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Be a tap not a cup. Monday March 3, 2014

As one of life's introverts I'm quite a private person so my pool of people to whom I can ask life's challenging questions is quite limited. For now my therapist has taken on this role.

Recently I've focused on love and understanding; what it is and how it feels when it's real. I asked about getting love; the hows and whens. My therapist talked about how it's better to be a tap rather than a cup.

I'm a cup, I'm empty and looking for someone to fill me up, to fill my sense of lacking. My therapist's advice is to be the tap, be the person who gives all of the things you want to receive, the giving makes life all the more beautiful.

I've discovered it is easier to like myself when I know I've done a kind or thoughtful thing for another human being. Today I will be going out into the world with the aim of trying to add to the happiness quotient. I'm going to be a tap not a cup.

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Anonymous Mon, Mar 3rd 2014 @ 7:44am

Great post but sadly I have been a tap for too long and have depleted my supply of life source. Now my own cup is empty there are not a lot of people rushing to fill up my cup. It would seem that the people I have in my life are takers and not givers. Now I need to find a way to fill my own cup. Not easy to do when you are so used to doing it for others. Xx

Anonymous Mon, Mar 3rd 2014 @ 9:09am

It's a great concept Ellis but I echo Anon 7.44. My view is that it's best to be both a tap and a cup. Giving and receiving, reciprocity in relationships is good. Warm wishes in your journey.

The Entertrainer Mon, Mar 3rd 2014 @ 9:11am

Great post and a really relevant response from Anonymous. How true for so many of us... we are the ones who pick up the phone (usually to hear the other person say, "Spooky I was just thinking about calling you!"), we are the ones that send the thoughtful card, we are the ones that go the extra mile. I feel I've gone so many extra miles that I've run out of gas!

Anyway, the flip side is that I don't always do things for others for their sake. I do it because I just like doing it (when I have the energy). I remember a cheesy saying, "Be the spout where the blessings come out!" Cheesy - true, but I like cheese too.

So, today, where the energy is available, I'm going to be a tap, not a cup!

Thanks Ellis and thanks Anonymous - I get and dig you both.

randomangel Mon, Mar 3rd 2014 @ 11:03am

I love these simple truths. I agree with the posts above but surely the more we give skilfully and appropriately (and not just randomly) the more we feel good and the more we encourage other people to smile. It is in savouring these small, sincere moments that we allow our own cups to be fuller as well.

The Entertrainer Mon, Mar 3rd 2014 @ 11:08am

We are also raise a vital question: "Who fills my cup?" and for me, quite often, "What fills my cup?" As an introvert (and proud of it), my cup is filled by my inner world - and many stimuli can fill that realm - often Nature, music, art, sunshine, even the cat! Most seriously, I would hope that the Moodscope Blog is an important cup of Tea each day when it comes to filling all the cups in our community. With the right words, our cup runneth over...

Julia Mon, Mar 3rd 2014 @ 2:02pm

I do hope you find that giving more will fill up your cup with the "real" ( I like that adjective) love and understanding you, we all, need Ellis. I suppose one can't wait around doing nothing and hoping someone will step in and fill your cup so your therapist's advice seems good. I wish you all the best. You've been our drinking tap today overflowing with nice advice.

Anonymous Mon, Mar 3rd 2014 @ 2:24pm

Thank-you for writing this blog. It gave me strength to alter my perspective on things. I guess the idea is that if you stop waiting for others to help you and focus more outwardly, you'll be happier and maybe good things will come to you then.

Lostinspace Mon, Mar 3rd 2014 @ 3:24pm

Really great blog Ellis, thank you. I always need reminding of this although I know it so well.Being a tap is a really good thing although I think you need to know when to turn yourself on and off! On the lines of what goes around comes around, I think it's a tap and a moat - it may be a very big moat but eventually it gets back to you. Maybe sometimes we are afraid to turn on the tap because the cup might not like our particular brew. Sorting out time and priorities is important too, I wish to God I knew how to do it. (Am I allowed to say God on Moodscope, I hardly ever see it?). I used to make biscuits and give a lot away, then I decided not to do it anymore as we always ran out quickly and then I was back in that beastly kitchen making more, and anyway nobody ever knocks on my door with biscuits. But you know what, I miss the warm fuzzy it gave me doing it and the happy smile on the recipients face! When my daughter was very young, maybe 4 or 5, we went to church one Christmas and the vicar spoke about that thing - It's better to give than to receive. You should have seen her face! I wonder how long it takes to learn that lesson, maybe forever but the important thing is to keep trying?

Anonymous Mon, Mar 3rd 2014 @ 7:51pm

Lovely, lovely sentiment. I didn't read it as giving until exhaustion--rather, thinking of yourself not as an empty vessel that needs filling, but thinking of yourself as the source of the love, happiness, and caring that you most need. I find when I'm at my lowest, forcing my focus outward is the only thing that helps. I'll keep this metaphor in mind.

Anonymous Sat, Mar 8th 2014 @ 8:20am

Great read Intersting take on things;) I like tap n cup theory , but I am the tap and my supplies are all empty as I've filled others cups not feeling so great in myself for several years now and aint not much happening to fill my supplies ...

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