Sometimes I feel like I am running on empty. I feel depleted of energy and less capable. My New Year’s resolution is to fill up my tank by taking care of myself … body, mind and spirit.
Psychologist Virginia Satir wrote about a large black pot that stood on her family’s porch. At various times of the year it contained, in turn, homemade soap, manure or stew for the threshing crew. If you planned to take something out of the pot you had to know what was in the pot and how full it was.
In her family counselling sessions, Satir used the pot as an image of self-esteem or self worth. In her book, People Making, she wrote:
I am convinced that the crucial factor in what happens both inside people and between people is the picture of the individual worth that each person carries around with him – his pot.
Integrity, honesty, responsibility, compassion, and love – all flow easily from the people whose pot is high. They feel that they matter, that the world is a better place because they are here. They have faith in their own competence. They are able to ask others for help, but they believe they can make their own decisions and are their own best resource. Appreciating their own worth, they are ready to see and respect the worth of others. They radiate trust and hope. They don’t have rules against anything they feel. They accept all of themselves as human.
Other people, however, spend most of their lives in a low-pot condition. Because they feel they have little worth, they expect to be cheated, stepped on, deprecated by others.
Expecting the worst, they invite it and usually get it. To defend themselves, they hide behind a wall of distrust and sink into the terrible human state of loneliness and isolation. Thus separated from other people, they become apathetic, indifferent toward themselves and those around them. It is hard for them to see, hear, or think clearly and, therefore, they are more prone to step on and deprecate others.
My resolution is to be more intentional this year about filling my pot. Each week I will write on a slip of paper something for which I am thankful. It might be something that happened during the previous week. I will put the papers into a jar to keep them safe and organized. At the end of the year I will open the jar and read the many things for which I have been thankful throughout the year. I will have given myself a gift of thankfulness.