Use your voice for kindness, your ears for compassion, your hands for charity,
your mind for truth and your heart for love.
Have ever heard of a book called How Full Is Your Bucket? It’s a children’s book based on the idea that each one of us has an invisible bucket that is filled or emptied each day by positive or negative energy. So, for example, if someone were to speak kind words to you, your bucket would be filled with water as described in the story or by energy as we might imagine as adults. And if someone spoke words of cruelty to you, your energy would be depleted or, as the book describes, water would be drained from your bucket. It’s an amazing depiction in this children’s book to describe how we impact one another with kindness, with negativity and the importance of surrounding yourself with people or things that add to your life and build you up rather than drain you.
A colleague and I were speaking about this very topic this week. We discussed how important it can be after a long draining day to hear words of comfort, see a smile, have good people around or be on the receiving end of an amazing bear hug. It’s also the reason why it’s so important to have hobbies that you love to take part in during your downtime. These are the very things that fill our bucket.
Sometimes we don’t recognize when the bucket is empty until it literally is just that….empty. We may not realize how people’s words can bruise or how much energy we actually give away each day by choice. So, the next time that you are feeling a bit depleted, check in with yourself. Take a breath and imagine that bucket. Take a mental note of its water line. What are the things that you are neglecting to do to fill your bucket? Are there people or things that you are around regularly that are draining your bucket? Who do you need to visit to help you fill your bucket? Are there things that you haven’t done lately that normally make you feel really good?
One of my favorite parts of the story is when the little boy recognizes that when he begins to help fill the buckets of those around him, his bucket fills up as well! Who in your life do you enjoy being with, talking to, and giving energy to? Usually this person is someone that you can be with for hours and the time just flies! If you have this gift in your life, embrace it! You will get to fill each other‘s buckets!