What’s In Your Cup?
A while back, I came across a teaching story, and months later, its lesson has stayed with me. It came back to me again this week as I was thinking about the column I wrote last week about how what emerges from within us is directly related to that in which we choose to immerse ourselves.
This teaching story is an additional way to think about what emerges from us, especially in times of stress or disruption.
Here is the story.
You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and accidentally bumps you and shakes your arm, making you spill coffee everywhere.
Why did you spill the coffee?
Because someone bumped into you, right?
You spilled the coffee because coffee was in the cup.
If tea had been in it, you would have spilled tea.
Whatever is inside the cup is what will come out.
Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you,
whatever is inside of you will come out.
So each of us has to ask ourselves..... what's in my cup?
When life gets bumpy, what spills over?
Joy, gratefulness, peace, and humility?
Or anger, bitterness, harsh words, and reactions?
We choose what's in our cup!
Today, let's work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation to ourselves and others, kindness, gentleness, and love! **
This story was on my mind again earlier today when I was driving to my office. Another car cut me off in traffic without (seemingly) any awareness of my presence. I was not proud of the words that came out of my mouth, but was glad they were only for my ears to hear, in the confines of my car. It appears that there's a bit too much stress and irritability in my coffee cup right now. Of course, part of me wants to blame the other driver for my reaction. But as the teaching story points out, that's the wrong answer.
The right answer is that I need to be more intentional about filling my cup with patience, forgiveness, peace, and understanding.
How about you? What's your cup full of right now? If you are not sure, perhaps it will become apparent the next time someone cuts you off in traffic, or comes along and bumps you in some other way.
**This story has been attributed to many different sources, but there is no consensus on authorship. If any of the readers of this column have more information about its author, please let me know.
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