You can’t pour from an empty jug

I turn 50 next year (just to be clear, at the very end of the year), but none-the-less, the big five-oh looms and I have spent a fair amount of time, of late, thinking about the rest of my life.

This first half had its fair share of ups, downs and rollercoaster rides. All these experiences would be pointless if I didn’t cherish the good, learn from the mistakes and use what I’ve found out about myself to make the next 50 wonderfully enjoyable.

Aside from all of these things and thoughts, I have also learned at extreme cost to myself that “You can’t pour from an empty jug.” You can lift the jug and tilt the spout, but if there is nothing to pour, well, then you aren’t pouring.

Not ‘pouring’ is one of the most frustrating non-actions, not only for those waiting to receive, but also for yourself; –

  • Perhaps you try to squeeze the last drop out,

  • Perhaps you break open the jug in order to let loose any liquid that may be left,

  • Perhaps you swirl around an empty jug, hoping to conjure up some essence,

  • Perhaps you smash the jug out of frustration,

  • Or perhaps you walk away;- dejected and disappointed

 

As metaphorical as these concepts may sound, they also illustrate rather accurately what many of us attempt to do over and over again.

 

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When referring literally to an empty jug trying to be poured, the ridiculousness of the attempt is quite obvious. However, on an emotional, spiritual and physical level I suspect many people (myself included) try over and over again to find one last drop to pour into someone else’s vessel.  I think that perhaps the fear of disappointing others and the concept of not deserving to take care of oneself, contributes to these efforts.

So what are the options?

I have compiled my own list which I will be pinning to my door and re-reading often; –

  • You own the jug and you aren’t obligated to pour from it.

  • Fill your jug up often, keep it as full as possible.

  • Don’t overfill because that is wasteful.

  • Don’t pour when you have reached the half way mark.  Fill up first.

  • Your value isn’t determined by how much you pour.

  • It is not your responsibility to fill another’s jug. The responsibility is actually theirs. You can assist in topping theirs up or mixing your flavour with theirs, the rest is up to them.

  • Fill your jug with your own flavour. If the flavour doesn’t work for anyone else, it is their problem not yours.

  • Change the jug to a shape and pattern that you prefer. You don’t have to keep an old jug, you are allowed toss it away.

  • Use the jug for another purpose. Plant a flower in it. Use it as a piece of bric-a-brac. Use it to water your own garden. Repurposing is refreshing.

  • Give your jug a break from pouring.

 

And lastly, look after your jug, it is your own personal store, and if it is empty there is nothing that can be poured, not only into the lives of others, but into yours as well. Don’t let your jug run dry.

 

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