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Elevating the Spirit: Inspirational message on the importance of filling your physical, mental, and spiritual cup

Inspirational article on filling your spiritual, mental, and physical cup
Editor's Commentary

I remember celebrating the end of 2023, proclaiming that 2024 was going to be best year ever. I had this overzealous optimism that most people have when ushering in the new year, ready to kick the old year to the curb and all its disappointments and embrace the new year with all its potential.

Then, in January 2024, not even a full month into the new year, three people in my family were diagnosed with cancer- in a family with no history of cancer. Then, a limb from a tree fell and damaged my home. To compound matters, one of my young family members got into trouble at school, requiring disciplinary action. And did I mention that my nagging back pain was getting worse?

Quickly, my celebratory optimism had evaporated and was replaced with fear, panic, and physical pain.

One of the reasons, I was so ready for 2024 was because 2023 had not been a stellar year.

So, with everything going in 2024, compounded with everything that had happened in the previous year (and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that...), I was on the verge of breaking, experiencing a mental breakdown in real time.

But, I didn't.

If you've experienced similar circumstances where life is "life-ing," you know the importance of having physical, mental, and spiritual fortitude at all times.

Life is so unpredictable. It seems like devastation and despair are always peeking around the corner.

The reason so many people crack when things happen is because their "cup" is already empty- spiritually malnourished, physically exhausted, and mentally drained.

If you think of yourself as an actual glass cup, think about how full your cup is at this moment. Now think about what you need to fill your cup.

How often do you fill your cup with scriptures and spiritual lessons? The danger of not doing so is that when hardships happen (and they will happen, because that's life!) you may not be able to make sense of what's happening from a spiritual standpoint. You won't have any biblical verses, inspirational songs, or spiritual truisms to lean on and pull you through the dark times. As you know, we are physical beings having a spiritual experience.

Moreover, if you are physically and/or mentally weak, you're also at a disadvantage when hard times arise. Both your physical and mental capacity can dictate how much effort you're able to exert to resolving issues.

Interesting, I think of my "cup" as one singular entity with three different parts- physical, mental, and spiritual, similar to the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 (i.e., one fruit with many parts). Therefore, if you have a deficit in one area of your cup (let's say spiritual awareness), the other areas must be rock solid and filled as humanly possible to capacity.

And if you are low in all three areas, you are probably already seeing flashing DANGER signs in your life.

When your cup is empty, not only do you put yourself at risk at your ability to withstand life's slings and arrows, but you also put your loved ones at risk. How can you sufficiently impart spiritual wisdom to others if haven't filled your own cup with spiritual knowledge? How can you show up for your loved ones in a compelling way if you haven't supplied yourself with the requisite physical and mental nourishment?

So, what do you do?

You must continually replenish and fortify your spiritual, mental, and physical strength so that when things happen to you or to people around you, you'll be in a better place to handle it.

For me, I pour into my cup with spirituality by setting aside time each night either journaling or reading Sunday School lessons. I also love singing on the choir and fellowshipping with choir members. (We were not designed to be isolated). I also love experiencing live music and going to see plays and musicals. Each one of these outlets feeds my soul in different ways and helps me to see and experience God. Whatever feeds your soul, that's what you personally need to do more of.

To develop my mind, I love to cuddle with a good book. I'm personally fascinated with documentaries and learning more about the human condition and understanding human nature. Finally, I've been more intentional about learning a new skill every three months. As the United Negro College Fund warn us in their iconic slogan, "a mind is a terrible thing to waste."

Since the pandemic, the physical portion of my cup had run dry, and I was experiencing a multitude of ailments. However, I sought out a good doctor for my back pain, and I've been intent on going outdoors at some time during the day for a casual stroll and to simply feel the wind and sunshine against my skin.

The lesson I'm learning is that oftentimes I have no control over what happens and when things happen to me or to the people around me. However, I can control how I respond to what happens.

The more weapons in your arsenal, the more likely you'll be able to withstand life's surprises.

So, the question you must ask yourself is: How full is your cup? What areas do you need to develop to combat life's challenges, both seen and unseen, to the fullest? Keeping your cup full is essential. You owe it to yourself and to others.


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