“Never give from the depths of your well, but from your overflow.” Rumi
This quote coming across my social media feed immediately brought to mind the many women I know who have not experienced ‘overflow’ in years or maybe ever. They are, indeed, empty and dry.
I talk with my friends about how drained we feel at times, but as soon as we get a teensy bit of energy back in our ‘well,’ we find something—relationships, projects or behaviours—that quickly drains it. So, what then, does overflow feel like?
What Does Overflow Feel Like?
To be overflowing means to be in a state of having more than we can use, more than we can store and that more continues. In overflow we are so well-rested, we are so well-nourished (physically, mentally and emotionally) that we can't help but give and share. We are in a feeling-state of peace even in the midst of struggle and/or turmoil. We are in state of love. Maybe this sounds like an impossibility? Maybe we can never be over full in all areas all at the same time? This state certainly seems impossible when our reserves are running empty and drying up.
Where Are You on the Empty-Well Scale?
100--You are physically, emotionally and spiritually well fed and rested. You are in a state of flow, at peace with all that is going on in and around your life. You are comfortable with who you are. Your creativity flows and makes you happy not only benefitting you, but, everyone. You have a feeling of being tapped into an unlimited source. You generously give from your abundance.
50—100 You, for the most part, keep yourself in balance and healthy while you work through some difficulties or make some strategic changes. You have good energy most of the time and a positive outlook. You are creative and creating. Giving to others and giving of yourself is a regular part of your life.
0—50 You are becoming aware of some repeating patterns that have you feeling stuck. Or you’re ready to ditch what’s not working for you. Congratulations, you are on your way to moving up a step. Creativity comes and goes. Getting some feedback from a counsellor/coach/therapist/health practitioner could really set you in the right direction. You need a period of rest and recovery after giving.
0 — -25 Life feels grey and monotonous. You have just enough energy to do the tasks that your day requires, but there’s no excitement or passion present. You would definitely benefit from regular ‘me’ time away from your responsibilities. Get some feedback about who you really are and what you really want to make you happy. Giving drains what little energy you may regain after a rest.
-25 — -50 You are chronically tired and ailing in some way. You are just getting through your day/your life until “someday”—the weekend, the kids are grown, you retire,—etc. You are likely medicating in some way to help you manage. This is a tough cycle to break. While your struggle 'feel's physical, it is mental, meaning you talk yourself out of what you know needs to change and continue doing what you’re doing, because you don’t have the energy to ‘fix or change’ it. It seems easier to just keep going. You need your mom/sister/friend/care-giver to give care to you! Giving causes you to be resentful and definitely depletes you.
-50 -— -100 Your life is chaotic. It feels as if life is out of your control and things just ‘happen’ to you. You are in a constant state of crisis management keeping you in a state of fear. You don’t have time or resources to devote to your self-care/management. Addiction may be a factor. In this state, it is time to ask for help. Get assistance from anywhere to help you manage your current situation. Begin steps to change the trajectory you’re on. Giving to others feels impossible.
What Fills Your Well?
I can tell you I have experienced each of these levels at some point in my life. I have learned what drains and what fills my well through many trials and errors and eventually success. It is a bit of a journey to determine what fills you, gives you energy and gets you to your best self. Many women (and men too!) feel they are coping just fine and that their being empty is of no consequence. It isn't! When we give from limited resources we are cheating not only ourselves but everyone. You at your best self is what's best for everyone.
Please take the time and effort to fill your well.