person who first shared it with me, or better yet, the person who had originally created the analogy but I can’t remember the first and simply don’t know the second.

It goes something like this:

Picture a tea cup.

Yours might be big (my sister uses a soup cup as her tea cup but that’s another story!) or it may be small. For me, I think of my beautiful Royal Albert set my nanna gave me.

Now, picture your cup resting on a saucer.

The saucer represents the people in your life around you. The teacup represents you.

Human nature is to give to those people around us, such as our children, partners, parents, siblings, friends.
In this analogy, the water in a kettle is representational of the act of giving. This giving may be in the form of doing something special, supporting someone, doing a favour, giving love, giving our time or energy etc.

The only way we can give the water to the saucer (the person) is by filling up the cup first, and allowing the overflow to trickle down to them. In other words, we need to fuel ourselves first. Self-love must occur first.

We can’t give from an empty cup, only a full cup.

What does this mean in actual life I hear you ask? This means we need to give to ourselves first. Self love, self nurture & self support comes first. This will mean different things for different people. Some people will show themselves love & support with a massage every month, or a bath a few times a week or prioritising their workouts because they know they feel better not only in their body but also in their mind after. Others will commit to a morning ritual.

Discover what fills up your cup, so that when you find yourself in a position of needing to ‘give’, you aren’t depleting yourself. Prioritise self-love.

Regularly check in with yourself. Ask yourself, how full is my cup?