Being Generous with Ourselves
You can’t pour from an empty cup. - Anonymous
Each Monday a spiritual practice will be introduced related to our theme of practicing generosity, and we will invite you to try that practice throughout the week. This week’s practice is Being Generous with Ourselves.
Focusing on being generous with ourselves may seem like an unlikely place for a Christian devotional to begin, as we often associate being a Christian with loving and giving to others. In some Christian circles giving yourself away to others to the point of exhaustion, and even burnout, is celebrated as a badge of honor. Such a mindset sees self-care as selfish and self-centered.
Yet the quote above says, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” We can’t be generous with others if we don’t have something in our emotional/spiritual/physical cups to give. I would like to invite you to think about self-care, not as being self-centered, but instead as a way of nurturing a centered self, a person who is able to care for others from a non-anxious place of fullness.
In yesterday’s reflection, Randall Curtis invited us to reflect on the words from the Gospel reading: “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life.” Being generous in caring for ourselves is always essential, but uniquely so during the holiday season when we need to be on guard so that we are not weighed down by the pressures and worries that enter our lives this time of year. Our reflections for this week will help us to look more closely at the challenges we might encounter as we move through Advent and how we might be more generous with ourselves in the midst of those challenges.
Making it personal: Have you ever had the thought that self-care is selfish? What does the idea of being generous with yourself bring to mind? What are some of the challenges you face right now to being generous with yourself?
Follow along with us this Advent season with our daily devotional and engage in discussion in our closed facebook group moderated by The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner & The Rev. Jan Kwiatowski.
In this group, participants will have a chance to share their responses to the prompts in the daily readings, and also the chance to receive additional material for reflection.