THE JAR OF HEARTS 1 - WHY DO WE FEEL EMPTY?
Imagine your heart as a glass jar. It is filled with sweets. Love hearts if you like. Your jar is full to the brim and it is hard to keep the lid on. You feel deeply satisfied within, happy with who you are and with the way you live every minute of your life. Your heart is filled with joy, love, and contentment...
‘Ha! That is definitely not me!’ The sarcasm in your voice mixed with sadness tells me that it may not be you. And some time ago it wasn’t me either! In fact most would agree that their jar is currently nearly empty.
If you feel somehow sad about yourself, if you feel unfulfilled and discontent (no matter how perfect your life may seem on the outside!), it is because within something is missing.
No matter how much others tell you they love you, when you are alone you just don't feel comfortable nor content. Your jar has been long deserted because you weren’t taught how important it is to care for you. Were you aware of it? Perhaps not, but now you are and have a choice to make: You can either continue going around asking others to fill up your jar, or you can start learning how to fill it up yourself. Which one of those two will you pick? If you aren't sure yet make sure to continue reading!
Since childhood we all grew up unknowingly practicing the former of the two choices above. We learned to listen to adults, caring to fulfill their wants we pleased them by acting in ways acceptable to them to feel accepted by them. We have been doing what others needed from us, we cared for them and made them smile, up until now busy filling up their jars. We were happy when we saw others happy, satisfied and smiling. Whenever our loved ones were pleased with us they rewarded us by being sweet, by showing their love for us. It has filled our jar a little and we felt good about ourselves for a while.
So how come we don’t feel so good today for all that we have done for others? How come our jars remain largely empty?
Every time we have experienced others’ displeasure with us (because they were tired, stressed, unappreciative), we have punished ourselves by emptying our jar. The moment they stopped being kind (whatever personal reasons they may have had which by the way haven't had much to do with how we were), we stopped being kind to ourselves, unaware that we were acting in unkind, abusive ways towards ourselves. But now that we know, why would we want to hand the responsibility for our fulfilment and happiness back to others? How many of us continue asking their children and grandchildren to fill up their jars?
We have been told aplenty how not to be selfish but no one has shown us how to be kind and self-loving.
The issue here isn’t about understanding that something has got to change if we like to live different lives. The real pickle in our jar is that we just don’t know how to. Which is why I write about it because it really doesn’t matter that right now your jar is rather clear. In fact, it's never too late to start filling it up and you have nothing to lose by trying!
Are you are willing to let go of the idea that others are responsible for how you think and feel right now? Can you forgive yourself for unknowingly abusing yourself all this time? Are you prepared to learn how to be sweet to you and how to give to you withot feeling guilty? If so, please continue to part 2.
Thank you for reading. If my article contributed to understanding yourself, please be generous and share it with others.
Copyright © 2018 Michaela Patel